MP of Kuantan Is Under Investigation for Spreading Fake News

In a recent statement by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the regulator together with Royal Malaysia Polis (PDRM) have recorded a statement from a former deputy minister in connection to a viral fake news. Subsequent media reports have since identified the former deputy minister as the current MP of Kuantan, Fuziah Salleh.

Fuziah who was previously a Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department has apparently posted a video on her official Facebook page which claimed there was a stampede at the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine Complex in Johor Bharu on 9 April that was caused by an attempt to enter the country by a large group of Malaysian from Singapore.

Here is the said video, as shared by Immigration Department of Malaysia:

Immigration has since refuted the claim and stated that the video was actually a recording of a fire drill that was held at the complex back in December 2019. The department has also shared pictures of the complex from the night of 9 April which showed how deserted it was at that time:

The video has been pulled out from the MP’s Facebook page even before Immigration released its statement but looks like the authorities are having none of it. According to MCMC’s statement, a smartphone and a SIM card have also been confiscated from the MP.

Additionally, the regulator has also pointed out she is now being investigated under the Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for the improper use of network facilities or network service, in addition to the Section 505(b) of the Penal Code [pdf] for making statements with intent to cause fear or alarm to the public.

Things are already quite difficult as it is, since our movements are being restricted by the Movement Control Order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Causing unnecessary panic by spreading fake news is the last thing that we would want right now. So, please do you best to verify whatever you receive through your favourite instant messaging services or spotted on social media, before pressing that forward option.

(Main image: Fuziah Salleh @ Facebook.)

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