KUALA KRAI – The Communications and Multimedia Ministry has asked the service providers for their telecommunication systems in Kelantan, which have been affected by the recent floods, to be fully restored by this Friday.
Its minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the decision was made after meeting with the telecommunication service providers, namely Celcom, Maxis and DiGi, here, today.
“I have placed the KPI (key performance indicators) on these service providers so that their telecommunication systems will be fully restored by this Friday.
“During the briefing with the service providers, they informed that up to yesterday, their telecommunication systems could be restored to between 75 and 80 per cent,” he told reporters after visiting two cellular communication transmission stations, here, today.
Also present were the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad and chief officer (Corporate and Support Services), Communications and Multimedia Commission, Tengku Zaib Raja Ahmad.
Ahmad Shabery said the biggest challenge for the telecommunication service providers was the inundation of their transmission stations by the flood waters, causing damage to the facilities and hence, service disruption.
“Restoration incurs high costs and a lot of time for the repair works.
“Some people had to use batteries which would only last a few hours and then generator sets which could last six to eight hours if the diesel is full,” he said.
The minister also expressed disappointment over the reported theft of 21 gensets and vandalism at the transmission stations, with six cases in Kelantan.
He said their irresponsible action had inconvenienced a lot of people when the telecommunication systems were disrupted.
Ahmad Shabery said he would sit down with the service providers to discuss measures to be taken in the event of such disasters in future.
“We need to have better measures or alternatives to deal with the situation when there is electricty supply disruption and inundation of the telecommunication transmission stations.
“We must have a measure of national preparedness in facing disasters, and this aspect is vital in the telecommunication systems too.
“What is important is saving people’s lives when they are cut off and cannot contact the authorities to rescue them due to the telecommunication system breakdown.
“We don’t want to hear anymore excuses from the telecommunication companies, so I want the systems to be repaired and restored within a reasonable time,” he said.
Ahmad Shabery said the telecommunication companies estimated the repair cost to be about RM300,000 for every inundated transmission station.
“But thank God, in Kelantan like in Gua Musang and Kuala Krai, about 20 per cent have not been totally cut off,” he added.
There are 700 telecommunication transmission stations in Kelantan. – BERNAMA