PUTRAJAYA, June 3 — Media practitioners who have to go through roadblocks only need to present their media cards as well as relevant letters as certification to carry out their duties during the total lockdown period, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said police would give their cooperation as they understood the duty of media practitioners to report important information to the public during the period.
“Media practitioners need not worry when passing through roadblocks. What is important is to present your media car and relevant letters either from your employer, the Information Department or the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) and that should suffice,” he said in a virtual press conference today.
He said this following concern raised by media practitioners should they not be allowed to get past roadblocks for work purposes during the implementation of the 14-day total lockdown from June 1.
Regarding the enforcement of the Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2) Ordinance 2021 with regard to fake news, Saifuddin said that from March 12 to May 30, a total of 18 cases were investigated according to the ordinance and four of them had been resolved.
He said two of the cases had charged in court and two more classified as NFA (No Further Action).
“Although there are many police reports made, we are very careful in using this ordinance,” he said.
Reiterating that the ordinance was not implemented for the purpose of targeting politicians, Saifuddin said: “We do not misuse this ordinance… this ordinance is used to expedite investigations but it does not mean we will break the law.”
The ordinance provides a fine of not more than RM100,000 or a jail term not exceeding three years, or both, upon conviction, and in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding RM1,000 for every day during which the offence continues after conviction.
The ordinance also defines fake news as including any news, information, data and reports, which is or are wholly or partly false relating to COVID-19 or the Emergency Proclamation, whether in the form of features, visuals or audio recordings or in any other form capable of suggesting words or ideas.
It is applicable to all individuals, irrespective of nationality and whether or not the offence is committed outside Malaysia.