MBKS just facilitating agency in Tabuan Jaya Baru telco tower, says Wee

A screen grab of Wee’s Facebook Live on Saturday.

KUCHING (July 23): The Kuching South City Council (MBKS) has approved the construction of a telecommunication (telco) tower in Tabuan Jaya Baru here based on the approvals of the State Planning Authority (SPA) and Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), said Datuk Wee Hong Seng yesterday.

The Kuching South Mayor said the local council only serves as a facilitating agency as the project was first approved by the SPA and the SMA.

“MBKS is not trying to sidestep our responsibility in this case but we are obliged to explain what is happening to people. To set up a telco tower, the contractor will need approval from the SPA and SMA.

“If the telco tower to be built is proposed within the jurisdiction of MBKS, then we will issue the Way Leave Permit to the contractor, listing our conditions some of which are keeping the environment clean and ensuring that our infrastructure is not damaged.

“One of the conditions is that we encourage the contractor to interact with local residents,” he said in his Facebook Live ‘Shall WEE Talk’ in response to Democratic Action Party (DAP) Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen, who recently urged the Mayor to stop the construction of the telco tower.

Wee said he understands that concerned residents are concerned about health and safety aspects in relation to the telco tower.

He believes that Chong, as a political leader, should do his duty to educate the community to follow safety standards regarding Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Emissions from a telco tower.

The Mayor also pointed out that the construction of the telco tower aims to provide better communication coverage in the area.

“In 2019, the minister of communication and multimedia Gobind Singh announced that the telco tower does not cause harm to our health and safety.

“In 2023, our Deputy Communications and Digital Minister Teo Nie Ching said that the price of 5G high-speed Internet can be lowered by expanding its coverage.

“Their own party leaders have talked about the subject but as a political leader, he (Chong) should explain to the people to make them understand what is going on,” said Wee.

He said it is better to lay out the facts rather than point to the Mayor whose hands are tied because the approval is in the SPA and SMA.

“When there is a problem, we focus on solving the problem. To solve the problem, we need to find the right authority to deal with it. If you want to help people, be professional in extending your help.

“If the telco tower is not built and the coverage is not good, who will suffer later? The residents are like my family, I try my best to do what I can and should, and within my power and means,” he added.

According to Wee, the name of the site is Lorong Stutong 20C but the site ID is the park in the residential area, which is the very place to build the proposed telco tower.

“The site ID is the right place where the telco tower will be built. If the seat is changed, it will require a variation of the SPA and re-approval,” he said.

In March this year, Teo said the current price for 5G high-speed Internet is RM1.68 per GB (gigabyte) and could be lowered as its coverage expands.

In July 2019, Gobind said the government would not compromise on health and safety aspects in relation to the 5G roll-out, adding that the new technology would be deployed only after it was certified to comply with all necessary safety standards.

The DAP leader added that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has issued a Mandatory Standard on EMF Emissions from radio communications infrastructure, which is being implemented in the industry.

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