Curbing fake news


  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 08 Feb 2020

Johor Health Department staff spraying hand sanitiser on tourists arriving at the Senai International Airport as a preventive measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus. - Bernama

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Information Department is carrying out an “Info On Wheels” (IOW) programme to create awareness about the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.

State housing, communication and multimedia committee chairman Dzulkelfy Ahmad said this included handing out pamphlets and providing information on the authorities’ response to the threat and the steps taken to prevent the spread of the virus.

“A total of 52 IOW programmes have been carried out by the department throughout Johor.

“I see this programme as a step forward in curbing the spread of fake news by irresponsible quarters, ” he said in a statement.

The Kota Iskandar assemblyman urged all 138 Komuniti Harapan Malaysia (KHM) in Johor to work with the department by giving out pamphlets at shopping centres, bus terminals, markets and other venues.

KHM was launched last year under the respective state Information Department to convey, enhance the understanding and appreciation of government policies among local population while strengthening the communications and cooperation among people of various races. There are at present over 1,400 KHM throughout the country.

Dzulkefly reminded the public not to get involved in spreading fake news on this health issue and instead rely on the correct information from reliable sources such as the Health Ministry and World Health Organisation (WHO).

He was commenting on the report that the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had detained a total of 12 individuals throughout the country for posting fake news on the novel coronavirus outbreak.

So far, MCMC and the police have received and are investigating some 36 cases of fake news on the issue.

MCMC was investigating the cases under Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 while police have classified the cases under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code.

“The authorities are also able to take action against individuals or others that help in spreading the fake news.

“Everyone should check the authenticity of a particular piece of news before sharing it, ” said Dzulkefly, while urging the public to use the service portal, Sebenarnya.my, which was developed by MCMC, to weed out fake information.

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