Screenshot from news.com.au

“Teachers need fewer holidays” – Sydney Morning Herald
“Queensland MP Andrew Laming takes aim at school teachers on Facebook” – news.com.au
“Teachers should take less holidays and work a 38-hour week, says MP” – School-news

Australian coalition MP Andrew Laming was portrayed as an out-of-touch elite taking a shot at hardworking teachers and chiding them to work more and take less holidays.

The truth actually is that the MP was calling for lesser workload for the teachers, who often bring home work like lesson preparation and marking of assessments. In an interview with Australian Sunrise media, the coalition MP repeated his call for a 38-hour work week and stated that teachers should only be paid for the amount of work they do in school. The Queensland MP said that working from home should be banned and that if there is a need to clear the workload, the education ministry should pay overtime rates.

This greatly contrasted the fake news claimed by even some of the leading Australian newspapers like Sydney Morning Herald, News.com.au and some teaching community websites.

In the live broadcast interview, the news host questioned the MP what he thinks of politicians working only a few days a month in Canberra when compared to teachers. The Australian MP cleverly responded:

“Say anything you want, I just want to help teaching.”

The MP also said that teachers are underpaid and that nurses are paid $100K a year when compared to the teaching professionals.

The second Sunrise news host then commented that various news media have portrayed him inaccurately, to which the MP said:

“That’s all we really needed. We need to have this conversation in every household in Australia, I don’t mind if it is a fancy headline, misquotes me, the outcome is what I’m after.”

In Singapore and Malaysia, the governments have been actively clamping down on fake news. This may appear noble and altruistic, however, the actual intentions of two dictatorships were to arrest critics and ban independent news media.

While a fake news law has not been passed in Singapore yet, the Singapore government have used a wide range of alternative legislation to prosecute publishers and writers who wrote unfavourably of the government. In 2015, two news writers were jailed 8 and 10 months for criticising the Singapore government.