Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob lodged a police report today regarding two old videos that have made the rounds again, for allegedly trying to defame and damage his name.
The first video, which was recorded during a press conference on April 14, 2020, allegedly created the false impression that Ismail was trying to confuse the public regarding the punishment for violating the standard operating procedure (SOP).
"The (first) video was transmitted as if it was the latest press conference and it seems to be aimed at misleading the people that there will be no more summons and compound imposed if they violate the SOP, otherwise the people will continue to be imprisoned.
"This is an old video and the government has since made various improvements in the implementation of the SOP," he said in a statement today.
The second clip with the title "He made the SOP, then violated it", Ismail said it was actually recorded at a ceremony with art activists in conjunction with the Heroes' Day Fund Campaign on Sept 15, 2020, when the country was under the recovery movement control (MCO).
"The video was deliberately spread as if the ceremony was a Chinese New Year celebration. I would like to emphasise that the ceremony was held during the implementation of the recovery MCO.
“When the recovery MCO was in effect, wedding ceremonies were also permitted alongside others. Therefore, there was no violation of the SOP,” he added.
In the footage, Ismail is shown attending a ceremony with several others without wearing a face mask and sitting together at the banquet table in an apparent violation of social distancing.
He said the purpose of the police report was to stop the slander against him, as the circulation of the video can cause anger among the people as well as affect the credibility and trust they have in him.
"The spread of this video was malicious because it was misrepresented as a recent video shot during the MCO," he added.
Ismail, however, was not present to lodge the report at the Dang Wangi District Police Headquarters earlier. Instead, it was done by his press secretary, Azlina Md Rosdy.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Azlina said the two videos were shared on two Facebook accounts - a purported fan page called Anwar Ibrahim PM Rakyat and another account credited to one Anina Saadudin.
"After this video was spread so widely, he (Ismail) instructed me to lodge a police report for us to stop it and the police can take immediate action against those responsible," she said.
She added that they had also lodged a report with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission on the matter.