Of coronavirus and press freedom

Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | Last week, Wan Noor Hayati Wan Alias, a journalist and exco member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) was charged in court for three Facebook postings relating to the novel coronavirus.

She was charged under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, the offence of making statements “conducing to public mischief”.

Under the section, whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report with intent to cause, or which his likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the state or against the public tranquillity, shall be guilty of an offence.

The punishment is imprisonment of up to two years, fine or both.

It was reported that the NUJ has appealed to the Attorney-General for her charges to be dropped.

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