A housewife was fined RM12,000 in default of six months’ jail by the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur today for spreading fake news about vaccines on Facebook.
Judge M M Edwin Paramjothy sentenced Tengku Noor Azlin Wa Kembang Tengku Azizan, 46, after she pleaded guilty to spreading the news through a video posted on the social networking site.
She admitted to spreading the video with the intention of causing alarm among the public through the Facebook account “Kak Siti Wakembang” at 11.44pm on May 25.
The charge was framed under Section 4 (1) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) (No.2) Ordinance 2021 which carries a maximum fine of RM100,000, a maximum jail term of three years, or both.
Prior to the sentencing, Edwin said the offence committed by Tengku Noor Azlin was likely to cause public disorder as well as to hamper the government’s efforts in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The offence was committed at a time when the government was trying its best to implement a comprehensive vaccination programme to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the judge said.
Tengku Noor Azlin, who was unrepresented, pleaded for a lenient sentence on the grounds that she was unemployed and did not intend for the video to go viral.
“I plead guilty… in this case, my intention was simply to get the comments of my friends and for them to give their opinions on the video,” she said.
Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur prosecution director Kalmizah Salleh urged the court to mete out a deterrent sentence, as such actions could cause public alarm at a time when the country is still at war with the pandemic.