KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has shut down or blocked at least 1,400 websites in the country, after receiving numerous complaints over the sites, said minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
Although the government believes in allowing freedom of information, it would have to be within the boundaries of the law, he said.
“This year alone, we have received 1,225 complaints on the abuse of social media, but that number is only 0.006% of the total number of Internet users in the country (19.2 million).
“So we have taken action, including closing 1,400 websites that are inappropriate,” he said.
The minister was responding to Tanjung Karang MP Datuk Seri Noh Omar who had asked him about media freedom in the country.
He said Malaysia wanted to be a developed country, and allowing the freedom of the Internet is one characteristic of such a nation.
“But that freedom has to be based on the law that exists in the country,” he said.
He said that Facebook abuse was the most rampant in the country, with Malaysia having one of the highest number of accounts in the world, adding that the concept of “anonymity” made it difficult for authorities to apprehend the culprits.
“We have about 15 million Facebook accounts in Malaysia. Some users use different names and hide behind the anonymity. It makes it hard for us to know who they are.
“To date, 11 cases of social media abuse have been brought to court,” he added. — The Malaysian Insider
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 15, 2014.