Govt to ensure action against Telegram won’t affect users too much - Fahmi

03 Jun 2023 03:44pm
Fahmi. Photo by Bernama
Fahmi. Photo by Bernama

SUNGAI PETANI - The government will ensure any form of action that may be imposed on Telegram will have a minimal impact on its users, said Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

Fahmi said the ministry was aware that the application was widely used, especially by certain communities, including schools and media practitioners, for video and image transmission.

He said that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is still examining the action against Telegram, whose management has not yet cooperated with the government to discuss issues related to the content and misuse of the application.

"So if it is decided that cooperation from Telegram’s side is not very positive, then we will ensure that any action to be taken will not affect users too much.

"We expect that the government will make a decision soon. We have yet to scrutinise recommendations from the MCMC, but insya-Allah, it will not be too long from now,” he told reporters after officiating the Kota Kuala Muda Digital Economy Centre (PEDi) Community Day here today.

Elaborating, Fahmi said the ministry received many complaints regarding the content and misuse of the application, including the sale of pornographic materials, drugs and investment scams that should be curbed, but there has been no action from Telegram so far.

"Other platforms cooperated by attending a meeting when invited, which is not a problem. But so far, Telegram has not cooperated with MCMC as a regulatory body,” he said.

Commenting on Telegram’s statement that did not want to participate in any form of political censorship, Fahmi said it was up to MCMC to contact the platform’s management or issue a counter statement.

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"As a member of the administration (government), I look at everything from the legal and policy perspectives. And as a sovereign country that has the power and the right to decide its policy, I believe that the law in our country must be respected,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fahmi said the ministry is in the planning process to build 186 new PEDi to ensure that all state constituencies have at least one centre for the local community to benefit from them.

"We expect it will take approximately 12 to 18 months to build all these PEDi because it involves tenders and contracts and this is being worked on by telecommunication companies through collaboration with MCMC,” he said.

Also present at the programme were Communications and Digital Ministry secretary-general Datuk Mohamad Fauzi Md Isa and Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chief executive officer Roslan Ariffin. - BERNAMA

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