SIBU: Local authorities in Sarawak have stopped issuing cyber cafe licences while keeping the existing operators under tight surveillance to keep out unhealthy activities.
Ministry of Local Government and Community Development permanent secretary Datu Dr Penguang Manggil said the government decided some time ago to freeze the issuance of cyber cafe licences.
“In Sarawak, all local authorities have been directed to monitor the operations of the existing cyber cafes to ensure that they comply strictly with the terms and conditions of the licence,” Dr Penguang told The Borneo Post.
He was asked if local authorities would be required to impose stricter conditions for issuance of cyber cafe licences to prevent abuses, such as Internet gambling.
Sibu Municipal Council deputy chairman Daniel Ngieng when contacted yesterday said the council would not hesitate to revoke the licence if operators flouted the law.
He said the council had issued 39 cyber cafe licences, adding that the state government had frozen this kind of licence for many years.
“Unless this policy comes up for review, SMC shall stick to it. Our main concern is illegal cyber casino, which comes under illegal gambling.
“Any licensed cyber cafe found allowing such activity will have its licence revoked. Thus far, all 39 operators are law abiding,” Ngieng said.
Interviewed earlier, the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye urged local authorities to conduct spot checks on cyber cafes.
This, Lee opined, would help prevent them from using their premises for the illegal activity, including keeping out
under-age children or children in school uniform without parental guidance.