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Only 10 SIM cards per person, says MCMC

Mobile phone users are not allowed to buy or have more than 10 SIM cards from one telecommunication company effective Tuesday.

Dealers registering details of prepaid card buyers must also transmit the information directly to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) via a GPRS MyKad reader.

Commission chairman Datuk Dr Halim Shafie said these measures were necessary to prevent abuses and enhance the security of data provided by consumers.

"At present, many of the dealers input the details of buyers of prepaid cards manually either via forms or online. This information is then stored with the dealers before it is eventually sent to us.

"This allows more opportunities for the sensitive information of consumers to be compromised. Using the reader, which costs some RM2,000 apiece, the information will be channelled directly to us," he said, adding that guidelines on the matter had already been issued to both telecommunications companies and dealers earlier this year.

Dr Halim was speaking to reporters Tuesday at a conference on the local communications and multimedia market, which was launched by Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Joseph Salang here.

He said the guidelines would also require service providers to keep better records of their dealers as well as to ensure registration of prepaid card buyers was done properly.

Failure to adhere to the guidelines can result in the telecommunications firms penalising their dealers, including suspending or even terminating their contract.

Asked on the grace period for the dealers to obtain the GPRS MyKad reader, Dr Halim said the MCMC would continue to monitor the progress of the implementation of the guidelines.

"The reader should be regarded as a tool of trade by the dealers for their businesses," he said.

On the restriction for sale of not more than 10 SIM cards to a customer, he said the MCMC had traced one man who had more than 400 SIM cards.

"When we asked him, he said people have been registering as mobile phone users under his name so this was clearly a case of fraud. To prevent such abuse in the future, we will restrict the sale for the purpose of security. Why does a person need 400 SIM cards in the first place?

"In this case, we compounded the service provider," he said.

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