GEORGE TOWN, Sept 30 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today that Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak should be transferred to a slower-paced role, after the latter reportedly said Malaysians prefer slower Internet speeds.
Lim asked the minister to explain his remarks, saying it made no sense to him that Malaysians would want to ensure slower Internet, even when factoring in the issue of costs.
“How is it possible that Malaysians do not want higher Internet speed? This proves that he is not suitable to be a minister holding the communications and multimedia portfolio,” Lim told a press conference at his office today.
He was referring to Salleh’s comment on Monday that 71 per cent of Malaysian Internet users choose to pay less for the slower Streamyx broadband package with speeds of between 384kbps and 1mbps.
In his remarks, the minister had also claimed that although higher broadband speeds are available, most customers subscribe to the slower and cheaper packages.
He also said that the minimum Internet speed can be increased to 5mbps but this means only those who can afford to pay higher rates will be able to afford the higher speed package.
“How can it be true that people prefer snail pace to a cheetah speed or that people prefers the bullocks cart to a car,” Lim asked today.
He said Malaysia is already falling behind many other nations in terms of Internet speed and should be looking to improving this.
Lim pointed out that even former international trade and industry minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz had questioned Salleh Said’s claim.
In a Facebook posting, Rafidah had asked how Putrajaya had obtained the figures claiming 71 per cent Malaysian Internet users preferred slower internet speed.
Even when looked at the cost factor, Lim said when speeds are increased from 384kbps to 4mbps or 5mbps, it should not mean that costs would increase by four or five times.
“People will still be willing to pay for higher Internet speed,” he said.