Kota Kinabalu: Consumer Affairs and Protection Society of Sabah (CAPS) fully supports Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai's call to a Federal Ministry to immediately resolve the satellite parabolic disc issue that is affecting Sabah as it clearly infringes the people's rights to knowledge and information.
Its Kota Kinabalu Chairman, Mohan Singh, said the Federal Ministry concerned is also supposed to be wise enough to know that the present law on parabolic disc has created a monopoly by a company which controls the country's market as "every Malaysian now has to subscribe to its services if they want to watch television programmes."
"The Federal Ministry should be considerate and relax the requirement for Malaysians to have ownership of a parabolic disc, especially in Sabah, where there are still very limited, if not poor, access to knowledge and information due to its geographical conditions and so on.
Even our subscribed TV is also poor, as it will go black whenever it rains," he said.
Dr Yee, who is also Resource Development and Information Technology Minister, had accused the Federal Ministry concerned of creating a monopoly to enrich certain individuals, at the expense of the whole country, by continuing to restrict individuals in the country from having equal access to information via the satellite parabolic disc.
Dr Yee said the law stops any individual from using any parabolic disc that has not been legalised by the authorities and to have it legalised, it must be of certain specifications, meaning in certain size or diameter, which somehow or rather happens to be the same size as the parabolic discs used by Astro.
"How can we do that just to enrich certain individuals at the expense of the whole country? We will not allow that because we all know that to enable the country to move forward, we must be open as far as information is concerned," said Dr Yee.
Asking the Federal Government and Ministry concerned to be open-minded and allow people to have unlimited access to knowledge and information in line with the country's aim to become a developed nation, Mohan believed the people in Sabah will not mind to pay if the Federal Government or the Ministry concerned impose a very minimal fee for individual ownership of own parabolic disc.
"After all, I do not think the Federal Government or Ministry concerned has anything to hide, that it is desperate to prevent people from having access to knowledge and information via satellite parabolic disc other than that provided by the only company presently providing it," he said.
"And if social problems are made as an excuse for preventing Malaysians to own the satellite parabolic disc, I think all Malaysians would find this unacceptable because even with the present law we also have social problemsÉand I also think majority of Malaysians, if not all, are now matured enough to know what is wrong and good for them," he said.--Courtesy of The Daily Express