Liow: Fake news a major cause of distress


LIOW

MO,15/2/2018, KUALA LANGAT: Fake news circulated on social media has become a major problem with many people falling prey to such unverified information, says MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. He said this negative element was creating a lot of distress among the people. “When the EPF (Employees Provi­dent Fund) building was burning (on Tuesday), you could immediately see fake news coming out.

“They were claiming that people would not be able to withdraw their EPF savings and that it would take six months to do so,” Liow told reporters after launching the Jenjarom Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple’s annual Chinese New Year Lantern and Flora Festival near here yesterday. “Now that the general election is near, we can expect more fake news to flood social media,” he added.

Liow said there were many culprits who used social media to disseminate fake news to stir anger and other emotions among the public. “We have been exposed to cyberattacks and even our children are exposed to bullying and pornography on social media,” he noted. Instead of calling for censorship, however, Liow said people must build their own “fences” to protect their families and communities. To do this, the people should inculcate religious teachings and activities within their respective communities.

“That is why I advise Buddhist associations and groups to educate the public on good values,” he added. He also said participation in faith-based activities would teach children to distinguish between right and wrong. “It is good for us to learn to protect ourselves by creating a strong value-based system that comes with religious-related activities,” Liow said. Meanwhile, the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple shone bright last night with hundreds of lanterns lighting up its vast premises.

The star attraction was an enormous lantern of a dog to commemorate the Year of the Dog, which begins tomorrow. The main dog lantern is 10mtall and is able to rotate 360°. Volunteers spent several months working on the lantern, which contains several thousand LED lights. The lanterns were symbolically lit up by Liow to signal the launch of the festival, which will go on until early March. This year’s theme revolved around loyalty and honour to commemorate the Year of The Dog.

–TheStar



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Police investigation into fake Lee Chong Wei sex video underway


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MO,14/2/2018, KUALA LUMPUR: The investigation into the sex video that supposedly depicts national shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei is underway. Federal Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Seri Amar Singh said that his department would be handling the investigation.

“We are investigating the case for defamation under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for improper use of network facilities,” he told a press conference at his department’s headquarters here on Wednesday (Feb 14). He added that the police have recorded Lee’s statement.

On Tuesday Lee lodged a report at the CCID headquarters regarding the viral video, and he has vehemently denied being the person in the video. “It’s not me. My movie is coming out and some people are trying to bring my name into disrepute,” he said.

–TheStar



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More stakeholders to be consulted on issues surrounding fake news


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MO,5/2/2018, KOTA TINGGI: More stakeholders will be called upon to discuss the issue of fake social media accounts created to spread false and inappropriate content that could adversely affect the country’s social and economic balance, as well as national security. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said a special committee set up to study the legal aspect regarding the spread of fake news had held its first meeting and discussed the matter with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

She said the stakeholders would include members of non-governmental organisations, lawyers, lecturers as well as Members of Parliament from Barisan Nasional (BN) and the oppposition. “I do not want to invite those who say something in a meeting, but say something else outside. I do not want to invite those who have begun claiming all sorts of things even before the meeting takes place.

“I want to invite especially the MPs from BN and the oppposition who genuinely see that this is a big problem, a national security problem, whereby these fake news can threaten the country,” he told reporters after launching the Pengerang Tour 2018 programme, here today. Azalina, who is also Pengerang MP, said that as ruling government, BN could have drafted the law without having a committee-level discussion.

“We have full power, there is nothing in the Federal Constitution which requires us to set up a Parliamentary committee. “What we are doing here (by having the committee) only goes to show the Prime Minister’s courtesy to hear the views of all the parties concerned,” she added. — Bernama



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Fake news more dangerous than sword: Terengganu MB


RAZIF

MO,2/2/2018, KUALA TERENGGANU: Fake news can be more potent than a gilt-edged sword, Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman warned today. The Terengganu menteri besar said that the negative impact of fake news can have far-reaching effects, even to the extent of destroying a person’s credibility, reputation and future. “With social media now easily available to almost everyone via mobile applications, people tend to be influenced by unverified news.

“This poses a great danger to society at large, the government, the corporate sector, organisations and the country as a whole,” he said at the 4km ‘KT City Fun Run 2018’ Pulau Warisan here today. The event, attended by Bandar state assembly election-nominee Toh Seng Cheng, managed to raise RM35,000 for the benefit of selected parent-teacher associations (PTAs) in the state.

Razif said that repairing the damage caused by fake news could be impossible, as can be seen from those victimised in the past. He was responding to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s comments that the government is looking at introducing laws to curb fake news. Razif said that the move is necessary, as certain parties could be instigated to hate the government or commit uprisings due to the influence of fake news.

“We don’t want fake news to spread. This does not mean we control the Internet. The Internet is free, but the freedom must exist with elements of accountability,” Najib had said recently. Others who voiced support for the move include Kelantan mufti Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad, who said that those who spread unverified news on social media deserve to be labelled as “slanderers” and “liars.”

He said this applies to both disseminators and consumers of fake news, as it is a sin to spread unverified information and gossip in Islam. Shukri added that spreading fake news is a serious offence, and it is stated in the Quran that slander is worse than murder.

–NSTP



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Nancy expresses strong support for PM’s proposal on fake news law


NANCY

MO,2/2/2018, PETRA JAYA: Support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s proposal for a new law to stop the spread of fake news is gaining momentum among many quarters, since it was announced on Sunday. Joining the chorus of individuals and groups supporting the formulation of such legislation is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Batang Sadong Member of Parliament, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

Nancy, like many politicians, said she has been the subject of fake news reports created and disseminated by irresponsible parties quoting her out of context, spinning her statements, or recycling old and discredited allegations. “I believe that there will be more old news which will be recycled as ‘new’ news, what with the general election (on the horizon). “As a politician, it is troublesome when there is fake news spread and shared without being verified.

