Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at a special news conference on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in Malaysia. PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 29 JANUARY 2020
Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at a special news conference on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in Malaysia. PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 29 JANUARY 2020

By Mohd Zaini Samsu Hadi

PUTRAJAYA – The government will take stern actions against anyone who tries to spread fake news on the coronavirus outbreak purportedly to instil fear among the people.

The warning was issued by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad after he found that there were people trying to spread information that the non-Muslims are not allowed to visit mosques as a prevention measure to curb the virus from spreading.

According to him, the government has never issued such warning and the action is very irresponsible.

“We also found that there were irresponsible news alleging that non-Muslim visitors in Malaysia cannot visit mosques. That is not the government’s policy.

“There is no place that the tourists cannot visit. That is a very irresponsible action. The government will take actions against those who try to create fake news,” he said in a news conference today.

Dr Mahathir said, although the government allows the freedom of speech, however, it should not be abused.

According to him, the government will not tolerate deceits and distribution of wrong information.

Yesterday, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi requested the operators of tourist attraction to not stop tourists from visiting their place.

He would also write to the tourist attractions on the matter.

Last Sunday, Bernama reported that the Putra Mosque was closed for the non-Muslims following concerns of the coronavirus outbreak.

The closure is enforced until further notice. Currently, the mosque is only opened for Muslim visitors to perform their prayers. -MalaysiaGazette

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