Saturday, May 15

Netizens warned against spreading fake news that can cause panic among members of public

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Zulkipli (right) pinned a new badge on a uniform of his policeman that promoted to the rank of sergeant during the police monthly assembly at IPD Bintulu this morning.

BINTULU: The netizens have been warned against spreading fake news that can cause fear, panic and anxiety among members of the public.

Bintulu District police chief Supt Zulkipli Suhaili in giving the reminder, said spreading fake news is an offence that could result in the offenders being arrested.

“My advice for netizens don’t simply viral any issues without knowing the authenticity of the contents because this can cause panic among the people especially if it was fake news.

“I urge the netizens to be more responsible to ensure the public will remain calm and not causing panic on any issues that actually not real,” he said when asked on the recent social media post by a netizen over the Wuhan Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) case reported in Bintulu.

The police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) on Monday issued a warning that stern action will be taken against irresponsible parties who spread fake contents or news or rumours on the Coronavirus.

According to the joint statement by PDRM and MCMC, 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.

The offenders could also 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.

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.

Meanwhile, in another case, Zulkipli said the police are still investigating the case involving the discovery of a baby girl abandoned under the stairs at the business premises at a commercial area here on Monday under Section 317 of the Penal Code, for abandonment of a child.

“A local woman lodged a police report saying she found a baby at the back of a building.

“However, thorough investigations will be carried out by the police, in the aspect of the police report lodged by the complainant, the validity of the report,” he said.

So far Zulkipli said five arrests have been made involving foreigners, three men and two women.

He said police believed one of the women is the biological mother of the abandoned baby.

He said all five suspects are being remanded and will also be investigated under the Immigration Act 1959/63.