Investigations and charges on fake news will continue even after the emergency proclamation ends in August –Minister Saifuddin 

minister of communication

PUTRAJAYA JULY 22: The government has no intention to increase the RM5,000 till RM7,000 fine for those found guilty in disseminating fake news among others on the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination, health, emergency proclamation and the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

Minister of Communication and Multimedia Malaysia (MCMM) Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said, the fine is to educate the people and such amount is reasonable.

He said, many approaches and efforts had been implemented such as the anti-fake news campaign to make the people aware of the damages and danger if they believe in fake news.    

Saifuddin also mentioned even after August 2021 when the Emergency Ordinance (Essential Powers) (No.2) 2021 that was launched in March 2021ends, the investigations on those alleged for disseminating fake news will still continue and will be charged in the courts.

“The existing laws relating to libel and the Penal Code can still be used on the individuals who have disseminated fake news,” Saifuddin said in a press conference on “Handling Fake News” held virtually here today.

 The Minister added, the Royal Police Malaysia had acted on fake news relating to COVID-19 under the Penal Code, Communication and Multimedia Act 1988 and Emergency Ordinance (Essential Powers) (No.2) 2021 that had been enforced throughout the Emergency Proclamation period.

Saifuddin said, since 18th March 2020 until 11th July 2021, 282 cases had been taken up for actions, 163 cases still under investigations, 119 investigations had been completed, 29 cases had been charged in the courts, out of which six cases were under Emergency Ordinance, Essential Powers  (No.2) 2021 and three cases had been sentenced.    

 Asked whether the government will bring back the Anti-Fake News Act that has been scrapped by the Pakatan Harapan Government in December 2019,  Saifuddin said, the Cabinet ministers have not discussed about it and the coming Parliamentary session due on 26th July 2021 has no slot for it.

Saifuddin added, many fake news relating Malaysia have been posted by people abroad such as from Singapore and Germany using several accounts and platforms.  Problems arise when they change accounts and platforms following investigations carried out by the local authorities.    

On another development, Saifuddin said, the Cabinet Minister in its meeting yesterday had agreed to establish a CyberSecurity Command Centre chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister/Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob while the National Security Council (MKN) will serve as the Secretariat.

Saifuddin said, the centre is to make the monitoring of cyber security attacks within the country and from abroad more systematic while enhancing the existing efforts and cooperation between various ministries such as the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs and other related agencies. –Malaysia World News


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