Avoiding negative responses towards investors
SHAH ALAM - The government's move to eliminate illegal sales promotions and online fraud on several social media platforms aims to protect the people and avoid negative responses from foreign investors.
Associate Professor Dr Aimi Zulhazmi Abdul Rashid, a finance lecturer from UniKL Business School, stated that the government's actions were not to give negative responses to foreign investors unless they intend to take advantage.
"It is undeniable that scammers, whether local or foreign, take advantage of Malaysia's open economy by masking themselves as foreign investment entities.
"The government should wisely balance the desire to achieve Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to attract investment with the need to monitor and conduct background checks through close cooperation among government agencies," he told Sinar Premium.
He added that the government's action was reasonable given the cunning modus operandi of scammers, which makes it difficult for authorities to prosecute them.
"Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil's statement indirectly warns scammers that government agencies monitor various entities, especially on social media platforms, to prevent losses for Malaysians.
"Investors should also welcome the government's actions, showing Malaysia's concern and having stringent laws that can protect all stakeholders," he said.
Earlier, Fahmi, through a Facebook post, stated that the government removed content on several social media platforms because 70 per cent of it contained illegal sales promotions and online fraud.
He shared statistics indicating harmful content this year, with 25,642 pieces compared to 1,019 in 2022, comprising 18,140 cases of fraud and illegal sales, followed by 4,008 fake news pieces, 2,858 malicious content, 599 with pornographic elements, and 37 threatening content.
Dr Suresh Ramasamy, Chief Researcher and Chief Information Security Officer at the Centre for Advanced Computing and Telecommunications, emphasised that effective enforcement and prosecution are key to curbing scam threats.
"Acts like the Anti-Scam Act and Personal Data Protection Act can have an impact on scam threats, but containment depends entirely on the enforcement of these laws and successful prosecutions.
"It should be noted that the scam threat is not just a problem in Malaysia.
"There is a significant percentage involving syndicates outside the country that require international cooperation," he said.
According to the cybersecurity expert, scam syndicates will adapt their tactics and fraudulent methods in line with technological advancements and lifestyles.
Meanwhile, the government's efforts to clean up dangerous social media content can be viewed from two angles of positivity.
"On one hand, it prevents the spread of undesirable content, such as child-related explicit materials.
"On the other hand, it serves as a means to channel specific narratives or messages for internet users," he concluded.