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COVID-19: Government to take stern actions against fake news spreader - Saifuddin

22/03/2020 11:56 AM

PUTRAJAYA, March 21  -- The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has begun to take actions against irresponsible parties who spread fake news on COVID-19, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said to date, the MCMC had carried out 42 investigations related to COVID-19 and six people would be charged in court under the Penal Code. 

“I was also informed by Inspector-General (IGP) of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador this morning that police have arrested an individual for using a ‘not so nice word’ (on COVID-19), even I feel a little embarrassed to repeat it,” he told a news conference with Bernama and RTM today.

“I also received a video clip on WhatsApp, showing a group of people praying on a rooftop of a house, however, IGP said it happened in Bangladesh, not here,” he added.

Therefore, said Saifuddin, he hoped that people would not simply spread unverified matters that could lead to chaos in the community. 

He said members of the public could obtain verified information on COVID-19 by calling the National Security Council (MKN) hotline which was assisted by MCMC.

“The hotline currently has 150 lines which enable MKN to handle calls from the people,” he said.

At the same time, he said the ministry also provided a platform for people to refer to with regards to viral fake news.

Besides that, he said the ministry was also coordinating information between the government agencies and ministries to ensure the government official information could be issued at the right time.   

“The official broadcasters such as Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM)  and National News Agency (Bernama) and Information Department have been issuing similar information. We also would like to thank private broadcasters which have been extending good cooperation in terms of COVID-19 management.  

“All of them have been delivering the same message that is - ‘stay at home, frequently wash your hands and keep your distance from other people’- with different variations, so that the message is understood by all of the groups in society,” he said.





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