PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): An average of three to five pieces of ‘weird news’ related to Covid-19 have been appearing every day since the disease was first detected, causing public unease, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
Short of labelling it as fake news, he said it took time to investigate every report.
“We get this (type of) weird news daily from our creative friends who concoct all kinds of tales – like hospitals being closed and police out to arrest people for no reason.
"It’s worrying and I hope Malaysians will not do that,” he told Bernama and RTM on Wednesday (April 1).
He said the fake news trend had been growing since Covid-19 hit the country and was causing uneasiness among the public.
He said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had recorded over 40 cases of fake news regarding Covid-19 so far, which was not good for the country.
"Some have been charged in court and I was told by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador that they have a lot of cases and made a lot of arrests, with some pleading guilty in court,” he said.
Saifuddin said his ministry had a swift response team that would answer any queries regarding Covid-19.
"We should stay away from fake news... if we cannot be doctors, nurses, journalists, volunteers or police who are the frontliners, let’s not disseminate news that is of no help and will only make the public worry,” he said.
Earlier, Saifuddin received 10,000 face masks contribution by the Chinese government, which was represented by its ambassador to Malaysia, Bai Tian.
The masks will be used by the ministry’s frontliners nationwide, including those from Bernama, RTM and the Information Department. – Bernama
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