Malaysian actor Zed Zaidi is facing backlash online for spreading fake news and stoking panic about the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation in Malaysia.
The 39-year-old had tweeted a picture of himself donning a face mask along with a screenshot bearing false claims that all countries had banned Chinese tourists except Malaysia.
A watermark for the meme generator website breakyourownnews.com is seen in the upper right-hand corner of the screenshot.
“Being in Malaysia isn’t safe, you have to cover your nose 24 hours a day from influenza and the conovirus (sic). After this, who knows what other retributions might come down upon us.
“Malaysia must be doing bad things, I feel like only the rakyat knows about this,” he wrote.
The Seniman president, who has yet to delete the tweet, was immediately slammed by Twitter users for blatantly spreading false information regarding the virus outbreak.
Some even used the breakyourownnews.com generator themselves to illustrate Zed’s mistake, while others called on the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the police to take action against him for sharing misinformation about the coronavirus.
MCMC and the police previously warned citizens against spreading false news about the outbreak, which is punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to RM100,000 under Section 505 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the MCMC Act respectively.
The Prime Minister’s Office announced yesterday that the Malaysian government will be temporarily denying entry to residents from China’s Hubei province and its capital city of Wuhan, believed to be the epicentre of the coronavirus.
The number of people infected with the coronavirus in Malaysia currently stands at four. – MMO