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  1. KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Malay Muslims rallied in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to celebrate the Malaysian government’s refusal to ratify a UN convention against racial discrimination. After weeks of pressure by pro-Malay groups, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s multi-ethnic government decided last month that it would not ratify the convention, without giving a reason why it was going back on an earlier commitment to sign. Groups representing Malays, who account for around 60 percent of Malaysia’s multi-ethnic population, raised fears that signing the UN pledge could have undermined Malay privileges and threatened Islam’s status as Malaysia’s official religion. Badly beaten in an election earlier this year, Malay opposition parties seized on the issue, along with activists, to organize the rally, as race is a sensitive matter for the southeast Asian nation of 32 million people. Seeking to rebuild support, Najib Razak, Malaysia’s scandal-plagued former prime minister, and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who replaced him as head of the former ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), and the leader of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, PAS, all attended the rally. Their supporters, wearing white, converged on the capital’s Merdeka Square following afternoon prayers. Some chanted “God is Great” and slogans against the UN convention, while holding up placards calling for the defense of Malay rights and dignity. Citing police estimates, media put the size of the rally at around 50,000 people. “We are here to defend our rights as Malays,” said Faridah Harun, a 59-year-old mother of seven, who traveled down from the northern state of Perak to join the rally with her husband. “We have ruled this country very well for a very long time, but now there are people who want to take over and do things like shut down MARA,” she said, referring to a trust fund for Malays and indigenous people. Affirmative action policies introduced after deadly race riots in the late 1960s gave Malays advantages including university quotas, housing discounts, government guaranteed savings plans, and equity ownership quotas. Whereas Mahathir’s coalition enjoyed overwhelming support among voters from the minority ethnic Chinese and Indian communities, who together account for 30 percent of the population, it remains locked in a battle to win over Malays who have remained loyal to UMNO and PAS. In a statement published late Friday, Mahathir said the government had no objection to the rally so long as it remained peaceful and orderly. “On behalf of the government, if the rally is held on the basis of thanksgiving, we are thankful for the support shown,” he said in the video posted on his social media pages. Source
  2. SINGAPORE - Singapore extended its own port limits in response to intrusions by Malaysian vessels into its waters and also sent out a strong warning: While the Republic has so far responded with restraint against aggressive actions by Malaysian government vessels in its waters, it will not hesitate to act firmly to protect its territory and sovereignty, if necessary. A Malaysian government vessel (left) near a Singapore Police Coast Guard vessel (right), as seen from the south of Tuas View Extension on Dec 6, 2018. Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said this on Thursday (Dec 6), calling on Malaysian government vessels to "cease their intrusions and return to the status quo before 25 Oct 2018". On Oct 25 this year, Malaysia issued a federal government declaration that would extend the Johor Baru Port limits into Singapore's territorial waters. Since then, there have been 14 intrusions by Malaysian vessels into Singapore's waters, Mr Khaw said. He said three such vessels were still in Singapore's waters as he spoke. Singapore had also decided to expand its own port limits in response to Malaysia's action, he said, but only within its own area. "Our security agencies will continue to patrol the area, and respond to unauthorised activities on the ground. They have so far responded with restraint against aggressive actions by the Malaysian Government vessels," said Mr Khaw. "But Singapore cannot allow our sovereignty to be violated, or new facts on the ground to be created. Therefore, if it becomes necessary, we will not hesitate to take firm actions against intrusions and unauthorised activities in our waters to protect our territory and sovereignty." Mr Khaw noted that since at least 1999, Singapore has been exercising its jurisdiction in the waters now covered by the recent extension of the Johor Baru Port limits. "Malaysia has never laid claim to these waters, or protested our actions there. Now, out of the blue, Malaysia is claiming these territorial waters that belong to Singapore," he said. "Without any prior consultations, Malaysia is seeking to alter unilaterally the longstanding status quo in the area. This is a blatant provocation and a serious violation of our sovereignty and international law." On Nov 5, Singapore issued a Third Person Note (TPN) requesting that Malaysia immediately amend the declaration to reflect the sovereignty of Singapore over these waters, and on Nov 9, Mr Khaw said he raised this issue with his counterpart, Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke, in Bangkok. However, Malaysia went ahead to publish a circular and a notice notifying the shipping community of the expanded Johor Baru Port limits, Mr Khaw said. Singapore then issued a second TPN on Nov 29 to protest against these documents. "Malaysian government vessels have since been continually intruding into Singapore territorial waters off Tuas," Mr Khaw said. "So far there have been 14 intrusions. Singapore had protested the repeated intrusions via three TPNs." On Wednesday, Malaysia issued a media statement arguing that Singapore cannot claim the area as its territorial waters on the basis of its reclamation works in Tuas in recent years. But Mr Khaw argued: "In 1979, when Malaysia published its map, it did not consult Singapore before drawing its territorial claim line. In fact, in 1979 no reclamation at Tuas had taken place. "So the Malaysian unilateral territorial claim of 1979 (which we do not recognise) could not possibly have taken into account any reclamation by Singapore." The new Johor Baru Port limits extend beyond Malaysia's own territorial claim line, and Malaysian ships have crossed this line to enter Singapore waters, Mr Khaw added. Malaysia also replied to Singapore's first TPN, that was issued on Nov 5, on Wednesday, he said. In its reply, Malaysia disagreed that the altered Johor Port limits had encroached on Singapore territorial waters off Tuas, and emphasised that the Malaysian government vessels