Over 450 fake news reports debunked, says Saifuddin

PETALING JAYA: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry has debunked more than 450 fake news reports since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

The Communications and Multimedia Minister said from March 24, 2020, to July 17, 2021, a total of 465 fake news stories were debunked.

Of the 465, he said 416 were debunked from March 24, 2020, to Dec 31, 2020, while 49 were debunked from Jan 1 to July 17 this year.

“These quick reports were also assisted by the media in conveying it to the public so that they are more alert about the information that they receive before believing it,” he said during a virtual press conference on Thursday (July 22).

Also in attendance at the virtual press conference were Criminal Investigations Department deputy director (intelligence/operations) DCP Datuk Dev Kumar MM Sree, and Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin said that the ministry is also paying serious attention towards viral fake news relating to matters involving the royal institution, race and religion.

“These three issues that are very sensitive could trigger an unwanted incident, and issues relating to the sovereignty of the Malay Rulers have always been given priority in the government’s actions,” he said.

Saifuddin noted that the police have investigated a total of 743 cases related to the royalty, and matters on race and religion from 2015 till June 2021.

Of the 743 cases, he said 80 have been prosecuted in court.

“This shows how serious the government is in dealing with issues that can be detrimental to the country,” he said.

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