Truth And Transparency Counter Fake News
Istana Negara is taking a serious view of false statements sent via WhatsApp by several individuals to the media using the name and picture of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah as well as Istana Negara.
Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said Istana Negara viewed seriously the acts of irresponsible parties in using the name or involving His Majesty and Istana Negara for their political or personal interests.
“Such irresponsible acts have not only tarnished the credibility of His Majesty and Istana Negara but could also raise concerns among the people and threaten the peace in the country from various angles,” he said in a statement today.
Ahmad Fadil said Istana Negara would not hesitate to report the matter to the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for further action under Section 211 and 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, if necessary.
This vague and threatening catch all statement seems designed to terrorise people into not speaking the name of the head of state at all. Why?
If the palace wishes to counter what it believes to be false rumours then why not state what the issue is all about and provide a clear statement about the true situation regarding whatever it is?
This is a constitutional monarchy, after all, under which basic freedoms of democracy must be upheld for the electorate who are the ultimate authority in the country.
So please to enlighten people about the false rumours and state the truth for the benefit of the public?
For example, if these rumours concern the monarch’s state of health, given that the monarch appears to continue to be indisposed beyond the constitutionally allowed 15 days and is still apparently unable to fulfil commitments to meet with ministers and party leaders on vital matters, an update on his condition is clearly urgent.
Once the actual situation is understood and how the palace proposes to handle the situation going forward is explained, then whoever is rumour mongering about whatever it is will be put in their place.