No compromise, deputy IGP warns those spreading fake news on Covid-19

Deputy IGP Mazlan Mansor (centre) looks on as outgoing Sabah police chief Omar Mammah (left) hands over duties to his deputy Zaini Jass in a symbolic ceremony in Kota Kinabalu today.

KOTA KINABALU: Those caught spreading fake news on the Covid-19 outbreak will no longer be let off with a warning but will bear the full brunt of the law, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Mazlan Mansor warned today.

Mazlan said the authorities had given sufficient warnings against spreading unverified claims including in social media.

“There’s no need for more advice or warnings… we all know the consequences of spreading fake news.

“We are taking this matter seriously. We will not compromise with anyone caught spreading fake news.

“The only thing now is to take action against the culprits and charge them in court,” he told reporters after witnessing outgoing Sabah police chief Omar Mammah handing over duties to his deputy Zaini Jass here today.

Mazlan said there had been no new instances of fake news involving the Covid-19 other than the 13 cases reported so far.

He added that three of the cases, including one in Sabah, had been prosecuted in court.

“We are still waiting for legal proceedings to take place for the remaining cases,” he said.

Mazlan believed that due to the action taken, the public was now more aware of the consequences of spreading fake news.

“So far, it has been effective as there has not been much fake news lately.

“I believe if this trend continues, then we can get people to respect the law and not disrupt public peace with fake news,” Mazlan said.

Yesterday, Bernama reported that a state Railway Department retiree was fined RM5,000, in default 10 months’ jail, by the Magistrate’s Court in Sandakan for spreading fake news on the Covid-19.

Aliuudin Amit, 67, was charged with circulating a statement through the WhatsApp messaging service that a prisoner in the Sandakan prison had died of the virus.

The offence was committed on Jan 23. Aliuudin paid the fine.