Verify information spread via social media apps, said Acting Director of Information Sastra Sarini binti Haji Julaini.
False information spread via WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can cause fear among the people, she added.
“What is more worrying is if the false and slanderous information is accepted without being referred to authentic sources and becomes viral affecting the society and national security,” she said.
Sastra Sarini made these comments during the Personal Contact Programme in Kampong Tanjong Bunut, Mukim Kilanas at the Ar-Rahman Mosque.
The programme by the Information Department under the Prime Minister’s Office through the Public Relations Unit, Strategic Communications Division was held to deliver information on current issues and government policies and at the same time to receive feedback needed to be taken into account and acted upon by government agencies. Sastra Sarini said action can be taken under Chapter 148 of the Public Order Act, Section 34, if anyone either verbally, in writing or by any other means, has spread false information or made false statements causing public alarm.
The individual can be prosecuted and faces imprisonment up to three years or a fine of BND3,000.
The Personal Contact Programme is also intended to improve ties between the government and people as well as provide information and programmes as well as the mukim’s development and progress.
A dialogue session on issues raised by the villagers, including those related to infrastructure and public facilities followed.
Acting Head of Kampong Tanjong Bunut Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Jumat welcomed the programme, saying it benefitted residents while acting as a platform to exchange ideas and views towards the progress and well-being of the village and the Sultanate.