Armed forces chief denies military can beat up citizens

Armed forces chief Affendi Buang says the public need not worry when seeing the military personnel from the army, navy and air force on duty.

PETALING JAYA: Armed forces chief Affendi Buang has strongly denied a viral voice message that said the army was allowed to beat up citizens who do not follow the movement control order (MCO).

In a statement, he strongly denied that this method was allowed as part of the military involvement announced recently to ramp up police efforts in enforcing the MCO.

“The public is asked to stop spreading (the voice recording) immediately as this message can lead to speculation and cause panic among the rakyat.”

The 39-second voice recording was spread widely on WhatsApp and other social media.

It has a man saying: “Kami semua sekali angkatan tentera dah buat persiapan. Nampaknya kalau sesiapa yang melanggar arahan perintah kawalan ni dengan tak cakap banyak terus pukul …”

This translates to: “We in the army have made the preparations. It seems that if anybody goes against the movement control order, we can beat them without much hesitation …”

Affendi warned that any individual found guilty of spreading fake news can be charged under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

“The public also need not worry when seeing the presence of military personnel from the army, navy and air force on duty.

“This is the secondary duty of the military in times of peace, that is to help the local enforcement authorities in maintaining the country’s peace.

“The public must cooperate in following the movement control order so that efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 can be done as best as possible.”

The armed forces will help police enforce the MCO from tomorrow.