Malaysia’s plan to pursue legal action against Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, may be reconsidered following “positive” engagement with the firm in addressing harmful content on the social media platform, according to Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil. Last month, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) threatened legal action against Meta for its alleged failure to act against “undesirable” content related to various sensitive topics.

However, Meta has now committed to collaborating with Malaysian authorities, including the regulator and police, to address such posts on its platforms. As a result, the government is currently evaluating alternative measures, such as imposing fines on social media platforms for failing to tackle harmful content.

Facebook, Malaysia’s largest social media platform, with approximately 60% of the country’s 33 million people registered on the platform, has drawn increased government scrutiny. Nonetheless, Fahmi dismissed concerns over freedom of expression being curtailed and denied ordering the recent takedowns of opposition-linked news sites and social media accounts, attributing them to potential violations of social media guidelines based on user complaints.

Malaysia’s stance on race, religion, and royalty-related content remains sensitive due to the country’s diverse ethnic makeup, with the majority of Muslim Malays coexisting with significant Chinese and Indian minorities. The country also has laws prohibiting insults against its ceremonial sultans, with an opposition figure recently facing sedition charges for an alleged insult against them.

Separately, Fahmi announced that major telecommunications companies in Malaysia will establish the country’s second 5G network as part of the government’s plan to break the monopoly held by the state-owned 5G agency Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB). These firms have agreed to invest in DNB and utilise its network until 80% of populated areas are covered, after which they will form the second 5G entity.