New registration guidelines for mobile prepaid numbers

The new guidelines will go into force by Jan 1 next year


The implementation of new guidelines in the registration of prepaid public cellular services will help prevent more cases of the misuse of prepaid subscriber identification module (SIM) cards, said Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia (CFM).

CFM chairman Megat Ishak Maamunor Rashid said the guideline will help prevent prepaid SIM cards to be used in criminal purposes.

“Many cases regarding the misuse of prepaid SIM cards had been reported in the news early this year and CFM had also received complaints with similar cases. Through the implementation of this new prepaid mobile service registration guideline, it protects consumers’ data from being misused for criminal purposes, as well as providing a better experience to consumers when using prepaid services,” Megat Ishak said in a statement last week.

The new guidelines that will go into force by Jan 1 next year will ensure all service providers and consumers comply with the new legislations.

It will, among others, require a Malaysian citizen to provide a permanent address as per identification document and mailing address, as well as identification number as per identification document before purchasing the new number.

For non-citizens, they will have to provide full name as per passport, passport number, passport issuing country, company name and address as provided in work permit document for workers, and student identification document with university address for students.

Meanwhile, CFM also said that the number of complaints to the group have increased year-on-year.

“The total number of complaints received in 2016 showed an increase of 3.14% to 7,556 complaints compared to 2015 that only recorded 7,326 complaints. CFM has managed to solve 77% of complaints received in 2016 within 15 business days, and 72% of people said it took more than 15 days” Megat Ishak said.

According to a statement, CFM said the number of complaints received as of the third quarter in 2017 is 3,518 complaints, with the highest number of complaints reported by consumers being billing and charging records.

A recent report quoted that there were 2,914 complaints for billing and charging, while 2,506 of the complaints were for quality of service and the remaining 404 complaints on no coverage.

According to Megat Ishak, the number of complaints lodged to them shows the growing awareness for consumers to lodge reports to the relevant authorities instead of posting it on social media.

As an industry forum, CFM is also responsible for the development and implementation of the General Consumer Code of Practice for the Communications and Multimedia Industry in Malaysia, where it promotes best practices for service providers and to protect consumers.