Registration of prepaid public cellular services to be fully enforced from Jan 2018

PUTRAJAYA: Manual registration of prepaid SIM cards users will be fully phased out by Jan 1 next year when the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) implements new guidelines for such registration.

In a move aimed at reducing identity theft and the misuse of prepaid SIM cards for crime and terrorism, MCMC will enforce the following requirements:

» Registration by service providers must be done using secure automated platforms such as optical character recognition (OCR), biometrics or MyKad reader.

» Malaysians registering for prepaid services must provide their identification card and mailing address.

» A person can only register up to five SIM cards per service provider. Previously, each user could register up to 10 lines.

» Foreigners working here need to provide passport details, work permit and address, while students need to provide student cards.

» SIM cards for tourists will expire after three months;

» All users must provide original utility bill or proof of stay for verification purposes;

» Prepaid service will be immediately terminated if information provided is found to be false; and

» Service providers who do not comply will be in breach of licence conditions and can be fined or prosecuted by MCMC.

Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia (CFM) outgoing chairman Megat Ishak Maamunor Rashid said CFM fully supports the enforcement of the new guidelines.

"Identity theft is a big problem. If I steal your data and I'm a SIM card seller with bad intentions, I can use your data to apply for loans or other things.

"That's the danger of identity theft. The new guideline can help to avoid misuse of data," Megat told reporters at CFM's AGM yesterday.

There is also a plan to implement prepaid reloads with ID mechanism, but a system has yet to be worked out.

MCMC and industry stakeholders are currently in talks to identify the best method to implement reloads with ID.

Currently, consumers do not need to provide their identification number for prepaid reloads.