were patrolling the territorial waters of Malaysia. "Malaysia's reply also proposed that officials from the two sides meet to work towards an amicable resolution. Singapore naturally agrees to this and will follow up," Mr Khaw said.' He added: "Countries do amend their port limits from time to time. But they must do so in a way that does not contravene international law, or infringe on the sovereignty of another country." Singapore has amended its port limits before, with the last time being in 1997, he said. In view of these recent "provocative developments", Singapore has decided to extend the Singapore Port Limits off Tuas, with effect from Thursday, Mr Khaw said. "This violation of Singapore's sovereignty is a serious new issue in our bilateral relations with Malaysia," he added. "Nevertheless, I remain optimistic. We still seek good bilateral relations, and hope we can work together to find an amicable solution to these issues." But Singaporeans have to be fully aware of these developments, he said. "While we seek cooperation and friendship with other countries, we must never let other countries take advantage of us. When our national interests are challenged, we have to quietly but firmly stand our ground and stay united as one people." Source
  3. Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said a clear message needs to be delivered on the importance of securing user data in the digital space. Gobind added that as his ministry is looking into tightening and strengthening the current Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (PDPA), he is aware of concerns about the number of data breach incidents reported in Malaysia so far. "This matter definitely has my attention and I'm putting major focus on it. My ministry is in the process of tightening the law so we can give out a clear signal that data security needs to be guaranteed," he said during an interview at the Maxis Business Spark Summit in Kuala Lumpur today. Gobind believes that if there are any issues related to a data breach, stern action needs to be taken. "We have to show that we are serious about preventing data breaches and we have to be strict about enforcing the law." According to Gobind, data security and protection should be guaranteed for Malaysians as the country moves toward the digital era. "If we want to ask more Malaysians to be a part of digital technology such as e-commerce and so on, we have to encourage them to use the Internet to expand their business. We also have to give them guarantee that their data will be safe. We are paying attention to that." In October, a series of data breach incidents involving a public university and two different ministries has been reported in the media. Gobind declined to comment further on any specific cases as he is still awaiting a full report on the matter. "The matter is still under investigation. I don't want to comment until I have all the facts," Gobind said, adding that he will make an announcement on PDPA amendments later. Source: Gobind: Ministry needs to send out clear signal on the importance of data safety (via The Star Online)
  4. Sunway has introduced its smart parking system in a preview at Sunway Pyramid, which is the largest fully integrated license plate recognition system to embrace multiple e-wallet payment methods, according to the group, and aims to further enable hassle-free experiences for its patrons. The e-wallet partners named include GrabPay, Boost, WeChat Pay, Alipay, Touch N’ Go Digital, and Maybank QRPay, in addition to credit partners MasterCard, Visa, American Express, JCB, UnionPay, and MyDebit. The Sunway Smart Parking system will be deployed within Sunway City, which comprises Sunway Pyramid, Sunway Hotels and Menara Sunway, the group said. To begin with, the smart parking system is currently operational for staff and season pass holders, though pre-registration is available, and shoppers who register their vehicle plate numbers will get a one-off entry to parking free of charge when the system is opened to the public in the first quarter of 2020. Existing systems including the conventional ticket and the Touch n’ Go card will continue to work alongside the smart parking system when it is rolled out. Vehicles registered in Malaysia tend to use a variety of fonts and character sizes – how will the system accommodate these non-regulation license plates? The system has been tested for these local conditions, and it has so far achieved a 95% recognition success rate across various types of number plates, said Felix Zheng Ya Fei, general manager of overseas sales and marketing at Jie Shun, the technology provider for the license plate recognition system. For comparison, similar systems employed in China see a recognition success rate of 99%, Zheng said. “We are pushing forth on our digitalisation journey. With revolutionary technology, we want to continue introducing new seamless, exciting shopping experiences to our shoppers to enable hassle-free experiences with greater convenience,” said CEO of Sunway malls and theme parks HC Chan. “From our comprehensive award winning Sunway Pyramid Mobile app with real-time navigation to this new parking system, we will continue to give our shoppers more reasons to choose us as their preferred lifestyle destination,” he continued. Source: Sunway smart parking system with plate recognition previewed – multiple e-wallet options, Q1 2020 roll-out (via Paultan.org)
  5. KUALA LUMPUR: The entire country has gone digital television broadcast, following the successful switch over of Sabah and Sarawak to myFreeview digital television broadcast from analogue terrestrial television Thursday. It is the final transition after the process involving areas in the central, southern, northern and eastern regions of the peninsula began in stages since Sept 30. Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo (pictured, right) said the transition proceeded smoothly as hitches were addressed by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). “As in any transition exercise, there would be problems but, more importantly, MCMC is ready to settle them. Today is the day the transition to digital (TV broadcast) in Malaysia is completed,” he said. Source: Malaysia's TV broadcast now entirely digital (via Daily Express)
