The existing laws in the country are sufficient for the government to take action against individuals who spread false information and news, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.
As such, he said, the question of re-introducing the repealed Anti-Fake News Act to address the matter did not arise.
“It is not a question whether there is or not the law.. the law is there, and yesterday, I noticed that action was taken using provisions under the Penal Code. So, the question (now) is whether we can can stop the spread of fake news altogether.
“We are also implementing initiatives or campaign seeking for (public) cooperation to reduce (the spread of fake news and) and if possible, stop it, better still, but there are individuals who take advantage and this is something that the police should look into and monitor, ” he told reporters after attending the ‘Info On Wheels’ programme at Pasar Besar Seremban here today.
The programme was carried out to explain to the people on the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection, e-tunai rakyat and toll rate reduction.
‘Info on Wheels’ is a public talk programme by the Information Department’s Mobile Public Announcement Unit to disseminate government information and policies face-to-face to the public.
Although fake news continued to be spread, he said the number showed a drop, especially after the campaign by the government seeking public cooperation to stop the spread of fake news.
“This is a time for all of us to work together to ensure what we read and what we share is information that can help us to prevent and solve the problem effectively,” he added.
On the coronavirus, which is also a target of fake news, Gobind advised the public to visit the Health Ministry’s Facebook and Twitter, as well as to follow the daily media conference called by the ministry, for latest information on the disease.
Apart from that, he said, the public could also refer to the portal Sebenarnya.my or Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) or the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama).
At the event, Gobind Singh also took the opportunity to thank reporters for their role in ensuring the public get accurate and true information.
“In this kind of situation, we should all work together to ensure we are able to get through this problem well and to make sure we work together to prevent the coronavirus from becoming a major issue or problem beyond our control,” he added.
He also expressed his appreciation to the health personnel and others involved in bringing home the 107 people from Wuhan, China, last Tuesday. — Bernama