PUTRAJAYA, March 7 — Countering fake news has been a big challenge for the Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) in the past one year, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head, said Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said every day the KKMM Quick Response Team received all sorts of false reports, especially those related to COVID-19, that were spread on social media and the WhatsApp application.
Although action can be taken against the individuals involved, public cooperation is also needed to counter fake news and prevent such reports from being disseminated and creating panic in the community, he said.
“Yes, we do charge people through the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and police, but how I wish we can do more,” he told a press conference on the One-Year Malaysia Prihatin achievements of the mininstry.
According to MCMC, the ministry’s Quick Response Team has so far issued 428 public denials and clarifications on fake news.
In a statement, MCMC said up till March 4, the Royal Malaysia Police has opened 283 investigation papers on COVID-19 fake news.
The sharing of fake news is an offence under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which provides for a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both and a further fine of RM1,000 for each day the offence is continued after conviction.