KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Communications and Multimedia Ministry was today asked to disclose how it started the Twitter account of the country’s internet regulator.
Lawyer Syahredzan Johan said a public explanation was necessary owing to controversy over several obscene and childish tweets that resurfaced yesterday on the MCMC’s official Twitter account @SKMM_MCMC, and allegations that it was bought from a private user.
“First, is it true that the @SKMM_MCMC account was taken over from the personal account as alleged?
“Second, if it is really taken over, what is the need for @SKMM_MCMC to take over a personal account?
“Third, if it is taken over, is it true that there is a fee involved?
“Fourth, is the payment said by @NazruiHakim made by SKMM, and how much is paid?
“Fifth, if SKMM has made the payment, will it go through a proper and transparent Government procurement process?” he asked in a statement today.
Syahredzan who is also Lim Kit Siang’s political secretary said a Twitter user with the handle @Nasruihakim has claimed to have sold the account that is now the property of MCMC.
Syahredzan pointed out that the statutory body has extensive powers and regulates the communications industry as well as online social interaction of the public.
He added that questions regarding the use of public money needed to be answered, if true the account was bought.
“Therefore, these questions must be answered by SKMM and also the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM). SKMM and KKMM are urged to be frank about the Twitter account @SKMM_MCMC,” he said.
Several old tweets — some of them homophobic, racist and just plain lovelorn — emerged yesterday and have been widely shared by other Twitter users mocking and accusing the MCMC of hypocrisy for warning users against publishing offensive posts after the government declared a state of Emergency.
Nazrul Hakim, a 22-year-old man residing in Pahang, told Malay Mail that he was the original owner of the account @Nazrulllhakim, which he had then sold to another person — who presumably then sold the account to the administrator of the MCMC account.
“The account had around 50,000 followers at that time. So somebody offered to buy that account from me,” Nazrul told Malay Mail over text message.
Late last night MCMC released a statement denying posting a series of obscene and childish tweets dating back to 2014, saying its official Twitter account of @SKMM_MCMC had been hacked.