Woman jailed, fined for spreading virus rumour

KUALA LUMPUR: For spreading a rumour about the Covid-19 outbreak on social media, an Indonesian woman paid the price with a jail term and a fine.

The Magistrate’s Court ordered Fui Lina to serve one week in jail and fined her RM1,000 in default one month’s jail.

The 31-year-old salesgirl pleaded guilty before magistrate Wong Chai Sia when she was charged yesterday.

Fui was charged with circulating a false statement, aimed at causing public mischief by spreading a rumour relating to Covid-19 on her Facebook account under the name Kimiko.

In the post, she claimed that a Chinese citizen had fallen at a mall and urged the public not to go to malls to avoid getting infected by the virus.

The statement was read on Fui’s Facebook at Jalan 8/23B, Taman Danau Kota, Setapak here, at 9.55pm on Feb 2.

She was charged under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, which carries a jail term of up to two years, a fine or both.

In mitigation, Fui pleaded to be let off with a fine, saying that she is a single mother, who needed to take care of her six-year-old son.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Ahmad Hakimi Ahmad Jaafar pressed for a custodial sentence, saying that the offence had caused fear and trauma to the public.

“The accused should only share news that is accurate.

“A fine alone is not sufficient in deterring her and the public from committing the same offence, ” he said.

Fui paid the fine.

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