Sunday, June 20, 2021

No misuse of emergency ordinance, govt says on combating fake news

Saifuddin Abdullah says authorities need to ensure that the action taken is according to the law.

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The government today assured that individuals suspected of spreading fake news are being investigated with caution despite the emergency ordinance implemented to combat misinformation on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said the ordinance was enacted to allow swift action in investigating reports.

However, he said the government still needs to ensure that appropriate action is taken against those accused of spreading fake news.

“I understand the public wants us to take quick action over these reports.

“Although the police have received many reports on fake news, we still need to be cautious to ensure we are taking actions according to the law,” he said at a press conference today.

As of today, he said, only 18 reports are being investigated with two people charged so far under the emergency ordinance for spreading fake news related to the virus and the vaccines against it.

Those found guilty under Section 4(1) of the Emergency Ordinance (Essential Powers) (No.2) 2021 face a maximum fine of RM100,000, a jail term of up to three years, or both.

“I assure that the government will not misuse this ordinance,” Saifuddin said.

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