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Malaysian communication and digital ministry to meet Telegram over rampant scam issue

Malaysian communication and digital ministry to meet Telegram over rampant scam issue

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The communications and digital ministry, led by Malaysian minister Fahmi Fadzil, will be meeting Telegram to discuss safety of users. According to the minister, the ministry is awaiting a response from Telegram to take this matter forward. This is not the first we have heard of the communications ministry approaching Telegram as a history of scams has been recognised over the past few months. Despite the rampant use of the app to share sensitive information, even by the National Security Council, Fahmi said that the government would not compromise the safety of the public.

In a townhall reported by Astro Awani, seen by A+M, Fahmi said that the issue is “not only about scammers, but also pornography and extremism which need to be checked urgently if they are spread through Telegram.”

Fahmi also cited former prime minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s personal telegram being hacked in August last year. PM Ismail shared the matter on his official Twitter account.

pm ismail

The incident highlighted that cyber security issues are present in Malaysia, and even the prime minister was not protected from them.

Don't miss: Will the Malaysian govt's scrutiny of TikTok rattle unsure advertisers?

In December last year, the communications ministry took a stronger stance in looking into cyber security issues to protect the public’s personal data. "We must have an understanding that data is a national treasure. With data we can do various activities, we can make donations, help poor children, make sure that those who want to go to hospital get priority – everything revolves around data, safe data, then our future is safe," he said in Bicara Naratif programme produced by RTM News on 13 December 2022.

Other than Telegram, the digital comms minister met representatives from other social media companies to discuss concerns over misinformation and extremist content. He recently revealed that the ministry made nearly 350 requests to TikTok to take down videos that were advertising political matters as well as other extremist videos.

(Image courtesy: Fahmi Fadzil's official Facebook page)

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