Is It A Fact Or Rumour? Get It Confirmed At ""

By Ali Imran Mohd Noordin

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Several weeks ago, Malaysians were appalled when an amateur video surfaced showing how rice could be kneaded into rubber balls that bounce when thrown on the floor. The video lent credence to widespread rumours that the rice available in the market have been mixed with plastic rice.

The video went viral with the rice producer and the authorities concerned being the target of public rage. No one bothered to verify if there was any proof or studies conducted on the assumption made by the video or whether it was just false news.

It appears that people will rather believe on anything and do no bother to verify the authenticity of what they see or hear or wait for verification of explanation of the authorities or the parties involved on the matter.

Moreover, the plastic rice episode is not something new. In 2015, the same allegation emerged in Indonesia and subsequently in the Philippines leaving the people and the authorities riled up.

In January this year, the same allegation cropped up in Thailand prompting the country's Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn to issue an official statement denying that the country exports plastic rice.

Yet there is nothing to stop the fallacious plastic rice issue from going further. Recently BBC reported that such claims are spreading fast in the African continent.


Circulating information without checking or verifying the facts seems to be the norm these days. Just look at the Whatsapp messages in any handphone, there is no end to the solicited and unsolicited messages that one will receive. Numerous messages and video clips right from the religious, politics, social, cultural realm and even rumours will be fowarded by friends and family members without thinking twice.

While many are aware that not all the information that they receive through their digital gadgets is true, yet they don't take the trouble to verify the facts and figures that they receive.

Sensational news recur time and again. Even if the news items are denied or clarified, they still reappear again in the future, like the plastic rice episode, creating fear, confusion and anxiety.

This should not be the case nowadays as various authorities including the Malaysia Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has established online avenues for the public to verify or get the true picture of the information that they receive.

With MCMC's "" portal, launched on 14 Mac, 2017, there is no reason for anyone to continue remaining ignorant on the authenticity of the information or video clips that they receive. The reference portal not only helps the public to verify news that go viral but also help address the spread of false news.


So how does the "" portal work. "It is actually more of a repository that archives false news accompanied by clarification or denial made by the related parties," said Eneng Faridah Iskandar, MCMC's head of the outreach and engagement division.

The points explained or denied are based on the resources like media statement, statements at the website of the ministry, departments or related agencies or even statements issued in social network like Facebook and Twitter.

Having said that, despite of the portal's crucial role, it is not a medium that supersedes the ministries, departments, agencies or even mass media in shedding light on matters of contention. The portal is a facilitator for the public who want to verify the credibility of the information received through their gadgets.


"It appears that many in our society remain ignorant or at a loss on the fact that they have avenues to check on the veracity of the issues or information. When they come across a website or a blog with suspicious content, they do not know where to verify the information. This is where MCMC helps in enabling 'fact checking'," added Eneng.

Eneng also hoped that avenues like would not only help educate the society to counter check the information that they receive before disseminating the information to the others. Counter checking the information should be second in nature for anyone before disseminating information and other material.

The is a simple and user friendly site that enables the public to seek more information, links to the official sites providing explanation or denial, all provided below the information of contention .

There is also the search box where users can make quick search using key words. For example, if one types the keyword 'aircraft', the portal will list down the rumours of false news relating to aircraft that had gone viral.

Among false news relating to the aircraft is that in the MH370 wreckage found in the Philippines (Oct 2015), the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will lease Gripen jet fighters from Sweden (Sept 2012) and an RMAF aircraft crashed in Butterworth (Mac 2017).


The issues that is beyond the scope of this portal is personal and private issues, the agenda of individuals, companies or any political parties, sensitive issues relating to community leaders and anything else that transgresses the portal's original goals of enlightening the society by providing the real picture.

The public also have the avenue to take up matters of concern with MCMC through the available channels "", "", or "", or through Whatsapp (+6016 2206 262).

The broadband penetration rate in up to the fourth quarter of 2016 was 77.6 percent. Throughout 2016, MCMC received 352 complaints on hacking, love scams and 'sextortion' (329), online sales scam (287),cheating cases (261) and 'phising' cases (40).

For the benefit of the people, SKMM will work closely with the government departments and agencies to channel the right information. On our part we will continue to improve the '' portal's content from time to time, said Eneng.