PETALING JAYA: TPETALING JAYA: Telecommunications companies have been issued 50 compounds totalling about RM2.3 million so far this year for registering prepaid SIM cards with false identities. Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) network security, enforcement and advocacy head Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin said almost 90% more compounds were issued this year, compared with 2014. He said 25 compounds totalling RM1.11 million were issued in March and September, while 25 compounds with fines amounting to RM1.18 million were issued this month. “MCMC will come down hard on telecommunications companies found involved in registering pre-paid SIM cards with false identities because it involves the issue of national security,” Zulkarnain said. Figures released by MCMC yesterday showed that nine telecommunications companies were issued compounds this month with Tune Talk Sdn Bhd being fined RM350,000 followed by Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (RM300,000) while other companies including several major industry players, were fined between RM20,000 and RM130,000. MCMC said in March it had issued compounds to: » Celcom Axiata Bhd (RM200,000), » Maxis Mobile Services Sdn Bhd (RM150,000), » U Mobile Sdn Bhd (RM100,000), » Tune Talk Sdn Bhd (RM70,000), and » XOX Com Sdn Bhd (RM10,000). MCMC said national security and consumer safety are a top priority, adding that since 2006, investigations into criminal activities have become increasingly difficult due to falsely registered prepaid lines used by criminals. Zulkarnain urged all telecommunications companies to ensure their agents strictly follow all guidelines set by the MCMC. He said telcos should carry out their operations in a responsible manner and protect the interest of consumers while paying heed to national security concerns. In an immediate response, Tune Talk chief executive officer Jason Lo told theSun the company felt it had been made a “scapegoat” after learning that it was fined RM350,000 by the MCMC. “How can this possibly be so? We are extremely disappointed with MCMC. We are appealing to MCMC to reconsider the results of their investigations and explain to us (telcos) the methodology used to arrive at this decision,” Lo said. “It was a huge shock when we found out recently. We hope for a fair investigation to be done before such penalties are meted out as many other telcos were affected by this too,” he added.