KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Communication and Multimedia minister admitted today that his ministry was powerless to control Facebook because most users did not use their real names when registering for an account.
The minister Shabery Cheek also said his ministry did not have the authority to close Facebook accounts.
“We can request to close the FB account but in the end it’s still up to FB whether to close it down or not. When they (FB users) register, they’re registering with FB, not us.” he said.
Facebook postings came under scrutiny recently, especially the postings of sex-blogger Alvin Tan and his girlfriend.
Tan’s most recent posting insulted the IGP while a Sabah and Sarawak Facebook group called for secession.
Shabery said Tan who was charged under the Communication and Multimedia Act, had his case postponed and had now resorted to posting insulting statements from overseas.
“Since our national law will not be applicable overseas, we can’t do much,” the minister said.
Shabery was responding to a question by Noh Haji Omar (Tanjong Karang) on issues of media freedom.
Shabery said there were 19.2 million Internet users and the Communication and Multimedia Ministry had received 1,225 complaints regarding the misuse of social media; representing only 0.006% of overall users.
He also said the government had no intention to ban Facebook as was the case in China .