KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — The Royal Malaysia Police has opened 21 investigation papers under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance (No.2) since the ordinance came into force on March 12 to curb the production and spread of fake news with respect to COVID-19 or the Emergency Proclamation 2021.
Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the investigations are being carried out by the Classified Criminal Investigation Unit, Prosecution and Law Division (D5), Bukit Aman CID’s Special Investigation Unit as well as the contingent.
He said the ordinance empowered the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to detain without warrant any individual or corporate body who tried to broadcast and disseminate all or part of fake news, especially on social media.
Section 4 (1) of this ordinance provides for an offence against any person who by any means with intent to cause or is likely to cause fear or anxiety to the public, or to any member of the public, holds, offers, publishes, distributes, circulates or disseminates any fake news.
“If convicted, the person can be fined not more than RM100,000 or jailed for three years or both,” he said in a statement, today.
Following that, Acryl Sani said his team had detained 10 individuals separately under the ordinance.
“Of that number, three detainees have received charge sheets from the Attorney-General’s Chambers under Section 4 (1) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance (No. 2) 2021 while seven others have been given police bail until the investigation is completed.
The police advise the public to be careful in making or sharing any publication that contains fake news and can cause annoyance and concern to the public,” he said.
Acryl Sani urged the public to be smart, prudent social media users and not use the platform to create public intimidation and disrupt the harmony of the country.
He also said that stern action without compromise would be taken against any individual who deliberately did so.