Expanding communication infrastructure and cheaper internet charges is the main focus of Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister, to ensure the democratization of communication among people.
He said preliminary discussions finds internet charge reduction can be done that will benefit the various parties, including small businesses and for that, a study of comparison with other countries charges will be made.
“Broadband is no longer a luxury but a basic need. It has become a fundamental needs today in Malaysia. Previously roads, electricity and water, now phone and broadband coverage. Greater access will help businesses in their operations and this will have an impact on the economy,” said Ahmad Shabery.
The minister says, a law to protect people came to attention which includes the problems of call disconnected or ‘drop call’ and bandwidth charges if services were cut off for several days. He is aware of the new role that his ministry must play instead of just monitoring the mainstream media, and amongst them was to ensure that the public are “protected” from the various telco service providers.
“If a member of the public is late in paying their handphone or their broadband bills, the companies providing the service will take punitive actions against them. What happens when the public complains about drop calls or when the broadband service gets interrupted for a few days or a few hours? Who will take action against the companies? Will they stop charging for their mistakes in that moment in time? This is something that I plan to look into. The ministry must protect the interest of the people instead of the facilitators,” said Ahmad Shabery.
He added that expanding broadband penetration, which is currently about 60%, will also be a priority.
Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek told reporters yesterday that the ministry hoped to seek a meeting with service providers soon to discuss the matter so that people from all strata of society would be able to enjoy the best services.