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Some states, local authorities delaying telecommunication tower projects, says Rais

KUALA LUMPUR: The Information Communication and Culture Ministry will expose the states and local authorities (PBTs), which are dilly-dallying in approving the construction of telecommunication towers in their respective areas.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said on Feb 23 that this was to avoid negative public perception on the ministry and the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia

Commission (MCMC) regarding the delay in the construction of such towers.

"The people only want the towers to be built so that they can enjoy the services offered by the telecommunication companies.

"Yet, the ministry and the MCMC are facing difficulties due to the attitude of the state governments and PBTs which are dilly-dallying in giving their consent, besides imposing ridiculous fees for the projects.

"I have visited and asked for cooperation from the state leaders as well as the PBTs to ensure that the government's aspiration to increase the broadband penetration rate can be achieved."

He said this after launching the Amax City at the Malaysian Technology Park (MTP) here.

Dr Rais said the industry players were probably unaware of the difficulties faced by the ministry.

"That is why we have to expose the matter so that the state governments can offer their cooperation if they want to see faster development of the communication industry," he said.

The minister said the MCMC had identified suitable locations for the towers, but if the state governments and the PBTs involved were still obstinate and gave unreasonable excuses, the ministry had no choice but to reveal the list.

He said that due to the antics of state governments and the PBTs, the ministry had to wait up to four years just to get the approvals, despite the fact that the whole process could be completed in just three to six months.

Apart from the issue of land acquisition, rental and approval by the PBTs, other problems faced by the ministry were unreasonably high rentals, fees for tower permit and plan approval and additional requirements that were impossible to be fulfilled by the MCMC.

Rais said the problems occurred mostly in the city and municipal areas.

"This is an unacceptable situation. So, the ministry and MCMC will look into the cause of the problems and who are in charge of making all the requirements," he added. -- Bernama

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