Fake news on COVID-19: More than 37 charged in the courts, 114 under police investigations – Minister Annuar

Tan Sri Annuar Musa

KUALA LUMPUR SEPT.20:- Fake news does not only cover hot and controversial issues but also on COVID-19 pandemic as between 18th Mar. 2020 and 5th Sept., 307 investigation papers on fake news relating to COVID-19 have been opened by the Royal Police Malaysia (RPM).

Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Tan Sri Annuar Musa said, from the total of cases investigated, 163 have been resolved with 37 charged in the courts while 114 are still under investigations.

“However, the spread of negative news about vaccination has reduced significantly and we want to thank the public for the increased awareness. This too is related to the reason for the success of the ongoing vaccination programme,” Annuar said in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Annuar said that in reply to Datuk Azizah Mohd. Dun (Bersatu-Beaufort) who was concern about some people who still believe in fake news to the extent of rejecting vaccination against COVID-19.

To Azizah’s question of what are the proactive measures taken by the ministry to curb misuse of media social on matters related to COVID-19, Annuar said, 479 fake news have been rebutted by the Quick Response Team with 416 have been settled last year and 63 others in 2021.

The Minister said, the team comprises of skilled officers from MOH, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the National Security Council (MKN).
Annuar added, the Ministry through MCMC had also held 83 advocacy programmes with public participation such as Malaysia ICT Volunteer (MIV) in 2020 and 25 programmes this year.

“The ministry has also cooperated with social media service providers such as Twitter, Facebook and Google to also play such roles,” he said.

He added, the Portal Sebenarnya .my as the source of authentic and accurate news had recorded 186 million visitors with 9.83 million hits from 2020 to July 2021.

Anuar said, meanwhile enforcements will be focused on the existing laws especially Section 505 of the Penal Code and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. The Ministry is also studying in detail to ensure effective control could be implemented and to monitor the spread of fake news in Whatsapp, Facebook and other media channels. –Malaysia World News

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