KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 -- The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), with the cooperation of the police, is investigating the cases of five individuals alleged to have spread fake news about COVID-19 in several locations, in Perak and Penang.
In a statement issued today, the commission said the investigations are being conducted under section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988 which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or one year of imprisonment or both, upon conviction.
"The MCMC and police are collaborating through a Cyber Crime Committee to address the spread of fake news, especially about COVID-19, which can mislead Malaysians and create panic,” the MCMC said.
To date, the MCMC has received 43 reports from members of the public, with 18 suspects identified. Six of them, including a celebrity, have been charged in court under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code which carries a maximum jail term of two years or a fine or both, if found guilty.
In instances of uncertainty about the veracity of a piece of news, members of the public are urged to visit the portal: Sebenarnya.my or the telegram link at https://t.me/sebenarnyamy.
To report fake news about COVID-19, contact the ‘Salur kepada Kami’ link at https://sebenarnya.my/salur/ and Sebenarnya.my.