Telco cable thefts: Govt to consider heavier penalties, Fahmi

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is considering imposing heavier penalties on individuals involved in stealing telecommunication cables, which cause service disruptions.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said the punishment will be proposed in the amendment to the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, currently being studied by the Attorney-General's Chambers.

"I will ask the team at the Communications Ministry and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to examine and provide comments and recommendations because, at this time, the draft amendment to the act is being reviewed. Several provisions focus on network service quality," he said.

"We made this amendment not only because of incidents of cable theft and vandalism but also due to disruptions in telecommunication service quality. This issue is often raised by users and is being scrutinised before we bring it to Parliament later," he told reporters at Lembah Pantai's Program Korban Perdana on Monday (June 17).

Fahmi, who is also the Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai, responded to a question about the government's action to stop the theft of telecommunication copper cables, which is becoming more prevalent.

Regarding the move by the Housing and Local Government Ministry to establish a team of 'online ambassadors' to deliver information and ward off slander in cyberspace, Fahmi said his ministry is not against the effort.

"I do not see that the establishment will cause them to enter the jurisdiction of other parties, but coordination in terms of the information to be conveyed must be done.

"God willing, I will look into this matter with the minister (Nga Kor Ming) because I have not had the opportunity to get a full briefing from KPKT regarding the effort," he said.

On Thursday, Nga announced the establishment of a team of 'online ambassadors' consisting of 200 ministry staff to fend off defamation and deliver authentic information and government policies effectively.

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