SANDAKAN, Malaysia– A former employee of the Sabah State Railway Department was fined RM5,000, in default 10 months’ jail, by the magistrate’s court here Wednesday (Feb 12) for spreading fake news on the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Magistrate Suhailla Selag meted out the fine on Aliuudin Amit, 67, who is now a retiree, after he pleaded guilty to the offence.
He was charged with circulating a statement conducing to public mischief through WhatsApp that a prisoner in Sandakan Prison had died of COVID-19, the official name given by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the novel coronavirus.
The offence was committed at Lot 70, Jalan Selunsung, Taman Sempelang, Kota Kinabalu, at 9.34 pm on Jan 23.
The statement was read by an officer of the Sandakan Prison at 10.46am the following day.
The charge was framed under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, which provides for imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine, or both, if found guilty.
In mitigation, Aliuudin, who was unrepresented, promised not to repeat the mistake and that he had no intention of causing embarrassment to anyone with his action.
Deputy public prosecutor Franklin Ganggan Bennet prosecuted.
Aliuudin paid the fine. – Bernama
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.