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Monday, January 27, 2020

Cops, MCMC say stern action against those who spread fake news on coronavirus

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) issued a warning Monday (Jan 27) that stern action will be taken against irresponsible parties who spread fake contents or news or rumours on the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

In a joint statement here, they said such actions could disrupt and jeopardise the country's stability.

"The police and MCMC will not tolerate any quarters who spread fake news that causes fear, panic or anxiety among members of the public,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, PDRM and MCMC have identified four individuals to help in investigations into the spread of fake news related to the coronavirus.

The statement also said based on monitoring by the two authorities, social media and online messaging services have become the main platform for spreading fake news about the coronavirus.

According to the statement, those who spread fake news could face action under Section 505 of the Penal Code which provides a jail term of up to two years or fine, or both.

"They also could be prosecuted under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 which provides a maximum fine of RM100,000 or a one-year jail, or both,” said the authorities.

Members of the public were also urged to verify the authenticity of the information or news about the coronavirus they had received before sharing it, especially if the information came from parties other than the Health Ministry.

"For accurate and authentic information on the coronavirus, the public is advised to refer to official sources namely the Health Ministry (www.moh.gov.my) or international health bodies (www.who.int/),” said the statement. - Bernama

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