Fixed Internet Broadband Unity Package must follow thorough check and balance

04 Feb 2023 11:24pm
Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil. Photo: BERNAMA
Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil. Photo: BERNAMA
SHAH ALAM - The Fixed Internet Broadband Unity Package initiative is welcomed, but it has to be followed with proper check and balance.

It also needs a task force with experienced people to monitor and audit the initiative.

"The government must put into proper ecosystem of check and balance, with task force consisting of eminent people to monitor and audit," said Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam (CASSA) president, Datuk Dr Jacob George.

He explained that the past government had launched many initiatives, but they were not followed through properly and did not meet their agenda.

"The most important matter to look at now is whether this initiative will be audited to see if it is driven, can penetrate through the community, and bring a total solution to the targeted population," he said.

He said the task force should include notable individuals and representatives from the ministry to sit in and provide feedback, as well as monitor and drive the initiative through.

They should also look out for weaknesses in the system, if any, so that the government can initiate intervention for remedial action, he added.

"I think only a brave government will initiate it, to be brave enough, to say admit there's some mistakes and problems in their efforts.

"The group of eminent taskforce members that has been appointed will look into the situation," he told Sinar Daily.

He stated that the implementation of a task force can become the modus operandi for any future launches so that it will become something more accountable and transparent with no leakages.

"This is a new government, and they have the opportunity to show that they are different," he concluded.

Meanwhile, it was reported that the Sabah consumer association said the Fixed Internet Broadband Unity Package should be supported by effective measures to improve the quality of internet service, especially in the rural areas of Sabah.

Sabah West Coast Smart Consumers Association president David Chan said internet access in Sabah, which is currently at an unsatisfactory level, is feared to be the main constraint to the package's objective of providing affordable broadband internet services to Sabahans.

He said it would be very difficult to see the impact of the package on the lives of the target groups in Sabah if they could not enjoy the service properly due to poor internet service.

"I hope that the government will be able to improve internet access by constructing more towers outside the city so that the target groups can enjoy the incentives from the government," he said when contacted by Bernama on Thursday.

On the other hand, the Sarawak Consumer Association said the Fixed Internet Broadband Unity Package is a good initiative to bring down the cost of living for targeted groups.

Consumer Voice Association of Sarawak vice president Philip Ng said the broadband package priced at RM69 a month was seen as affordable and provided opportunities for vulnerable groups to have cheaper internet access amidst the rising price of goods now.

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil, in a statement on Thursday, announced the introduction of the package, which is aimed at helping B40 households, veterans, persons with disabilities, and senior citizens enjoy broadband services at a lower price.