Malaysia police probe Mahathir for 'spreading fake news' after sabotage claim

Malaysia police probe Mahathir for 'spreading fake news' after sabotage claim

Mahathir looks on
Dr Mahathir Mohamad looks on during a rally in Langkawi on Apr 15, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad is being investigated for allegedly spreading fake news, police confirmed on Wednesday (May 2).

Kuala Lumpur police chief Mazlan Lazim said Mahathir’s case is one of eight police reports related to the 14th general election (GE14).

"For the case on the fake news, it involves a claim by Mahathir that the jet which he had chartered to fly to Langkawi was sabotaged last Friday,” he said after opening a crime prevention awareness programme at the Tun H S Lee traffic police station on Wednesday.

Last Friday, Mahathir claimed the chartered plane that was to take him to Langkawi had been sabotaged by certain parties.

The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman had boarded the plane at Subang before being informed by the pilot that one of the aircraft’s tyres had a puncture. He later travelled on another aircraft.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) later said it found no evidence of sabotage.

The Malaysia UMNO Grassroots Movement on Tuesday lodged a police report against Mahathir, saying that his allegations led to uncertainty and incorrect perception among the people against the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

Police chief Mazlan said Mahathir is being investigated under the Anti-Fake News Act 2018, which carries a jail sentence of up to six years, a fine of RM500,000, or both. The other police reports involve trespassing, mischief involving fire and holding a ceramah (political talks) without a permit.

Asked if he was concerned about the investigation at a rally in Kuantan on Wednesday night, Mahathir told Channel NewsAsia: "I'm not worried about anything."

Source: Bernama/ec