PUTRAJAYA, Jan 10 — Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil reminded the public that sharing fake or slanderous news on social media is punishable by law, especially if it involves the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Fahmi said there had been several police reports lodged on the fake news recently that RM1 billion was being touted as a war chest to entice MPs to jump ship to topple Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s government.
He also said that another rumour claimed that Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin was purportedly trying to bribe the Agong.
“I think the home minister will touch on this soon as several police reports were made, but I want to remind the public to not share fake news or slander on social media as it is a crime.
“Accusations like the ones making the rounds yesterday and today that the prime minister didn’t actually meet the Agong are done by these cybertroopers who are influencing the people with misinformation.
“Let me be clear: I was with the prime minister and the Agong yesterday and the King is in Malaysia.
“So please, this is a crime as you are now implicating the Agong by saying he wasn’t there when in fact he is here in Malaysia.
“These types of accusations need to stop as I think the authorities have plenty on their hands as it stands. Remember that if you continue to spread lies, you will be charged in court,” he said during a press conference in Putrajaya today.
Anwar met with the Agong yesterday and issued a statement to that effect.
However, some took to social media to say that the Agong wasn’t there and the picture was photoshopped.
Others went so far as to say the Agong was not in Malaysia, which prompted the police reports.
Meanwhile, Fahmi also touched on a police report made by Hamzah’s secretary Ahmad Ikhwan Fadhli this morning. The latter said 36 hours had passed since a blog claimed of the purported existence of money to bribe the Agong to entice him to change the government.
Fahmi said he had no information on the case.
“I was made aware of it this morning and MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) is handling it. I do not have the details as to whether MCMC received any reports on this, but existing laws require MCMC to work with service providers and social media platforms and it will take some time.
“Anyone can make a complaint to MCMC and there is a process that it must go through. However, from what I heard this morning, Hamzah himself wasn’t there to make the report,” said Fahmi.