8,000 phone numbers terminated in Malaysia for sending gambling-based SMS

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia received 416 complaints about this issue.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission instructed telecommunications companies to terminate the phone numbers for sending SMS related to gambling.

Malaysia.- The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) called on telecommunication companies to terminate more than 8,000 telephone numbers for sending Short Messaging Services (SMS) for gambling purposes.

Datuk Jailani Johari, the Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia, said that MCMC had also been receiving 416 complaints from the public in connection to gambling-based SMS from 2015 until March 2016. “The MCMC has filed a complaint data, identifying telephone numbers to be barred and sent for further investigation to the police,” he said. Jailani continued explaining that the ministry was in close collaboration with the police to eradicate online gambling and related scams.

Among the measures taken to curb the growth of online gambling websites was the implementation of restricted access to websites that offered gambling-based services. “From 2012 until March 2016, a total of 664 websites have been restricted of their access by MCMC, based on written requests from the police for the offence under the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953,” he affirmed.

Jailani also mentioned that the cooperation to curb online scamming activities between MCMC and the law enforcement authorities was not only restricted to the police and that of gambling activities, as the MCMC also works in close collaboration with other agencies like the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (MDTCC), Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) and the Bank Negara. According to the Deputy Minister, in 2014, MCMC blocked 2,268 sites, with 538 of them at the request of law enforcement agencies, whilst 1,730 websites were blocked based on the provisions of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

In the meantime, last year, a total of 2,203 websites were blocked, with 631 blocked at the request of agencies such as the police, Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) and Jakim, whereas 1,572 were barred under the provisions of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. Jailani expressed that the blocking of webpages would be the final resort taken by the MCMC authorities in addressing online gambling and scams.