No plans to restrict use of Telegram application, says Zahid

Jul 16, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The government does not intend to restrict the use of the Telegram application in Malaysia for now, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Although Indonesia has banned the use of the Telegram application due to the threat of terrorism, he said monitoring by the authorities so far found no elements  related to crime or terrorism as as Telegram was concerned.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, insisted that the government respected the rights of consumers in the country and did not intend to interfere with the ‘chatting’ of users of Telegram.

“The KDN’s (Home Ministry’s) observation, especially by the Anti-Terrorism Unit and the Special Branch of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), find that the application (Telegram) has so far not been used in matters related to crime or for recruiting or raising funds for terrorism activities,” he told reporters after attending an Aidilfitri Open House at Jakel Mal today.

Ahmad Zahid was asked to comment on the Indonesian government’s action on Friday to block the Telegram application following revelation that it was used to spread Daesh’s ideology for violent activities.

He said the government would continuously monitor the use of social media applications to detect activities which slanted towards terrorism.

Ahmad Zahid said the government also had some decoding methods to monitor methods used by  Daesh for dissemination of its ideology, recruiting members and obtaining funds via social media or online communication platforms.

He said the monitoring of the authorities found that the spread of elements of violence through other applications such as YouTube, WhatsApp and Instagram existed. –Bernama