  6. A model of the Vector flying vehicle. (Photo: Bernama) KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia could see its flying car take off by the end of the year, said Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof on Thursday (Oct 17) in parliament. The prototype of the air mobility vehicle is being developed and will be launched by year-end, he added. The minister said there have also been discussions between local entrepreneurs and technology providers about shortening the travelling time between Kuala Lumpur and Penang to an hour by a flying car. The journey that would normally take four hours. “I am not saying that this will happen, but there are initial discussions to pave the way for this to be realised in the nearest future, in 2020,” he said. Malaysia's Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof. (Photo: Bernama) Mr Mohd Redzuan was responding to a question by Rembau Member of Parliament Khairy Jamaluddin on the ministry’s preparation for an ecosystem to support the flying car industry. Mr Khairy told the Lower House that as a 15-year-old, he had imagined flying cars to exist in Malaysia by 2020. “I would like to congratulate the minister. At least the dream to have flying cars will not be delayed until Shared Prosperity Vision 2030. “You are the only minister who is able to realise Vision 2020,” he said in jest. Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 was unveiled by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad early this month as a roadmap for the country’s direction in the next decade, replacing Vision 2020 that he introduced back in 1991 during his 22-year rule. He had blamed the failure to achieve the Vision 2020 goals on the wrong strategies and policies implemented by the previous government. In his reply, Mr Mohd Redzuan said the ministry had held engagement sessions with various agencies on Sep 5 to formulate policies, licences and guidelines to ensure the smooth development of air mobility ecosystem. The World Economic Forum in 2016 had predicted that air mobility would be a key mode of transport by 2030, the minister said. “PriceWaterhouseCoopers reported that the air mobility industry is expected to be valued at US$127 billion next year," he added. SECOND FLYING CAR Speaking to reporters, Mr Mohd Redzuan said a second flying car – using a different technology from the first one – could take to the skies next year. The car was currently being developed in Europe, he added. “We are discussing whether or not it’s possible, and if there is interest in the country to have the inaugural flight by the third quarter of next year,” he said. Source: Malaysia's flying car prototype to be launched by end 2019: Entrepreneur Development Minister (via Channel News Asia)
  7. Many Malaysians may have noticed an uptick of marketing and scam calls in recent years where the caller even have your personal details such as MyKad number. This came as no surprise when the personal data of most mobile phone users were leaked from the very system contracted by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to protect such users in 2017. The government has since ended its contract with the contractor, Nuemera (M) Sdn Bhd, and criminal investigations on the matter were handed over to the Attorney-General's Chambers. This was confirmed in a written reply from the Communications and Multimedia Ministry to Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil (above) today. Fahmi had asked how was it possible that Nuemera, which was contracted to manage MCMC's Public Cellular Blocking Service (PCBS), could fail to protect the personal data of 46.2 million mobile phone accounts leading to the leak and what actions have been taken against the company. The PCBS, launched in February 2014, was an initiative by the MCMC to provide a service that allowed stolen phones to be blocked from making calls, texting or accessing the Internet - even if the sim card is changed. For this purpose, the Malaysian Central Equipment Identity Register (MCEIR) was created, which is a database of International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, a unique serial that can identify every mobile phone in the country. All major telcos in the country had surrendered the IMEI number as well as other personal data, such as names, mobile phone number, home address and MyKad number for the system. The written reply was scarce on details of how the leak happened but said action has been taken against Nuemera following an investigation by the MCMC, Personal Data Protection Department (JPDP) and police. "Following the investigation, on Jan 26, 2018, MCMC had suspended Nuemera's appointment as it was found that the company breached basic provisions in the contract between MCMC and Nuemera. "On May 21, 2018, MCMC issued a notice to Nuemera informing of MCMC's decision not to renew the PCBS agreement for another five years as provided as an option in the contract agreement," it said. On the criminal investigation front, the ministry said JPDP had investigated the matter under Section 9 of the Personal Data Protection Act 2010. Section 9 states that "A data user shall, when processing personal data, take practical steps to protect the personal data from any loss, misuse, modification, unauthorised or accidental access or disclosure, alteration or destruction...". The ministry said the matter was also investigated under Section 130 of the same act which concerns the unlawful collection of personal data as well as Section 4 of the Computer Crimes 1997 which concerns unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate the commission of a further offence. "The investigation papers have been completed and was sent to the Attorney-General's Chambers for action," it said. In November 2017, Malaysiakini reviewed the leaked data and found evidence that it was linked to the PCBS under the MCMC which outsources it to Nuemera. Source: Putrajaya ends contract with firm over one of country's largest data leak (via Malaysiakini)
  8. KUALA LUMPUR: The authorities should consider introducing a law to regulate the contents of films and programmes provided through digital platforms, particularly Video on Demand (VOD) or video streaming providers, said National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas). Finas CEO Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri said the introduction of such a law was necessary as digital contents from providers such as Netflix, which has a wider network compared to local television, were uncensored. “The development of our children’s minds is still at risk if we only control the contents of local media platforms while the online contents of international programmes are accessible to all. “This contradicts Finas’ direction in producing contents laden with good values,” he told reporters after officiating a seminar on families’ well-being here today. Idham said Finas had raised this issue during its meeting with the Film Censorship Board. Meanwhile, he said Finas is planning to hold more awareness programmes for industry players that emphasise the importance of mutual responsibility in broadcasting contents that can stimulate the minds of the people. Source: Finas calls for law to regulate contents on Netflix and VOD (via Free Malaysia Today) p/s: FINAS is National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia, which is similar to the Motion Picture Association of America in the United States.
