At the time it was created, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission's key role was the regulation of the communications and multimedia industry based on the powers provided for in the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act (1998) and the Communications and Multimedia Act (1998). Pursuant to these Acts its role is also to implement and promote the Government's national policy objectives for the communications and multimedia sector. The Commission is also charged with overseeing the new regulatory framework for the converging telecommunications and broadcasting industries and on-line activities. In 2001, the Commission’s role was expanded to include overseeing the postal service sector pursuant to the Postal Services Act 1991 and licensing of the Certification Authorities under the Digital Signature Act 1997.
The Commission's primary functions include the following:
- Advise the Minister on all matters concerning the national policy objectives for communications and multimedia activities;
- Implement and enforce the provisions of the communications and multimedia law;
- Regulate all matters relating to communications and multimedia activities not provided for in the communications and multimedia law;
- Consider and recommend reforms to the communications and multimedia law;
- Supervise and monitor communications and multimedia activities;
- Encourage and promote the development of the communications and multimedia industry;
- Encourage and promote self-regulation in the communications and multimedia industry;
- Promote and maintain the integrity of all persons licenced or otherwise authorised under the communications and multimedia industry;
- Render assistance in any form to, and to promote coorperation and coordination amongst, persons engaged in communications and multimedia activities.
- Carry out any function under any written law as may be prescribed by the Minister by notification published in the Gazette.
Complimenting roles include:
- Economic regulation
Includes the promotion of competition and prohibition of anti-competitive conduct, as well as the development and enforcement of access codes and standards. It also includes licensing, enforcement of license conditions for network and application providers and ensuring compliance to rules and performance/service quality.
- Technical regulation
Includes efficient frequency spectrum assignment, the development and enforcement of technical codes and standards, and the administration of numbering and electronic addressing.
- Consumer protection
Emphasises the empowerment of consumers while at the same time ensures adequate protection measures in areas such as dispute resolution, affordability and availability of services.
- Social regulation
Includes the twin areas of content development as well as content regulation; the latter includes the prohibition of offensive content as well as public education on content-related issues
- Postal regulation
Includes safeguard the provision postal service and promote competition in the postal and courier market.
- Certification Authority regulation
Includes control of the Certification Authority's operation through licensing and audit mechanism to ensure its trustworthiness.