Malaysian Officials Discuss Banning SMS Contests

Some interesting news out of Malaysia today, where government officials discussed the possibility of banning contests over SMS due to the fact they contain “elements of cheating.”

More specifically, the Malaysian government sees SMS contests as a form of gambling where “people end up as losers and the organizers rake in huge profits,” stated Deputy Minister T. Murugiah during a meeting today with so-called SMS contest victims.  “I have received many complaints from many people who have fallen prey to these scams.”

Even winners have filed complaints with the Malaysian Public Complaint Bureau, headed up by Murugiah.  “Winners of SMS contests are short changed,” he added.  “They’re duped into paying more than the value of the prizes they won in the first place.”

Obviously there’s more to the story.  The article released was done so by the country’s own “Bernama,” which is the governments internally-ran “national news agency.”  If such scammy and obviously anti-regulatory contests were being permitted in the first place, it’s no wonder consumers are filing complaints.  Looks to me like a lack of regulation and oversight is to blame for allowing something like this to happen in the fist place.