PUTRAJAYA, April 3 — Authorities will investigate the source of seemingly coordinated messages on social media falsely claiming a national Quran recital competition will be cancelled, Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said.

He said his ministry has detected an apparent campaign to spread this online, particularly on Facebook.

“The messages have been posted repeatedly, although it is a different pattern compared to the ones we’ve seen prior to this, there are some similarities.

“I have ordered the MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) to look into these postings to find all those who are involved with the coordinated messages,” Fahmi told a press conference at the Communications Ministry here today.

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He pointed out that Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Mohd Na’im Mokhtar previously announced that the Tilawah and Hafazan Al-Quran ceremony at national level will be held for six days from May 23.

Fahmi also urged the public to verify such claims rather than accepting them at face value, saying it often required only basic online searches to debunk these.

However, he said this particular incident was curious due to the apparent coordination.

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“It’s just that we found that there are several parties who have posted some comments (on the matter) in several groups and have reached up to 1,800 shares,” he said.

Fahmi added that his ministry along with the MCMC will meet with Meta next Monday to discuss abuses on its platforms, which include Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

“We will raise how Meta has been used to spread disinformation and false news.

“If Meta fails to offer cooperation we have several other steps that we can take to address these incidents,” he said.

On March 22, Fahmi had ordered the MCMC to investigate elements of disinformation related to the “Allah” socks controversy.