JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian police have refuted a Facebook post that has been making rounds on social media of a Chinese citizen who had allegedly died of Wuhan coronavirus on a bus near the Second-Link.
Iskandar Puteri district police chief Dzulkhairi Mukhtar said the victim was in fact a Singaporean.
The 78-year-old man, who passed out at the immigration counter at Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar, died of a heart attack on Saturday (Jan 25).
"The deceased was travelling with his 68-year-old wife from Singapore to Genting Highlands for a vacation.
"When the bus stopped at the immigration counter, he complained to his wife of having chest pains and feeling uncomfortable, before passing out," said Assistant Commissioner of Police Dzulkhairi in a statement on Sunday (Jan 26).
He added that the man was sent to Hospital Sultanah Aminah where medical staff confirmed that he had died due to a heart attack.
"The man also has a history of heart problems and was seeking treatment in Singapore," he said, adding that the incident took place at about 7.05am on Saturday.
ACP Dzulkhairi warned the public against spreading online posts that are not based on facts or from unverified sources.
"The individual who spread the news has been investigated under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for conduct with the intent to cause fear or alarm to the public," he said.
He added that if convicted, the individual responsible could face a maximum two-year jail sentence or a fine or both.
Rumours about the man's death come at a sensitive time in Malaysia, amid widespread concerns over the Wuhan virus.
Four people have been confirmed to have the Wuhan coronavirus in Malaysia.
The first three were Chinese citizens who entered Malaysia via Johor Baru. They are the wife, 65, and two grandsons of a 66-year-old man from Wuhan, who is currently being treated in Singapore for the same virus. The children are aged 11 and two.
The fourth case is a 40-year-old man who is also from Wuhan, who was part of a tour group that travelled by bus to Johor from Singapore on Wednesday.