: A total of 266 investigation papers have been opened regarding the dissemination of fake news related to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said of this number, 172 cases are still under investigation, 30 cases have been taken to court, 13 cases are at the hearing stage, 17 cases have seen suspects pleading guilty, and the rest are in the early stage of action.
"We had to issue denials and statements for every piece of fake news disseminated and for some fake news we needed to take joint legal action with the police.
"We have to do this to prevent confusion and anxiety in the community. I would like to appeal to Malaysians to stop spreading fake news; verify first before forwarding and sharing," he added.
He said this in reply to a question from Melaka FM radio presenter Daim Zainudin when interviewed live during a visit to the Melaka Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) station here today.
During the visit, Saifuddin also made a recording of reading the news at the Melaka RTM newsroom, in the presence of ministry secretary-general Datuk Suriani Ahmad
Saifuddin said 348 clarifications had been made to provide the correct information for issues which had gone viral.
The ministry also has a quick response team which works almost round the clock to monitor and counter false news.
"The public is advised to get accurate information from the sebenarnya.my portal or the relevant authorities," he added.