Cops probe 4 ‘fake news’ posts on coronavirus including one blaming Guan Eng
PETALING JAYA: Police have opened four investigation papers on rumours and unverified claims on social media related to the coronavirus scare, including one insinuating that DAP leader Lim Guan Eng is in the way of restrictions against Chinese nationals entering Malaysia.
Bukit Aman CID director Huzir Mohamed said police are investigating a Facebook user known as “Ibu Yati” who claimed that 1,000 people from China had entered Penang, and who asked if a curfew would only be imposed if Lim were infected.
Another investigation revolves around a Facebook post by “Roti Sardeen” who claimed a Chinese tourist from the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) complex in klia2 had died on a bus.
Police are also probing a Facebook group called “Gabungan Anak Terengganu (Original)” over a post claiming that patients infected with coronavirus were being treated at the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital in Kuala Terengganu.
A claim posted in a WhatsApp group that a prisoner had died from coronavirus in Malaysia is also being investigated.
Huzir said the investigations come under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for publishing or circulating claims that could cause public alarm, as well as Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 for improper use of network facilities.
Meanwhile, police are also investigating Facebook user Kong Tuck Wah for sharing contents of a police report related to coronavirus.
Huzir said police will not compromise with those who spread fake news online.
“We will not hesitate to take action against those who sensationalise the issue,” he added. – FMT
MCMC, police nab netizen for spreading fake coronavirus information
A netizen has been nabbed for allegedly spreading fake information about the novel coronavirus with the help of police, according to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
Both enforcement agencies are tracking three other netizens over similar alleged offence.
This is after the government warned action against those who spread fake news or unverified news on coronavirus on Jan 29.
The 34-year-old man was arrested at his Bangi house yesterday while his phone and sim card were confiscated, said MCMC in a statement.
He is being probed under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act, which provides for a year in jail and a maximum fine of RM50,000, or both.
The offender is also liable to a further fine of RM1,000 for every day or part of a day during which the offence is continued after conviction.
“Such stern action is part of the effort of MCMC and police to control the spreading of fake news on coronavirus by irresponsible individuals to the extent of threatening the stability of the country and public order,” said MCMC.
MCMC reiterated that those who spread fake news with an intention to cause public fear can be charged under Section 505 of the Penal Code, where those found guilty would be jailed up to two years, or fined or both.
To date, Malaysia has confirmed seven positive coronavirus cases, all Chinese nationals.
FREE MALAYSIA TODAY / MKINI