PETALING JAYA: Telecommunication companies have been given six months from this month to ensure cellular phone coverage for the whole of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, said Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik.
He said he was not happy at all with the present coverage.
Ive told them that even their number one customer in the country, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is facing problems of getting connected in his Putrajaya office.
If the number one customer is angry, what about the ordinary customer? Theres even poor coverage from the airport to the city, he said.
Lim said he had also given telecommunication companies until the end of 2005 to ensure proper coverage for the whole country.
Speaking to reporters after attending the National ICT Quiz Competition prize giving ceremony here yesterday, he said it was up to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to take action against these companies if they did not comply with the directive.
He urged telecommunication companies to invest in facilities to make their customers more satisfied with their services.
Its a matter of investing; they should find poor reception areas and put up transmitters and towers, he said.
He added that Chinas mobile phone service was more advanced than Malaysias in terms of coverage.
I have problems with accessibility here as there are many blind spots in different areas where theres no reception
We should learn from China where reception is available almost everywhere you go, even in the lifts, he said, adding that they would consider sending a research team to China.
On the proposal by Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Bhd to increase water tariff in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya by 45%, Dr Lim said the idea was not feasible.
Eventually, consumers have to pay higher charges for better service but in my opinion, the suggested increase is not acceptable.
We have to benchmark the type of service, ascertain the quality of water and the capital expenditure needed to reduce non-revenue water which presently stands at 42%. They cant simply increase the price, he said.
He said the National Water Council had agreed on July 29 last year for the Federal Government to take over the management of water from the states except Sabah and Sarawak.
The process of federalising water is expected to be complete by the end of this year, he said.