  9. Wednesday, 23 Oct 2019 | 12:12 PM MYT PETALING JAYA: In yet another data breach, more than 17,000 patients' personal data have been exposed on the government-linked National Neurology Registry (NNeuR) website due to a scripting error, news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported. The portal reported that the data breach exposed among others NRIC numbers, phone numbers and addresses as the registry's database could be accessed. The report noted that its reporter was led to the tip-off by a source in Canada who had stumbled upon a broken link on the website as he was looking for information on Malaysian neurology patients. "All the data was downloadable and editable," the report said. According to NNeuR, the registry started in December 2008 and is supported by the Health Ministry to gather information about stroke and epilepsy in Malaysia. FMT noted that the registry was developed by Shah Alam-based company Rocket Integration Technology in 2008. The country has been involved in several data breaches this year, among which includes, the massive data leak of personal details of telecommunications service providers' customers, the data leak of almost 20,000 patient radiological records, and the personal data leak of Malindo Air customers. The latest incident happened on Oct 17 when bank account details of fuel subsidy recipients were leaked on the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry's newly-launched Petrol Subsidy Programme microsite. Source: Over 17,000 patients' personal data exposed on national neurology registry website (via The Star Online)
  10. POS Malaysia services are down at this point of time and according to an anonymous reliable source, there is a possibility that the IT infrastructure has been hit with ransomware. At the time of writing this article, we can confirm that the main page is under maintenance. A little further digging and we discovered some parts are throwing Microsoft .NET error 40, which tells that the site is having problems establishing connection with the database. It is further identified that the damage has spread into quite a number of modules considering the fact that Pos Malaysia has a rather integrated architecture. At this point of time, Pos Laju counterpart is working totally fine though. Only the main domain, pos.com.my is affected at the time of writing. Please take the necessary precautions and check your private credentials where necessary especially if you have shared them with Pos Malaysia in the past as these details may have been compromised. Should we have more details, we will keep you posted here. Source: POS Malaysia site is down, possibly a ransomware attack (via POKDE.NET) p/s: While this article is written yesterday (22 October), the domain pos.com.my appears to be working again at the time of writing of this topic, redirected to home.pos.com.my. p/s 2: There are some discussion about the news on these threads as well: https://forum.lowyat.net/topic/4854215 - Contains a mix of English and Malay language used in the forum, viewer discretion is advised. https://www.reddit.com/r/malaysia/comments/dlu5db/pos_malaysia_outage_possible_ransomware_attack/ - Disscussion on Reddit thread p/s 3: The POS Malaysia has taken proactive measures to ensure system and online services are protected, according to their statement on their official Facebook Page. Source: [ANNOUNCEMENT] POS MALAYSIA BERHAD HAS TAKEN PROACTIVE MEASURES TO ENSURE SYSTEM AND ONLINE SERVICES ARE PROTECTED. (via Facebook)
  11. A glitch with Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB)’s online ticketing system caused severe disruptions during the first day of advanced ticket sales on Monday, and measures are already being put in place to avoid a repeat situation. According to The Malaysian Reserve, Chief Executive Officer Datuk Kamarulzaman Zainal said that the main cause of the disruption was the sheer volume of users attempting to buy tickets. This was exacerbated by around 400,000 visitors on the site, with 30,000 transactions being completed on Monday. To better handle the load in the future, the CEO said that KTMB’s internet bandwidth capacity is being doubled from 100Mbps, while they will also be making improvements to the centralised processing unit of the system. But the Kamarulzaman isn’t ruling out the possibility of a more nefarious motive at work here. According to an NST report: Given the lack of any more information regarding this, perhaps the CEO was merely listing out all potential causes of the overload. Regardless, more conclusive news will (hopefully) arrive at the end of the investigation. It also appears that server overload caused by online purchasers caused severe delays for over-the-counter ticket customers as well, with up to 2-hour waits reported. Currently, KTMB is selling 1.2 million tickets for the Electric Train Service (ETS) and inter-city trains, with dates ranging from December 1 to February 29 2020. Despite the issues, 77,000 tickets were still sold on the first day of sales. Source: KTMB to investigate hacking as possible cause of online ticketing glitch (via SoyaCincau)
