MCMC: Sugarbook under police investigation

By HARIZAH KAMEL

INTERNET applications that lead to immoral activities like wild parties, illicit relationships and online prostitution services are being investigated by the police under the Penal Code.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) expressed its concern about Sugarbook’s recent marketing gimmick which claimed that more Malaysian women, especially university students, are offering themselves as “sugar babies” on the app site.

“Allegations such as those found in the marketing gimmick need to be investigated for verification as users’ profiles can be manipulated at will for different purposes including deceiving victims.

“Apart from Sugarbook, there are various other apps that offer dating services or online romance. Users should be aware they could be easily deceived and are at risk of cybercrime if they are not careful,” it said in a statement yesterday.

It added that love scams will increase the risk of malware and spyware, personal information leakage and sexual harassment.

In this regard, MCMC advised users to always be careful in pro- viding personal information when browsing social media or online apps, especially to connect with strangers.

MCMC said together with the police, it will continue to monitor and investigate Sugarbook and take action against users and owners of the platform if they are found to be committing activities that violate the country’s laws.

“If there is an element of prostitution, further action will be taken by the police.

“Parents and guardians are advised to constantly monitor the online behaviour of their children and be sensitive to lifestyle changes that may raise doubts,” it added.

The Malaysian Reserve had earlier reported that Malaysia is home to 42,500 “sugar daddies” according to SeekingArrangement, the world’s largest Sugar Dating site.

It said countries with high-tertiary education penetration rates were proven to be more susceptible to this trend, where many students are burdened with loans.

Malaysia recorded an outstanding debt of RM39 billion in student loans as of 2018.

SeekingArrangement CEO Brandon Wade said the gap between Asia’s wealthy and poor has swelled alarmingly in the last two decades, spurring more women to seek older men for various factors.

“A platform like Seeking- Arrangement helps connect young and empowered women with wealthier, more affluent men who not only bolster their financial woes but act as a mentor or gateway in catapulting a promising future for these sugar babies,” he said in a statement.

He also remarked that Asian economies which are rapidly growing have attracted many foreign investors to set up businesses and lives in the region.

“It is really no shocker why Asia seems to be a hotbed for sugar dating especially among the urban demographics,” Wade added.

Read our earlier report

MCMC: Sugarbook under police investigation