From tomorrow RM100k fine, jail time for spreading fake news on Covid-19, Emergency

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Individuals who create or publish fake news on Covid-19 or the Emergency proclamation could now face a fine of up to RM100,000 and imprisonment from tomorrow onwards, a check of the e-Federal Gazette showed today.


This is according to the new Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2) Ordinance 2021 published on the Federal Gazette website.

“Any person who, by any means, with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public, creates, offers, publishes, prints, distributes, circulates or disseminates any fake news or publication containing fake news commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.

“And in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding one thousand ringgit for every day during which the offence continues after conviction.

“This Ordinance comes into operation on March 12, 2021,” the gazette reads.

The gazettement is dated March 11.

According to the gazette, “fake news” includes any news, information, data and reports, which is or are wholly or partly false relating to Covid-19 or the proclamation of emergency, whether in the forms of features, visuals or audio recordings or in any other form capable of suggesting words or ideas. – MMO