Sarawak premier says sometimes he declines wefies fearing misuse of photographs by scammers

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, Sept 2 — Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today admitted that sometimes he is in a dilemma either to accept or turn down requests from people to have selfies and wefies with him, as such photographs could be misused for scamming.

“If I don’t comply with the request, they will say that I am proud and so they will say that they will not vote for me in the election,” he said at the opening of the state series of the National Anti-Scam Tour here.

“If I wefie with them, I fear that they will crop the photos. And some other people will say that I have another woman in my life.

“So they would say after becoming the premier, I want to have another one more woman,” Abang Johari said, drawing laughter from the crowd attending the function held at the Borneo Cultures Museum.

He said what he fears is that the photographs will be scanned and posted on social media and people will make all sorts of slanderous comments.

“This can lead to problems, like breaking up families. This is the risk that we have to face,” he added.

However, he said overall the state needs technology because artificial intelligence is very important.

“That is why the state government will continue the digital policy irrespective of the negative impact, but the state must educate the people on the positive sides of technology,” he added.

Abang Johari said according to the statistics provided by the state Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID), a total of 2,461 cases involving criminal breach of trusts, forgeries and online frauds have been reported in the state.

He said the total cases involved a loss of RM63.7 million, with RM2.5 million from 403 cases of online scams reported.

He added a total of 205 cases of scams on online job offers with a loss of RM2.9 million was among the 2,461 cases.

He added that scamming through false identification recorded 183 cases, involving a sum of RM4.2 million.

The premier said the awareness programme among consumers should be a continuous process and it requires all parties to act fast in line with the development of technology products and automation systems.

He said the state government is making efforts to build internet infrastructures in the state, despite cybersecurity risks.