PETALING JAYA: A total of 268 investigation papers have been opened in connection with the spreading of fake news since the start of the movement control order (MCO), says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
“From the total number, 131 cases are still being investigated, 35 have been prosecuted, 12 issued with warning notices, 16 are undergoing trial and 19 pleaded guilty, ” he said in a statement yesterday.
Ismail Sabri said the relevant authorities had issued 370 denials and explanations on fake news since the start of the MCO.
“The police and MCMC will continue to closely monitor the spread of fake news and will take action, ” he said, referring to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.
On the task force monitoring standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance, the Senior Minister said police arrested 93 people for MCO violations on Sept 18.
“Out of the total arrested, 85 individuals were compounded and eight remanded, ” he said.
Among the offences were not wearing face masks in crowded public places (33), not practising physical distancing (32), pub and nightclub activities (14), operating premises with no licence (7), failing to provide equipment to record personal details (six) and not having approval to enter enhanced MCO areas (one).
On Ops Benteng, Ismail Sabri said 65 illegal immigrants were arrested together with three tekong, one human trafficker and 14 vehicles.
He also said that police conducted 82 roadblocks nationwide under Ops Benteng.
“The government will take stern action against any party attempting to enter the country’s borders illegally and enforcement agencies will continue to tighten border control, ” he said.
On mandatory quarantine, he said as many as 30,717 people had returned to the country and were housed at designated centres since July 24.
To date, 20,893 individuals who returned from 32 countries have been allowed to go home after completing the quarantine process with 9,753 still currently undergoing quarantine and 71 sent to hospital for treatment.
The minister also said that since March 30, the Housing and Local Government Ministry had supervised 10,001 sanitisation exercises in 135 zones.
“On Sept 18, a total of 13 sanitisation exercises were carried out in one red zone and nine green zones in six states, ” he added.
A total of 13,017 premises had been sanitised, including business centres, government buildings, housing areas, public places and supermarkets, he added.
Checks by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry enforcement teams showed that essential goods were sufficient and easily available, he said.
In Kota Kinabalu, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said his ministry had issued 370 notifications on fake news related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the fake news included items on the MCO, Bantuan Prihatin Nasional and aid from the Social Welfare Department.
The false reports were detected by the ministry’s Quick Response Team (PRP), which is responsible for monitoring social media to counter fake news.
“PRP has been entrusted to monitor fake news, especially reports concerning government agencies, ” he said.
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