The Malaysian government is still undecided whether to legalize cryptocurrencies in the country.
According to a report by English-language local media New Straits Times on Jan. 12, the Malaysian Federal Territories Minister, Khalid Abdul Samad, while fielding questions on whether digital currencies are currently legal or illegal, replied saying: “At the moment, the answer is neither legal nor illegal as the situation is still unclear.”
Mr. Samad noted that while he was involved in the launch of Harapan Coin (HRP) — a proposed political cryptocurrency — he isn’t the finance minister and therefore the matter does not fall under his jurisdiction.
It would be recalled that in December 2018, Malaysia’s finance regulator and central bank issued a joint statement, confirming they were setting up regulation on cryptocurrency and initial coin offering (ICO) assets.
Samad was also reported to have previously proposed to Bank Negara Malaysia and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to use the digital currency, Harapan Coin, for government transactions.
However, according to a report by Cointelegraph in November, 2018, a Malaysian Member of Parliament had urged the government to implement proper cryptocurrency regulations before undertaking the Harapan Coin cryptocurrency project. Cointelegraph further explained in December, 2018 through a dedicated analysis that as much as 30 percent of the funds raised for the project were destined for the system’s administrators — who remain effectively anonymous.