KUALA LUMPUR, Deputy Communications and Digital Minister Teo Nie Ching said it is incumbent on Members of Parliament (MPs) to make sure that every statement they issue is accurate, so as to set a good example to others and to prevent the dissemination of fake news.

“If we do not know how to verify information and we believe in fake news, how about people out there?There are so many social media users. Efforts have been made to educate society (on verifying information), such as the Klik Dengan Bijak programme undertaken by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) since 2022.

“Maybe MCMC needs to organise a special session for all MPs including the member for Kepala Batas (Siti Mastura Muhammad) so that as leaders we can show that we are capable of verifying any piece of news before sharing,” she said.

Teo said this when replying to a supplementary question from Wong Shu Qi (PH-Kluang), who asked about Siti Mastura’s statement which was said to be false and the steps taken by the ministry to improve media literacy among elected representatives.

Yesterday, DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan) gave Siti Mastura until tomorrow (Nov 9) to prove her allegation that he has family ties with former Malayan Communist Party leader Chin Peng and former Singapore Prime Minister the late Lee Kuan Yew.

Lim said Siti Mastura’s allegation was baseless and that he would take appropriate action if she could not furnish proof within that period.

In her speech in Kemaman, Terengganu on Nov 4, which was uploaded in a video on social media, Siti Mastura, who is Penang PAS Muslimat deputy chief, is alleged to have implicated Lim and his wife Betty Chew and several other DAP leaders.

To a supplementary question from Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan (PN-Tasek Gelugor) alleging that the government had been unfair in removing social media content, Teo denied allegations that the government practised favouritism in this matter.

“I do not agree with Yang Berhormat’s statement because I believe that when we remove social media content, in most cases, if I share with our honourable members sitting over there (Opposition), you would also agree with the action taken by PDRM (police) or MCMC,“ she told the Dewan Rakyat.

Earlier, in reply to the original question from Wan Saiful on laws to control 3R issues on social media and public discussion forums, Teo said MCMC, in collaboration with social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, X and YouTube, had taken down 3,752 pieces of content deemed as fake news and hate speech relating to 3R according to Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588) from January to October this year.

“The Communications and Digital Ministry (KKD) set up the Task Force to Combat Fake News on Dec 1, 2022 to check fake news which has a negative impact on the political system, economy, social, religious and cultural aspects, security and sovereignty of the country.

“Since its establishment, 156 news items which lack authenticity on issues of 3R, the prime minister and administration have been identified. Monitoring, administrative action and legal action were coordinated with various agencies including PDRM and AGC,” she said.

Teo said police had opened 75 investigation papers on the dissemination of fake news and 3R issues, and of this number, 45 cases had been completed and 30 cases were still under investigation by police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and MCMC as of Nov 1 this year.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency