KOTA KINABALU September 14, 2012: Owning a parabolic satellite dish is neither banned nor illegal but owners should obtain a licence for it.
Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang said there is an avenue for those who wish to apply for a licence to own a parabolic dish but the approval will be at the discretion of the minister.
“To say that it is illegal is not quite true because there are a lot of people who have a parabola dish in their compound.
“The question is do we just allow it like that? I don’t think that is socially appropriate for us,”
he said when asked by the media after officiating at the Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (P1) launch of its 4G high speed broadband services here yesterday.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai had voiced out his objection when more than 190 parabolic satellite dishes were seized by the Customs Department in Sabah last year.
Yee had said that prohibiting the use of parabolic satellite dishes was ridiculous as there should be no restriction to access of information.
When he was asked to comment on this issue, Salang said it was a tricky question and the people should look at the law regarding parabolic dishes and whether the use of parabolic dishes would increase the penetration rate of broadband.
“I don’t think that is related (to broadband penetration).
“That is another sector regulated by the ministry.”
He pointed out that there were thousands of households with parabolic dishes in Sabah and Sarawak and the proper thing to do was to apply for a license.
“It is not true that there is a ban (on parabolic dishes).
“It’s like if you want to keep a dog, you have to obtain a licence. That’s how it works.”
Salang also wondered if Yee had discussed the issue with his minister Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim.
“I would have imagined that he would have talked to the minister rather than discussing it in the press,” he said.
by Chok Sim Yee