  12. The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) “are allowed to inspect mobile phones to ensure there are no obscene, offensive, or communication threatening the security of the people and nation,” the Dewan Rakyat was told yesterday. According to a media report from MalaysiaKini, PDRM also have the right to, including “phone bugging” or “tapping” to ensure investigations could be carried out in cases involving security. The article quoted Deputy Home Minister Mohd Azis Jamman who was responding to questions from YB Chan Ming Kai (PH-Alor Star). The Deputy Home Minister also said that “the public should be aware of their rights during a random check, including requesting the identity of the police officer conducting the search for record purposes, in case there is a breach of the standard operating procedures (SOP),”. However, details of the “Police SOP” were not revealed. In 2014, the then Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri said that law enforcers (such as PDRM) in the country are empowered under five different laws to tap (wiretap) any communications done by suspects of criminal investigations. This would include intercepting, confiscating and opening any package sent via post, intercepting any messages sent or received through any means of telecommunication (voice/SMS/Internet); intercept, listen to and record any conversations (phone) over telecommunications networks. The provisions are found under Section 116C of the Criminal Procedure Code, and also under Section 27A of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, Section 11 of the Kidnapping Act 1961, Section 43 of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission Act 2009, and Section 6 of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA). According to Malaysia-Today in a 2013 article, Section 6 (SOSMA) gives the Public Prosecutor the power to authorise any police officer to intercept any postal article, as well as any message or conversation being transmitted by any means at all, if he or she deems it to contain information relating to a “security offence”. It also gives the Public prosecutor the power to similarly require a communications service provider like telecommunications companies (including Maxis, Celcom Axiata, Telekom Malaysia, Digi, U Mobile, Yes4G and others) to intercept and retain a specified communication, if he or she considers that it is likely to contain any information related to “the communication of a security offence.” Additionally, it vests the Public Prosecutor with the power to authorise a police officer (PDRM) to enter any premises to install any device “for the interception and retention of a specified communication or communications.” The Malaysia-Today article said such a scope of what the government can do in terms of intercepting people’s messages is troubling – at least to those who understand its implication. In particular, there are those who are anxious that it can be used to tap on detractors and political opponents. “Due to the vagueness and broadness of the ground for executing interception, this provision is surely open to abuse especially against political dissent,” said Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim at the time. Stressing that the act does not provide any guidelines on the “interception”, he added: “The government can legally ‘bug’ any private communication using any method, including through trespassing to implement the bugging device and there is not stipulated time frame such invasion of privacy is allowed”. “If that is not enough, service providers such as telcos and internet service providers are compelled by Section 6(2)(a),” At the moment, the Malaysian Government has not revealed on the number of people/communication it has tapped/intercept in the past decade. [Update, 20 November 2019]: Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman released a statement saying that the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) can confiscate the cell phones of the suspected and those involved in any ongoing investigation, and not conduct random checks on the public. Source: Malaysia Police (PDRM) can Intercept your Voice Calls/SMS, check your Handphone (via Malaysian Wireless) p/s: Deputy Home Minster later clarified that phone checking can only be done, if individuals are suspected of committing wrongdoings under the following acts (a warrant will be required as part of SOP): Penal Code (Act 574) Section 233 under the Communications and Multimedia Act (Act 588) Sedition Act 1948 (Act 15) Security Offences (Special Measures) 2012 Act (747) Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants 2007 (Act 670) Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (Act 769). The people can report to Standard Compliance Department (Jabatan Integriti dan Pematuhan Standard or JIPS) if the enforcement officers randomly checking phones without a proper warrant and/or SOP. Source: Home Ministry: PDRM can only check phones belonging to suspects and individuals involved in ongoing investigations (via The Star Online) p/s 2: The original title of the news is added with "(update: Home Minister says cannot)" to reflect that although previous news quoted that Police can check (and intercept) the public's devices randomly, but with a new clarification from Home Ministry (stated on p/s part), the police cannot check (and intercept) the devices without a proper warrant that reflects any one (or more) from 6 acts listed.
