KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Spreading false information especially via the whatsapp application during the floods will cause panic among the public and in fact could affect rescue efforts that were being planned.
Social Science lecturer, Associate Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said such action raised a question whether it was politically motivated or aimed to test the credibility of the government in managing the disaster that had occurred.
It was also perceived as a planned move by certain groups to worsen the situation and the image of the government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, said the Deputy Dean of the Social Science Study Centre of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
He said the situation tested the tolerance of individuals exposed to internet access so that they would be smart in evaluating any information or news that were not validated.
In the latest incident, the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) had to make a denial concerning the information that the ATM had purportedly directed the residents in Pekan, Pahang to move out immediately because of the spill over from the flood.
Under Section 233(1) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, those found guilty could be fined up to RM50,000 or jailed up to a year or both.
The following are some of the information spread during the flood season which had been confirmed as false by the relevant parties: Death of 40 patients at Hospital Kuala Krai due to the lack of oxygen, derailment on Jambatan Sultan Yahya Petra in Kota Baharu, water level at Empangan Batu in Selangor is at the danger mark and there are cracks at the dam which will release the water and Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) directed the residents in Pekan, Pahang to leave the district as flood waters from Sungai Temerloh were heading toward Pekan.