A 31-year-old Indonesian woman was sentenced to a week in jail and fined after she pleaded guilty to spreading fake news about Coronavirus.

Fui Lina, who works as a salesgirl, was charged with circulating a false statement aimed at causing public mischief by spreading a rumour relating to Coronavirus on her Facebook account under the name Kimiko.

In the post, she urged the public not to go to malls to avoid getting infected by the virus, supposedly after a Chinese citizen had collapsed at a mall.

She was charged under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, which provides for imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine or both, if found guilty.

Fui admitted to the offence after the charge was read out to her on Friday.

She also said she was a single mother with a six-year-old son to take care of and asked only to be fined.

However, the prosecuting officer urged for a custodial sentence saying that the offence had caused fear among and trauma to the public.

“The accused should not have shared any fake news on social media and only share news which is accurate.

“The punishment under this section speaks of an imprisonment first and a fine second, which means the court must prioritise a custodial sentence.

“A fine alone is not sufficient to deter the accused and the public from committing the same offence,” he said.

Magistrate Wong Chai Sia then sentenced Fui to a week in jail and a 1,000 Malaysian ringgit fine in default of a month in jail.

Fui paid the fine.

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