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MCMC urges public to report spread of fake news

21 Jan 2021 / 13:54 H.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20: The public have been asked to report fake or misleading content circulated in social media or via text messages to the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), particularly at a time when the country is battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

MCMC chairman Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek said the lack of cooperation from the community in reporting the spread of fake news made it difficult for legal action to be taken against the culprits.

“Legal action can only be taken against those who are reported. This is important, if people do not report, it is difficult for action to be taken,” he told Bernama tonight.

Fadhlullah Suhaimi, however, said legal action should be the last resort in dealing with the matter and advocacy efforts will continue to change the mindset of the community, including getting them to always check the authenticity (of information) before disseminating it to others.

Sharing fake content is an offence under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or a jail term not exceeding one year or both.

Yesterday, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said until Jan 18, a total of 278 investigation papers had been opened by the police and MCMC regarding false news related to COVID-19.- Bernama

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