KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — The government is considering imposing heavier penalties on those involved in stealing telecommunication cables which cause disruption to the service.

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

“I will ask the team at the Ministry of Communications and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to examine as well as to provide comments and recommendations (punishment) because at this time, the draft amendment to the act is being examined and studied involving several provisions on the aspects of network service quality (telecommunications).

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“We made this amendment not only because we saw incidents of cable theft and vandalism but also because of (disruption to) the quality of telecommunication services as this is one of the items often raised by users and therefore, it is being scrutinised before we bring it to Parliament later,” he told reporters at Lembah Pantai’s Programme Korban Perdana here today.

Fahmi who is also the Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai, said this in response to a question about the government’s action to stop the theft of telecommunication copper cables which is becoming more prevalent at the moment.

Regarding the move by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) 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.

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“I do not see that the establishment will cause them to enter (touch) 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. — Bernama