No plans to ban Telegram in Malaysia, says DPM Zahid

The Deputy Prime Minister said that while he respected Indonesia's decision to ban the application, he said the Home Ministry had no reason to ban it here yet.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that while he respected Indonesia's decision to ban the application, he said the Home Ministry had no reason to ban it here yet.PHOTO: THE STAR

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia has no plans to follow Indonesia in blocking the Telegram social media platform, said Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Sunday (July 16).

The Deputy Prime Minister said that while he respected Indonesia's decision to ban the application, he said the Home Ministry had no reason to ban it here yet.

Indonesia banned Telegram on Friday, claiming it was being used by terrorists to recruit new members and source for funds.

"The Home Ministry, particularly the anti-terrorism unit, has yet to find elements of terrorism recruitment and funding on the application," said Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister.

"Even so, we will continue to monitor the communications on the platform," he said to reporters after attending the Jakel Hari Raya open house here on Sunday.

Dr Ahmad Zahid was quick to add that the Government has no intention to meddle in the personal communications of Telegram users in Malaysia.

"We respect the rights of individuals to use social media, but we also need to use decoding methods to determine if there are elements of terrorism - like the Islamic State - whether online, on social media, or offline," he said.

Asked which other social media applications were being monitored, Dr Ahmad Zahid said platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram had been found to contain some negative elements linked to terrorist activities.