KUALA LANGAT: Fake news circulated on social media has become a major problem with many people falling prey to such unverified information, says MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
He said this negative element was creating a lot of distress among the people.
“When the EPF (Employees Provident Fund) building was burning (on Tuesday), you could immediately see fake news coming out.
“They were claiming that people would not be able to withdraw their EPF savings and that it would take six months to do so,” Liow told reporters after launching the Jenjarom Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple’s annual Chinese New Year Lantern and Flora Festival near here yesterday.
“Now that the general election is near, we can expect more fake news to flood social media,” he added.
Liow said there were many culprits who used social media to disseminate fake news to stir anger and other emotions among the public.
“We have been exposed to cyberattacks and even our children are exposed to bullying and pornography on social media,” he noted.
Instead of calling for censorship, however, Liow said people must build their own “fences” to protect their families and communities.
To do this, the people should inculcate religious teachings and activities within their respective communities.
“That is why I advise Buddhist associations and groups to educate the public on good values,” he added.
He also said participation in faith-based activities would teach children to distinguish between right and wrong.
“It is good for us to learn to protect ourselves by creating a strong value-based system that comes with religious-related activities,” Liow said.
Meanwhile, the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple shone bright last night with hundreds of lanterns lighting up its vast premises.
The star attraction was an enormous lantern of a dog to commemorate the Year of the Dog, which begins tomorrow.
The main dog lantern is 10mtall and is able to rotate 360°.
Volunteers spent several months working on the lantern, which contains several thousand LED lights.
The lanterns were symbolically lit up by Liow to signal the launch of the festival, which will go on until early March.
This year’s theme revolved around loyalty and honour to commemorate the Year of The Dog.