  13. Datuk Norman Abdul Halim, president and CEO of KRU Group of Companies has a different solution in regards to recent news which Finas calls for law to regulate contents on Netflix and VOD. On Nov 16, Bernama reported that National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) CEO Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri saying that the authorities should consider introducing a law to regulate the contents on digital platforms. The article mentioned that Finas had brought up the issue during a meeting with Film Censorship Board (LPF). Idham was quoted in the article: “The development of our children’s minds is still at risk if we only control the contents of local media platforms while the online contents of international programmes are accessible to all. “This contradicts Finas’ direction in producing contents laden with good values.” However Norman doesn’t fully agree with Finas’ stand. He told The Star: “In the era of global distribution of content, any form of censorship is no longer relevant. “Even censorship by LPF for cinema releases in Malaysia should be reviewed and transformed into rating system whereby viewers are fully aware of what they are about to watch. This applies to Netflix and any other OTT players too. “As long as subscribers are aware on what they are about to watch, they can make informed decisions to consume the content or otherwise. “What Finas can do is to support the local content industry by creating tax incentives to attract investors to increase the budget of Malaysian-made content so that we will be able to compete with the world’s best.” In a report in The Star yesterday (Nov 17), Ahmad Idham clarified that he had only proposed for a collaboration between Finas and National Council of Women's Organisations to organise a forum or seminar to debate the issue in the context to strengthen digital content in the future. He said on Twitter: "I said I took note of complaints raised by parents in the cyber era who asked about uncensored content.” Source: Censorship in any form no longer relevant, says Datuk Norman of KRU (via The Star Online)
  14. A hacker group claimed it has stolen the personal data of thousands of students from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS). In an email to The Star, one of the members sent links to “sample” files containing information such as name, student ID, faculty, address, email and MyKad number. The group, known as BreachDB, has also put up a post on Twitter, offering for sale the personal data of 50,000 students for US$50 (RM210) in bitcoin. The BreachDB crew, a four-person team, said it hacked for fun and profit. A quick check online showed that the names and student IDs match but some of these details are available even on the UMS website.The Star has reached out to the university which is investigating the matter but has yet to release a statement. UMS currently has over 17,000 students and it produces around 5,000 graduates each year. We have also informed the Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Cybersecurity Malaysia, National Cyber Security Agency (Nascsa) and Personal Data Protection Department (JPDP). Last month, Universiti Malaya claimed that no data was leaked after its E-Pay Cashless Payment and Records portal was defaced. However, later on the same day, local tech portal Lowyat.net claimed that personal data of both UM academic and non-academic staff, including payslips and bank account details were leaked on an anonymous file-sharing site. Earlier this year, another hacker claimed to have stolen the personal data of students from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM). According to Lowyat.net the records of 1,164,540 students were compromised from UiTM campuses around the country, including the main one in Shah Alam. Source: Hacker claims to have stolen personal data of Universiti Malaysia Sabah students (via The Star Online) p/s: Here's the English translation for some Malay terms/words used, for understanding. Universiti = University Teknologi = Technology
  15. PLUS Malaysia had recently stopped offering Touch ‘n Go card reloads at all toll exits on the North-South Expressway. While a number of users have complained about the inconvenience, PLUS is confident that the move has helped to reduce congestion. Soon, users can look forward to an even seamless journey with RFID. According to Datuk Azman Ismail, the Managing Director for PLUS Malaysia, the number of motorists entering the PLUS highway with an insufficient balance on their cards has dropped significantly. He shared that in the central region toll plazas, transactions with insufficient card balance was reduced from 5% out of 850,000 transactions down to just 1.3% in two days. In the northern region, the number of insufficient balances has dropped from 9% out of 238,000 transactions to 5%, while in the southern region, it has also dropped from 8% out of 199,000 transactions to 4%. On the recent report about a 7km traffic jam at Skudai Toll Plaza, Azman said that it was an isolated incident. He shared that there was a bit of chaos as some users came out of their vehicles to inquire about card reloads. He urged users to remain in their vehicles for their safety while assuring that PLUS staff will be ready to provide them with assistance if required. PLUS to roll out RFID in 2020 The managing director also said it is also in the long term plan for PLUS to launch RFID at all Open-toll effective 1st Jan 2020. That will be made available using an eWallet and PLUS currently has about 11 toll plazas that use an Open-toll system while Closed-toll system will be done at a later stage. The current plan for the closed toll system is 1st April 2020. In case you’re wondering, Open-toll system highways have toll plazas that charge you for travelling through a specific section of the highway which is common for most highways within the Klang Valley. Meanwhile, for Closed-toll system, the toll fee will be calculated based on the entry and exit points, and you will be charged upon exit. He also added that the experience for RFID is seamless and you won’t need to stop as you pass through the lane. As a result, highway users can expect smoother traffic as to what we are experiencing today. You can check out the video of Azman explaining its RFID plans here. What is interesting to note here is the use of an eWallet. When PLUS RFID was introduced last year, the toll fee is charged directly to your credit or debit card and this eliminates the need of topping up or reload. The RFID project by PLUS was objected by Touch ‘n Go’s holding company, CIMB Group which resulted the highway concessionaire being served a Notice of Arbitration. According to CIMB, the PLUS RFID system is a violation of the Joint Venture Agreement dated 12 May 1998. Eventually, they have settled the dispute out of court. It was recently reported that PLUS is working on allowing highway users to pay via eWallets including Touch ‘n Go. With Touch ‘n Go eWallet becoming a possible payment option, users may no longer need to top up their cards manually. The eWallet supports auto-reload via credit card and this is done automatically without additional surcharge. In addition to RFID, we hope that PLUS highway will also support Touch ‘n Go PayDirect. This will allow users to pay toll charges from their eWallet when they use their physical Touch ‘n Go card. Source: PLUS Expressway to support RFID with eWallet from 1st Jan 2020 for open-tolls (via SoyaCincau)
