Communications and Digital Ministry mulls mandatory registration for social media service providers

01 Nov 2023 10:03pm
Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said this move is deemed appropriate to ensure all social media platforms understand and comply with aspects of the country's legislation. - BERNAMA
Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said this move is deemed appropriate to ensure all social media platforms understand and comply with aspects of the country's legislation. - BERNAMA
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KUALA LUMPUR - The Communications and Digital Ministry (KKD) is considering making it mandatory for all social media platform service providers in the country to register with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Minister Fahmi Fadzil said this move is deemed appropriate to ensure all social media platforms understand and comply with aspects of the country's legislation.

"... right now there is no registration to operate in Malaysia. So when you register and operate here, want to do business here, there are laws and instructions to follow, and I think this needs to be resolved fast,” he said when winding up the debate on Supply Bill 2024 on behalf of the ministry in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Responding to an interjection from R. Yuneswaran (PH-Segamat) on what steps the ministry has taken in regulating the TikTok app ecosystem, Fahmi said KKD always examines every aspect to find the most appropriate control measure based on the interests of the country.

"In other countries, they have various laws and deal with this issue related to TikTok in different ways. In the United States civil servants are prohibited from downloading the TikTok application on their official devices; India has restricted the use of TikTok for four years and Indonesia has prohibited TikTok Shop.

"For Malaysia, we have a specific situation, our own laws and challenges unique to our country. So KKD is examining everything carefully and holding engagement sessions, including with other ministries, in finding the most suitable method and action to take," he said.

In dealing with issues related to online gambling, especially on the Meta platforms of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, Fahmi said KKD through MCMC had held discussions to get full cooperation from Meta to ensure that the problem can be overcome more effectively.

"Neither the government nor KKD is satisfied with Meta's level of cooperation which is still very inadequate. Therefore, KKD through MCMC has discussed seeking full cooperation from Meta.

"Among the collaborations requested is a commitment to take down content within a short period of time, not days but within a few hours, especially for online gambling, for every application received from Malaysian authorities," he said.

Meanwhile, Fahmi recommended that a union for actors be created to fight for interests related to the employment, medical facilities, welfare and well-being of film industry practitioners.

He said there are now more than 50 filming associations in Malaysia but no union comprising actors has been registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).

"At the level of KKD and the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas), a standard production service agreement template is being drawn up for reference and use by local film production companies that have a FINAS activity licence.

"This initiative aims to guarantee protection to new and veteran actors and local film workers in terms of salary payments, allowances, insurance coverage, Perkeso, medical facilities, accommodation, security, and food and drinks throughout the period they are involved in film production in Malaysia," he said.

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Regarding the bill for the establishment of the Malaysian Media Council, Fahmi said it is expected to be tabled in Parliament at the first or second meeting next year. - BERNAMA