“I even took the trouble to explain and clarify in WhatsApp groups that some news (about me was fake and rehashed to) prevent my friends and colleagues becoming misled,” she told reporters after attending the launch ceremony of Sarawak Islamic Information Centre’s smartphone application here today. She said there is no oversight on social media, which makes public figures vulnerable, and exposes the younger generation to news that is baseless or biased.

“In today’s world, the younger generation is prone to believing everything that they read in social media, rather than reading newspapers, because it is more accessible to them. “(Youth) tend to share and spread information which could snowball and become viral in social media. “Hence, I believe a law to stop the spread of fake news should have been introduced a long time ago. However, it is not too late to do so now,” she said.

Nancy added that the introduction of such a law should not be perceived as an attack on freedom of speech – but instead, a means of educating people to be more responsible when using social media.

–NSTP



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MCMC, police probing fake viral video of foreigner being issued IC


NSTP

MO,1/2/2018, KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and police are currently investigating the fake viral video on a foreigner being issued with an identification card. MCMC’s chief operating officer Datuk Dr Mazlan Ismail said they had received many complaints on the video. “The investigations on the content and the spread of the video are currently being conducted by us with the help of the police.

“MCMC is looking into this issue very seriously and action will be taken against those involved,” he said in a statement today. He said those involved in spreading false information could be charged under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. The act states it is an offence to make an obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive comment with intention to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person.

One who commits an offence under this section, upon conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both, and is also be liable to a further fine of RM1,000 for every day the offence continues after conviction. Mazlan also reminded the public not to share, spread or upload any content that has not been confirmed for its authenticity.

–NSTP



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There is too much fake news, says Deputy Health Minister


HILMI YAHYA/BOARD OF VISITORS

MO,1/2/2018, KUCHING: The spread of fake news, if not controlled, will create bad perception towards the country. Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahya said a new legislation to address the problem was necessary since there was too much fake news spreading in the social media. Unlike the mainstream media and other established publications, Dr Hilmi said many “news” in the social media was using information which was factually incorrect, not validated, one sided and unfair.

“Many of our younger generation do not bother to check when they find news or allegations hurled against an individual, organisation or the government. “They simply share the fake news in the social media without thinking of the repercussions. “This is why I am all for the introduction of the new law to curb the spread of fake news,” he told reporters after attending a gathering with hospitals’ board of visitors and health clinics’ advisory panels in the southern zone of Sarawak here today.

Present were State Housing and Local Government Minister Professor Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian and State Health Department director Dr Jamilah Hashim. In his speech during the ceremony, Dr Hilmi, who was the Finance Ministry’s former parliamentary secretary, singled out accusations on the country going bankrupt as one fake news that created bad perception against the government. To give credence to the fake news, he said, the perpetrator tried to use the level of the country’s debts against the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) to support their allegation despite lacking knowldge of the real situation.

When he was still with the Finance Ministry, the government had capped the country’s debt to 56 per cent of the GDP. Since then, he said, the Malaysia’s economy has become stronger and the country’s debt plunged to 50.9 per cent of the GDP last year. “In actual fact there are developed nations with debts at 200 per cent if its GDP.

“That country, however, is still progressing and is not bankrupt,” he said.

–NSTP



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Spreading fake news, an act of sabotage


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MO,1/2/2018, PETRA JAYA: Spreading fake news about other people or the country is an act of sabotage, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said. In voicing his support for the proposal to introduce a new law to regulate fake news, Awang Tengah said the despicable act of spreading lies will create tension among the society and ruin the country’s reputation. He said the new law proposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently will be the right mechanism to address the problem from escalating and incur losses to the nation.

“At the same time, the proposal to formulate the new law should not be construed as a means to curtail freedom of speech, which is alive in Malaysia. “The presence of social media accounts used by political organisation that are affiliated to the opposition is proof that the government embrace the freedom of speech. “However, let us be responsible in sharing information and avoid from spreading lies for personal interest,” he said.

Najib, during his visit to Kelantan on Sunday, said the new law to address issues related to the spread of fake news would help to preserve national harmony. He had also said that the spread of fake news is a threat to the nation’s political stability and prosperity.

–NSTP



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Be wary of fake DOE officers checking business premises


HAZMI

MO,18/1/2018, SEREMBAN: Negri Sembilan’s Department of Environment (DOE) has urged the public to be wary of a group of men proclaiming to be DOE officers. This follows a case reported in Galla Industrial Park here on Jan 9, where a factory owner was issued with a ‘fine’ for excessive dust production by a group of six men, who had conducted a check at the factory.

The men, who claimed to be DOE officers, had offered the victim a deal, in which the latter would pay RM1,500 to ‘Badan Kebajikan Bekas Relawan Negara Malaysia’ in exchange for the fine. Revealing this today, state DOE director Norhazni Mat Sari said the factory owner made the payment on the same day, only to be told by the suspects later that he had to make another RM3,000 payment, this time to spare the premises from being checked again in the future.

“The victim felt suspicious and went to the state DOE office to verify the matter. That was when he realised that he had been duped. A police report was lodged by the victim,” she said in a statement here today. Norhazni said the syndicate’s modus operandi involved threatening to issues summonses to business owners for polluting the environment.

“We urge the public and business owners to be wary of the syndicate’s activities. According to the department’s standard operating procedure, every DOE officer must present the department’s identification card. “DOE officers also wear green uniforms and use the DOE’s official transport, with its logo prominently displayed on the car. All business owners should be made aware of the matter,” she said.

Norhazni said those seeking further information can contact the department at 06-7649017 / 18.

–NSTP



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