IN CAMBODIA, authoritarian Prime Minister Hun Sen has openly praised Trump's *Fake News Awards* - handed out in January by the U.S. President to his usual targets, including-

CNN and The New York Times - and lobbed the ''fake news'' charged at his own media critics.

It has helped provide ammunition for his government's sweeping assault on independent media in recent months, with the widely-respected-

Cambodia Daily newspaper shuttered after being hit with a huge tax bill and dozens of independent radio stations closed.

Some countries are seeking to legislate against fake news, sparking concerns that the laws will be used to stifle dissent.

Malaysia enacted a law this month that punished publishers of false reports with up to six years in jail, which observers say is a clear bid to stifle criticism of scandal-hit Prime Minister Najib Razak before elections.

Singapore has been holding parliamentary hearings to consider measures including laws, against what the government terms ''deliberate online falsehoods'' while-

Philippines is considering legislation that could see publishers of fake news punished with up to  20 years in jail. [Agencies]

The Operational Research continues to Part 3.


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