Business community says no to Facebook closure

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Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Abang Openg

KUCHING: The business community in Sarawak do not agree with any plans by the federal government to ban Facebook.

Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Abang Openg said Facebook is a very useful social media tool for entrepreneurs to do networking and promote their products and services.

“If indeed the plan goes ahead, it will be like cutting off a communication network for the business community.

“We do not deny the government has good and positive intentions to come up with such plan, but it will definitely leave a negative impact on businesses,” he said when contacted yesterday.

He suggested the government to study other ways to control abuses in the social media instead of banning Facebook.

“We do hope the government will look into other ways because we believe there is solution to this problem and closing down Facebook should be the last resort,” he said.

Meanwhile, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak deputy vice chancellor (student affairs and alumni), Professor Mohd Fadzil Abdul Rahman said banning Facebook is not a solution to the problem.

He pointed out what is important now is to create awareness and educate the public on proper Internet etiquette.

“Social media applications are very important these days not just in business, but also to connect people with their friends and relatives, forge friendships, exchange of information and other useful means.

“Of course, some  people abuse it which is not healthy to the society,” he said.

An automobile sales advisor Asroy Askor said Facebook is a very important platform for him to promote the business.

“As a salesman, I use Facebook to reach out to potential customers. But if it is closed down, it will have a negative impact,” he said.

Nurulain Marikan, 24, said she has been using Facebook to promote her online business.

“I have been doing online business for two years now, and through Facebook, I connect with people who are now my loyal customers.

“Therefore, I do not find it a good idea for the government to ban Facebook because it will affect online businesses,” she said.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek was quoted in Bernama yesterday as saying

the government will study whether it is necessary to bar access to Facebook following cases of abuse involving the social media application.

However, he also said it would be quite impossible to shut down access to Facebook as there are 15 million local accounts compared to only 2,000 reports of abuse received.