With the birth and explosion of a new convergent communications and multimedia industry in Malaysia in the mid 1990s, a new paradigm requiring new approaches in media policies and regulation became a necessity. In line with this, Malaysia adopted a convergence regulation model with regards to the communications and multimedia industry in November 1998. Two legislations were enacted to give effect to the new regulatory model: the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 which set out a new regulatory licensing framework for the industry and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act (1998) which created a new regulatory body, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.
The Communications and Multimedia Act (1998) came into enacted on 1 April 1999, while with it, the Telecommunications Act (1950) and the Broadcasting Act (1988) were repealed.
With it's creation, the Commission set forth 10 national policy objectives to:
- Establish Malaysia as a major global centre and hub for communications and multimedia information and content services
- Promote a civil society where information-based services will provide the basis of continuing enhancements to quality of work and life
- Grow and nurture local information resources and cultural representation that facilitate the national identity and global diversity;
- Regulate for the long-term benefit of the end user;
- Promote a high level of consumer confidence in service delivery from the industry;
- Ensure an equitable provision of affordable services over ubiquitous national infrastructure;
- Create a robust applications environment for end users;
- Facilitate the efficient allocation of resources such as skilled labour, capital, knowledge and national assets;
- Promote the development of capabilities and skills within Malaysia's convergence industries; and
- Ensure information security and network reliability and integrity
The 10 national policy objectives are the regulatory basis of SKMM's regulatory framework which include, economic regulation, technical regulation, consumer protection and social regulation. On 1 November 2001, MCMC also took over the regulatory functions of the Postal Services Act 1991 and the Digital Signature Act 1997.