  16. By Eileen Yu for By The Way Singapore evokes online falsehoods law while Malaysia makes arrests in their attempts to stem the spread of inaccurate reports concerning the coronavirus. Both Singapore and Malaysia have moved to clamp down on inaccurate online reports about the coronavirus, with the latter making several arrests of individuals for posting and sharing such content. Singapore also vows to take "swift action" against the spread of such reports. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) on Wednesday said it, alongside the Royal Malaysia Police, had conducted four separate raids that resulted the arrest of four individuals suspected of posting and distributing false reports about the outbreak, which had affected several nations in the region. Three of the detainees allegedly had uploaded inaccurate information on Facebook, while the fourth had shared such content on Twitter. MCMC added that smartphones, SIM cards, and memory cards believed to have been used to upload the content were confiscated during teh raids. Detained under Malaysia's Communications and Multimedia Act, Section 233, for sharing offensive and menacing content, the four individuals--if found guilty--would face fines of up to RM50,000 ($12,247) or imprisonment of up to a year, or both. They also would be fined an additional RM1,000 ($244.93) for each day the alleged falsehood remained online after their conviction. The arrests had followed another on Tuesday when an individual in Selangor was detained for allegedly posting falsehoods about the virus on Facebook. The MCMC said it would continue to step up enforcement efforts, alongside the police, to "control the spreading of false news". Meanwhile, Malaysia's southern neighbour evoked its Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) twice this week over false statements made about the coronavirus. Singapore's Minister for Health on Monday instructed the POFMA Office to issue a General Correction Direction to SPH Magazines, which operates the HardwareZone forum, over a post on the forum that falsely claimed a man had died in Singapore from the virus. A General Correction Direction is issued to internet intermediaries, telecom and broadcast licensees, and permit holders of the country's Newspaper Printing Presses Act, requiring them to publish, broadcast, or transmit a correction notice to their users in Singapore. Under the directive, HardwareZone was required to carry a correction notice to anyone in Singapore who accessed its online forum. A day later on Tuesday, the Minister for Transport instructed the POFMA Office to issue a Targeted Correction Direction to Facebook over falsehoods made by two users of the social media site, who falsely stated Woodlands MRT station was closed for disinfection due to a suspected case of the coronavirus. Such directives were issued to internet intermediaries which services were used to communicate falsehoods that affected public interest. They required these sites to communicate correction notices, by means of its service, to all users in Singapore who accessed the falsehood through its service. In this instance, Facebook had to carry a correction notice on the two posts that contained the falsehood, according to the POFMA Office. Commenting on the POFMA directive involving HardwareZone, Singapore's Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran noted that more than 4,600 unique visitors had read the false report before it was taken down. "We must take swift action against such falsehoods [or] there is a grave risk they will spread and cause panic among our citizens," Iswaran said. "And that is why we have POFMA and we will not hesitate to use the powers under the law to take action against any party that spreads such falsehoods." He added that the objective was to ensure Singaporeans were provided with the facts to enable them to safely browse online platforms and distinguish truth from falsehoods. The Singapore government last week ordered local access to a website, operated by Malaysia-based Lawyers for Liberty, blocked for failing to comply with a correction directive issued under the POFMA. In response, the human rights group would not comply with the correction notice order and, instead, filed a motion in Kuala Lumpur's High Court against Singapore's Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam. The lawsuit claimed the Singapore government was attempting to "encroach upon" freedom of speech in Malaysia. Under the POFMA, offenders faced up to three or five years' imprisonment, a SG$30,000 or SG$50,000 fine, or both. If bots or inauthentic accounts were used to amplify falsehoods, the potential penalties that could be applied would be doubled. Offending internet intermediaries, meanwhile, could face up to SG$1 million fine, and also would receive a daily SG$100,000 fine for each day they continued to breach the Act after conviction. Source
  17. PUTRAJAYA: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has refuted claims that the e-Tunai initiative is an attempt by the government to obtain the public's personal information. He said the government does not have to go through such lengths for the information as all can be obtained from one's identity card. "I don't see how this can be construed as an effort to get personal information. If there is any benefit from this exercise, it's that we know about consumption patterns. "The government doesn't need the information because we are not involved in business or trading. It is just us wanting to do something for the people," he said when asked to comment on such claims. The claims for the e-Tunai Rakyat initiative kicked off on Wednesday (Jan 15) with Touch ‘n Go eWallet, Boost and GrabPay selected to be the service providers for the project. The initiative will run for two months until March 14, after which any unspent money will be forfeited. Malaysians aged 18 and above and who earn less than RM100,000 annually will be eligible to receive RM30 each through any of the participating e-wallets. The RM30 can be used to purchase goods and services available through the respective e-wallet of their choice. To get the money, they will first have to register and the claims process will be subjected to eligibility checks with the National Registration Department and the Inland Revenue Board (IRB). As of 10pm on Thursday (Jan 16), some 784,000 applications were received with 672,000 approved and RM18.8mil disbursed. Source: LGE dismisses claims e-Tunai initiative an attempt to collect private data (via TheStar Online)
