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A guide to the dynamic economics, politics, and culture of the world's most populous region.

"Massive crackdown" on Facebook-savvy street gangs

Malaysian authorities say knife-wielding bike gangs soliciting youth online
Malaysia facebook 2011 05 11Enlarge
A man browses Facebook on his mobile phone in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Malaysia's interior minister takes Facebook "gangsterism" seriously and vowed authorities will attack it just like "terrorism, trans-national crime, drug trafficking and money laundering."

What do Malaysian Facebook gangsters do? According to various news outlets, they set up knife fights in fields, race motorbikes and give booze to minors.

Both politicians and Malaysia's The Star say the country is beset with gangs luring in teenagers via Facebook. "It is said that students from most major towns in the country are being targeted by the gangs," the paper reports.

Gangs with names such as "Satu Hati" (which means "One Heart") told one teenager membership would make him "privy to the activities organized by the gang including illegal motorcycle races," according to The Star.

The membership fee? Just 13 Malaysian ringgit, which equals only about $4.30. (Hooligans, perhaps, but you can't accuse "One Heart" of extorting its new members.)

Malaysia's interior minister has announced he will summon the police and the nation's IT ministry to tackle this epidemic.