Malaysian telecommunications firms on Tuesday urged people to avoid taking intimate photographs with cell phones after a string of incidents involving snapshots with nude women were leaked.
Among those embarrassed was a prominent opposition state lawmaker who resigned last month.
Malaysia's main communications industry regulatory grouping placed advertisements in leading newspapers urging people to "know where to draw the line" when sharing images over the phone. "Never put yourself in a compromising position. You may regret it sooner, rather than later," read the Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia's advertisement, which depicted a phone screen with a photo of a woman whose shoulders were exposed. Executive director Mustafa Fazil Mohamad Abdan said the advertisements were part of a public awareness campaign "to encourage people not to rely solely on the government or the police, but to protect themselves from potential problems." Mustafa Fazil declined to comment on specific incidents, but Malaysian media have highlighted an increasing number of cases in which nude photographs of women were spread on the Internet or through cell phone messages, often by former boyfriends. Last month, Elizabeth Wong, a well-known opposition state legislator, resigned after an indecent cell phone photo of her sleeping at home surfaced online. She indicated it had been taken without her knowledge and that it might be part of a government plot to discredit the opposition.
On Monday, police announced the arrest of a man who allegedly forced a nurse into a sexual relationship for more than a year by threatening to distribute pictures of her in the nude. The picture was allegedly taken in 2007 when the couple were on holiday together.
Another man was arrested last month after nude photographs of another nurse were circulated on the Internet. The man was released on bail.