  18. MyCERT security alert points the finger at APT40, a Chinese state-sponsored hacking crew. Image:Azlan Baharudin A Chinese state-sponsored hacking group has been targeting Malaysian government officials, computer experts with the Malaysian government said on Wednesday. The purpose of the attacks has been to infect computers of government officials with malware and then steal confidential documents from government networks, Malaysia's Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT) said in a security advisory. Attacks pattern The attacks against government officials consist of highly-targeted spear-phishing emails. MyCERT says the attackers have been pretending to be a journalist, an individual from a trade publication, and representatives for a military organization and non-governmental organization (NGO). The emails contained links to documents stored on Google Drive. The documents, when opened, asked recipients to enable macros. The malicious macros used two Office exploits (CVE-2014-6352 and CVE-2017-0199) to execute malicious code on the victim's system to download and install malware. "The group's operations tend to target government-sponsored projects and take large amounts of information specific to such projects, including proposals, meetings, financial data, shipping information, plans and drawings, and raw data," MyCERT said. MyCERT officials didn't say if government officials were compromised in these attacks. Indirectly pointing the finger at China However, while MyCERT didn't accuse the Chinese government directly, their advisory included links to research from the cyber-security community. The write-ups [1, 2, 3, 4] describe the hacking tools and modus operandi of a cyber-espionage group known as APT40, known for its hacking activity alligned with the interests of the Chinese government. In an exposé published last month, an online group of cyber-security analysts calling themselves Intrusion Truth have claimed that APT40 are contractors hired and operating under the supervision of the Hainan department of the Chinese Ministry of State Security. According to FireEye, besides Malaysia, the group has also targeted Cambodia, Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, Philippines, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The group has been primarily focused on "engineering, transportation, and the defense industry, especially where these sectors overlap with maritime technologies." The APT40 group is also tracked by other security firms, but under other names, such as TEMP.Periscope, TEMP.Jumper, Leviathan, BRONZE MOHAWK, GADOLINIUM. The group has been active since 2014, according to multiple reports. Source
  19. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has issued a warning to all Android TV box suppliers not to misuse the SIRIM and MCMC labels. It emphasised that certification for such media boxes does not cover applications that permit illegal streaming of copyright content. The certification issued by SIRIM as well as the MCMC label is to ensure that the devices’ WiFi and Bluetooth module complies with the technical standards that have been enforced by the MCMC. According to the MCMC, they will take stern action against suppliers and sellers that misuse the certification labels by giving a false impression that Android TV boxes with pre-loaded illegal streaming apps are being endorsed by SIRIM and the MCMC. It added that they won’t compromise if any parties were found to misuse the MCMC label. The commission will exercise its right to revoke the certification for Android TV boxes and they will recall all boxes that have been sold and circulated in the market if a violation is found. The general public is urged to be wary of sales of Android TV boxes that come with preloaded apps which allow illegal streaming as it is an offence under the law. You can also check if a device is certified by using the “Check Your Label” app or via SIRIM’s portal. Between October 2018 to January 2020, the MCMC has issued a total of RM67,000 worth of compounds for four violations for the purchase and sales of uncertified Android TV boxes. There are also 7 cases that have been charged in court with total fines amounting to RM194,500 for the same period. Source: MCMC warns certified Android TV box suppliers not offer illegal streaming (via SoyaCincau)
  20. PETALING JAYA: Barbershops and hair salons have yet to be given the green light to operate as there is a risk of Covid-19 transmission between workers and customers, says Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. The Health director-general said such cases had been reported in Japan and the United States. Dr Hisham said the Health Ministry would review the Covid-19 situation within two weeks of before deciding on whether more sectors, such as barbershops, would be allowed to operate. “We will monitor in the following two weeks if there is an increase in the number of cases or otherwise. "Before we open more sectors, we will monitor and give our advice, ” he said during his daily press conference on Thursday (May 7). On April 10, the government announced that it would allow hair salons and barbershops to operate during the MCO, but then rescinded the decision the next day due to criticism. Industry players were also against the decision due to health concerns. Dr Hisham also said Malaysia had yet to come up with an “exit strategy”, although the government was adhering to the six criteria set by the World Health Organisation to end lockdowns. He said what was important was identifying new clusters in the country, such as the one involving security guards at a mall in Cheras where 10 new cases were detected. Malaysia reported 39 more Covid-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 6,467. The death toll remains at 107. Source: Covid-19: No green light yet for barbershops, salons, says Health DG (via TheStar Online)
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