Chong: Scrutinise seriously Sarawak Multimedia Authority Bill 2017
CHONG Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) wants the state government to seriously scrutinise the Sarawak Multimedia Authority Bill 2017, and not rush it through by passing the Bill by the end of the session.
He said many contradictory parts and lack of finer details required high level of scrutiny, or else the state government would face a huge legislative burden when it becomes an Act.
“How to reconcile the Bill with the federal constitution which provides specifically that telecommunication is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government?” he asked when participating in the debate after the second reading of the Bill yesterday.
“Secondly, how to reconcile Clause 29 of the Bill with the secrecy provision of Section 97 of the Banking and Financial Institution Act? Third, how to reconcile Clause 29 of the Bill with Section 65 on protection of informers and information under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act?”
Fourth, in light of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Act which is a federal law, Chong asked which provisions, between the Bill and MCMC Act, should prevail in the event of contradictions.
“Fifth, what is the projected time for the implementation of the call order of the Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) to increase access to fixed line broadband of 100 megabits for businesses in the cities?
“Sixth, what is the pricing structure to be charged on the consumers? Will it be cheaper or more expensive? Lastly, is there any intention to implement a similar Universal Services Provision Fund, which is charged by MCMC for all telco companies, by the Sarawak Multimedia Authority?”.
Chong hoped that Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh could give a satisfactory answer.
On a related matter, Chong said he was shocked that a regulation of the Bill provides that the Authority only needs to sit for a minimum of two meetings a year.
“If the industry of digital development is so important, why set such a low standard. Only two meetings, you must be joking. What can you do with two meetings? There should be at least one meeting a month.”
He said digital technology advances rapidly, as illustrated in Abang Johari’s words that ‘one day is a long time in the internet world and a month is a century’.
“With one meeting in six months, my God, whatever you discussed in the meeting will be absolutely obsolete,” he said.
Earlier in the debate, Chong said the law is as good as the implementer of the law, just like a machinery is as good as the persons who are going to use it.
On Irene Chang’s (DAP-Bukit Assek) raising the issue of emailing a softcopy of the Bill to members of the opposition at the very eleventh hour, Chong said several BN members wore a cynical smile on their faces.
“I saw on the face of Dr Sim Kui Hian (SUPP-Batu Kawah) that they take great pleasure in depriving the opposition sufficient time to study the Bill and debate it in this house.
“If this is the attitude of the administration and BN, it ought to be changed if we are to move into the new era of digitalisation,” he added.