According to Malaysiakini, sugar dating platform Sugarbook has been blocked in Malaysia since yesterday (15 Feb). A check found that the app could not be accessed. It is understood that the app violates Section 233 of the Multimedia and Communications Act 1998 for improper use of network facilities or network service.
In a statement, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said it would monitor and investigate the Sugarbook app too. MCMC noted that it would take action against users and platform owners should there be any violation of the law.
It added that the police would take action if there are elements of prostitution involved. MCMC then advised Internet users to exercise caution in providing their personal information when using social media and online applications, especially dating platforms.
Today (16 Feb), Sugarbook shockingly responded by launching an alternative web address that had the word, ‘Sucre’ which is French for sugar.
The alternative website allows access to the service without additional steps to circumvent the MCMC ban.
Sugarbook describes itself as a platform where “romance meets finance”, which has been interpreted as a euphemism for trading sex for payment and is among the reasons why authorities here have warned against it. The company insists that it was not involved in prostitution and that any transactions between its users are entirely voluntary.
ICYMI, Sugarbook hit controversy recently over promotional material that implied that many of its “sugar babies”, the young women who exchange their companionship in return for financial compensation, were from local universities.