Bagan MCA division in Penang has urged the public not to spread fake news about the state of Emergency and Covid-19 pandemic as action could be taken against them by the authorities.
Its chairman Dr Tan Chuan Hong said the public should take seriously the Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2) Ordinance 2021 and take the trouble to verify the news first.
“A few days ago, a woman nurse at Penang Hospital died suddenly of a heart attack after being vaccinated.
“Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has clarified that the cause of death was not the Covid-19 vaccine and the autopsy report also proved that the nurse died of a heart attack, ” he said.
Dr Tan reminded netizens not to confuse others by spreading fake news which could hamper the Government’s efforts to encourage people to register for the Covid-19 vaccine to achieve herd immunity.
According to the Federal Government Gazette, those who create, publish or disseminate fake news relating to Covid-19 or the Emergency proclamation could face a fine, jail term or both.
Under the new Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2) Ordinance 2021, those who spread fake news ‘by any means, with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause fear or alarm to the public’ could face a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both, if found guilty.
The Ordinance states that the courts may order the removal of a publication if it is deemed to be fake news.
The courts can also order the perpetrators to issue an apology, and failure to do so may result in an additional fine of up to RM50,000, a jail term of under a year, or both.
Meanwhile, Dr Tan said Bagan MCA organised the 6th and 7th ‘Assist in Registration of Covid-19 Vaccination’ mobile service sessions in Butterworth.
The sessions were held at Tanjung Jaya Flats on Saturday and Sri Uda Market on Sunday.
“We found the public still had a wait-and-see approach on registering for the vaccination.
“Some said they were worried about the side effects while others decided it would be better to let others take the vaccine first and see its effects.
“Some people also wanted to know whether they could choose the type of vaccine, ” he said.
Dr Tan said more than six million people across the country had registered for vaccination through the MySejahtera app.
He said the Government had also added a new app feature called ‘Add Vaccine Dependent’ to facilitate those who do not have access to a smartphone.
“Those who haven’t registered should not be suspicious.
“Instead, they should proceed with the registration to assist the Government in reaching the goal of vaccinating 80% of the population by the end of this year, ” he said.