The Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak should not be a spineless Minister who dare not own up and apologise for his mistakes but want his innocent subordinates to eat “dead cat”!
Salleh yesterday started the blame-game in Kuching and claimed that it was the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) which provided him with the information that 71 per cent of Malaysian Internet users preferred the slower Streamyx, even as slow as 384 kilobyte per second (kpbs), instead of the faster broadband of multi-megabyte per second.
Let me tell Salleh to stop talking rubbish, and I want to reiterate that there is no country in the world which would prefer slower Internet unless it is peopled by cretins and idiots.
I do not believe anyone in MCMC would be so dense and unprofessional as to tell Salleh that 71 per cent of Malaysian Internet users preferred the slower Streamyx to faster multi-megabyte broadband.
Can he produce black-and-white to establish that he had been advised by MCMC that 71 per cent of Malaysian Internet users preferred the slower Steamyx to faster broadband, and I would agree that such a MCMC officer should be disciplined.
But if Salleh could not produce black-and-white to prove that he had been so advised by the MCMC, would he tender a double apology, one for making a most stupid and senile statement and secondly, for the cowardice and spinelessness of trying to pass the buck of his mistake to MCMC?
It would not only make no sense, but would be a total waste of the billions of ringgit and a complete failure of the government ICT programme to date if after two decades of the launching of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) to position the country in the forefront of ICT in the world, there are still 71% of Internet users who prefer crawling on the Internet at 384 kbps!
Are Malaysians so masochistic?
This is definitely not the case. The MCMC’s Industry Performance Report 2014 reported that Streamyx subscribers amounted to 1.52 million, representing 65% of the fixed broadband subscribers, are a minority representing only 7.3% of total Internet subscribers. This is because the total number of Internet subscribers in 2014 stood at 20.7 million, comprising 14.8% fixed broadband and 85.2% mobile broadband subscribers (and Streamyx subscribers are only 65% of 14.8% – i.e. some 7.3%).
How can Salleh make the elementary mistake of claiming that Streamyx subscribers represent 71% of Internet users when in fact they only represent some 7.3%?
The MCMC Industry Performance Report 2014 was uploaded onto the MCMC website on Sept. 15, 2015, and it is indeed a tragedy that we have a Minister for Communications and Multimedia who does not understand the report of agencies under his own Ministry.
It is clear that Salleh is quite out of his depth when dealing with ICT problems and challenges and he should be humble to learn quick and fast if he is not going to be a disaster of a Minister for Communications and Multimedia in the nation’s history – a burden instead of a boon to Malaysia’s ICT industry.
In fact, it is only now after being a Minister for two months that Salleh is paying attention to the problems of speed, coverage, affordability and quality of ICT infrastructure and facilities – which should be his priority agenda right from the beginning.
Instead, Salleh was quite lost as Minister for Communications and Multimedia for the two months, understanding his job merely to be the Prime Minister’s chief propagandist and blogger.
Salleh should make amends and prove to Malaysians that he is a worthy Minister for Communications and Multimedia by introduce a New Deal for Superfast Broadband in the 2016 Budget to be announced by the Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister when tabling the budget in Parliament on October 23.
This New Deal for Superfast Broadband should upgrade all the “legacy” subscriptions whether for RM38 or 384 kbps to at least 2Mbps download speed and to generally lower the prices for Internet access.
This new package of faster broadband at lower costs should be the first phase of a New Deal for Superfast Broadband which should be ready for incorporation into the 2016 budget in three weeks’ time.
Can Salleh learn and learn fast in the next 21 days?