Malaysia

Prostitution at Malaysian High Commission? ‘Bad data’, says Google

By Melissa Chi

January 13, 2012

A Foreign Ministry spokesman says they have been trying to get the listing changed, but without much success.A Foreign Ministry spokesman says they have been trying to get the listing changed, but without much success.KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — Passport applications, application forms and... prostitution: Those are the three things Google appears to suggest visitors are most likely to find at the Malaysian High Commission in London.

People searching for this particular High Commission via the internet search giant’s portal are helpfully presented with a map of its location, which eagle-eyed users have noted includes the word “prostitution” to describe services available there.

According to Google Malaysia’s head of communications and public affairs, Zeffri Yusof, the faux pas is likely “a case of bad data”.

Zeffri explained that Google is investigating how the word had ended up there, but until then, the firm cannot change the information as that would be considered an act of censorship.

He later told The Malaysian Insider that Google provided avenues for owners of the locations listed by search engine to both check and verify that information presented is accurate.

“In this case ... click ‘Business Owner?’ on the top right, and the Malaysian High Commission in UK can claim the listing and make sure what’s written there is OK (goes for any business or organisation),” he said in a text message.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman told The Malaysian Insider he received reports regarding the misleading information and had filed a complaint with Google about four to five days ago.

“We are aware of it. It is created by an individual and so if the individual does not want to amend the information, there is nothing we can do,” he said.

He emphasised that the information has not related to the ministry’s official page. He said he is trying to contact officials from Google to rectify the problem.

The association appears to have been culled from a blog called “Simple Life”, under its “more reviews” section.

The latest entry, dated 2008, was about the story of Malaysian child prodigy Sufiah Yusof who was found to be a prostitute, after cutting ties with her family.

“A gifted Malaysian student who won a place at Oxford at the age of 13 has been exposed as a US$260-an-hour (£130) prostitute, British press reports said, in a tragic tale of the prominent UK-based Muslim family’s fall from grace,” read the article posted in the blog.