‘It’s all fake news’: Prime Minister’s Office dismisses WhatsApp audio recording about Rosmah

An audio recording with claims about irresponsible government spending and theft of tax collections has been decried by the Prime Minister’s Office as fake news.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has denied allegations made in an audio recording concerning the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor which has been widely circulated on popular messaging app WhatsApp.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Apr 25), the PMO said an individual had made unsubstantiated claims about the government’s alleged spending involving Rosmah in the recording, decrying it as fake news.

The individual heard in the recording claimed that the government had spent a great deal of money on Rosmah’s birthday cake, and the installation of two closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in her Putrajaya office.

In addition, the individual said that Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection amounting to RM70.1 million ($17.8 million) of a particular day was stolen and not found in the Treasury, claiming the news source to be a colleague from the Finance Ministry.

According to a translation by Bernama, the PMO wrote in Malay: “The Prime Minister’s Office denies the wild and baseless allegations made by the individual. The act of the individual is clearly politically-motivated to incite the people.”

“Now, spread of false news and slander are becoming rampant on social media including mobile applications such as WhatsApp and Telegram, especially ahead of the 14th General Election.”

In its post, the PMO advised members of the public to evaluate and check the authenticity of any news lest they fall victim to fake news, saying that such content is disseminated by “irresponsible parties” for personal or political gain.

It added that people suspected of the fabrication and dissemination of fake news are liable to investigation under the Anti-Fake News Act 2018.

Guilty individuals, upon conviction, would be subject to a fine not exceeding RM500,000 or imprisonment of up to six years, or both.