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Zahid: Govt has no plans to ban Telegram app


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has no plans to follow Indonesia’s footsteps in blocking the social media platform Telegram, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

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

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. Even so, we will continue to monitor communications on the platform,” he told reporters after attending the Jakel Hari Raya open house here yesterday.

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

“We respect individual rights on usage of social media but we also need to use decoding methods to determine if there are elements of terrorism, like the Islamic State – whether on social media or offline.

“We respect Indonesia’s decision, although we do not intend to follow suit as yet,” 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.

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