The RM 2.4 billion Telecom HSBB (High Speed Broadband) subsidy

Why is Telekom subsidised with RM2.4 billion of tax payer’s money for the HSBB project when an alternative proposal do not require subsidy?

Why wasn’t there an open tender to choose the best proposal? Why does the government think Telekom is the best company to role out HSBB in spite of the fact that Telekom failed to achieve the national objective of high internet penetration after more than 10 years?

Simple economics will tell that a competitive environment will produce the results the country wants.

Besides failure to deliver the numbers (high internet and broadband penetration) and despite the fact that Telekom is a laughing stock because TMnet is well known for bad quality of service, the government persist to award the next generation broadband project to Telekom.

HSBT (High Speed Broadband Technology Sdn Bhd) has offered to build a similar network without subsidy. Even if the government deems HSBT inexperienced to carry out such a large project, wouldn’t the fact that their not requiring a subsidy tell them a subsidy may not be required?

Why then does the government need to provide public funds especially in this financially troubled time? The money will be better spent on the rakyat.

Since public money is involved, why wasn’t there an open tender? The govt should justify the rationale and provide details.
To make it worse, Telekom’s HSBB network is only a partially open network when it is known globally that such an infrastructure should be open and accessible to other broadband providers such as in S’pore.

Furthermore, the government did not have specific terms for the sharing of the HSBB network with other service providers.
Telekom has said screening will be done to allow competition that adds value to the industry, country and consumer. The term ’screening’ is bad enough while the part on adding value is open to interpretation.

A similar initiative, “Equal access plan for fixed line phone” introduced a decade ago supposedly to encourage competition in the ISP industry failed miserably. It played to Telekom’s hand to stunt the rise of serious competitors.

It is amazing that the government continued to allow Telekom to use vague words when Telekom has shown this bad faith previously. Doesn’t the government learn?

In spite of openly talking about increasing internet penetration and quality, the failure of Telekom to deliver still encourages the government to dish out the same and to support Telekom further.

There is no real competition for broadband in the country. Can anyone say that Telekom’s 95% share of the market shows Malaysia has liberalised the broadband service provider industry effectively?

What the country needs to propel itself forward in the information age is true liberalisation and not simply pay lip service to it. The HSBB project awarded to Telekom will only strengthen their already dominant position.

Will the government force Telekom to adopt open access where any service provider can use the HSBB network to reach their customers when it is constructed? This is the way to create competition to provide the best service at reasonable prices, vital in order to develop the content and IT industry here.

A few questions to conclude:

• Isn’t the RM2.4 billion subsidy unfair, Telekom is already too dominant?

• Why allow Telekom to defer third party full access to the HSBB network for 7 years when Telekom is already the dominant player? It will be their right if they funded it 100% themselves but with public funds, there should be no delay at all.

• Will the government listen to all stakeholders – the public, IT industry and broadband industry as to the best way forward for the HSBB project through a study because it is now a public project with public funds involved?

• Why is the government protecting the revenue of one entity Telekom when true liberalisation will develop the industry, potentially returning revenue many times more for the country?

• Will the government put in a proviso in the agreement with Telekom HSBB project to ensure open access to all service providers at reasonable price that includes annual audit by a third party? Failing this, will the govt ensure since there is interest, for at least one more HSSB provider within a year?

Competition must be created

(Speech 2 on the 2009 Budget in Parliament on Tuesday, 14.10.08)

  1. #1 by abinesh on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 6:20 pm

    Its crazy in how the much abuse to power is happening! Every streamyx customer out there constantly complains about the horrible service yet they get awarded such huge projects and subsidies on top of that!! What do we get in return since its our money that is being used?

    Open tender, open playing field and finally all Malaysians must reap the benefits! We have been playing tenants in the country we were born n bred in for wayyy to long!

  2. #2 by voice_70 on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 6:27 pm

    Ha! Another classical case of how transparent the government functions and using hard earned tax-payers $ …

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 7:52 pm

    If the government continues to protect its cronies and do things without transparency, eventually foreign investors will by pass Malaysia. The rakyat will ultimately be the losers.

  4. #4 by pizi87 on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 8:03 pm

    i bet the parties involved can answer those questions!!

  5. #5 by Loyal Malaysian on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 8:50 pm

    I can only sigh after reading this posting!
    So, what else is new?
    It’s business as usual for the UMNOputras.
    The rakyat are taken for a ride while the pockets of the Telekom bigshots[no money for guessing which party thet are from] are lined full.

  6. #6 by kengcc on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 9:00 pm

    If possible, please ask RTM2 8pm news reporters to stop doing free & cheap advertising for TM, I am really sick of the cheapo advertisements by TM & Teleom

  7. #7 by kftang on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 9:16 pm

    Where is the policy of transparency and accountability that the government has often boasted of? Let not the people’s hard-earned cash go down the drain in this manner!

  8. #8 by mendela on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 10:05 pm

    To side track, can’t we seek international organizations like UN, Amnesty, Red Cross, Governments of EU countries’ help in getting RPK and other ISA detainees out of Kemunting cell?

    Why great guys like RPK needs to be locked up whereas Najis and all the UMNO scumbags are free and fooling around all night long?

    We MUST nominate RPK as a candidate for next year Nobel Peace Prize!

  9. #9 by riversandlakes on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 10:07 pm

    With larger presence than ever in Parliament, can PR demand explanation on this matter?

  10. #10 by mendela on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 10:08 pm

    I pay RM 88 a month for Telekom Streamyx broadband service. The speed really suck!

  11. #11 by melurian on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 10:12 pm

    let’s move to WIMAX… only rm99 and boost to 1mbps…

    boicott streamyx.

  12. #12 by cinaindiamelayubersatu on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 10:25 pm

    if suck why pay …

    apa lagi untuk aku keluarga aku dan kawan kawan baik aku la. (ingat, dosa kepada segala kelakuan yang kau buat…)

  13. #13 by goodtimes on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 10:55 pm


    PR can ask for explanation on this, whether they get an intelligent
    answer or some stupid reply,as been happening with govt, is another story.

  14. #14 by The Enforcer on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 11:06 pm

    Same old story lah uncle YB LKS.
    Remember the Abba song – ‘Money money money’ -$$$$$$$
    To eradicate the RAKYAT’s problem, just get the PR team to find a way to get rid of the GOONS asap!

  15. #15 by cinaindiamelayubersatu on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 11:12 pm

    TNB kepalanya siapa ; YTL Power kepalanya siapa
    MAS kepalanya siapa (jari penunjuknya siapa) ; AirAsia kepalanya siapa
    Maybank kepalanya siapa ; Public Bank kepalanya siapa

    dapat perbezaannya ? jauh beza kan…

  16. #16 by drngsc on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 11:34 pm

    They will never learn. Still raping us, despite March 8th – 12GE. We need a change.

  17. #17 by Mark Foo on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 11:47 pm

    Look like malaysian sure need to learn how to spend money?
    Telecommunication is a very interesting…create jobs and opportunities. Bringing sound carrier to the next level.
    We do need engineers to perform all the maintenance.
    So………are we prepare to go to the next level when US and other countries is suffering due to the crisis?

  18. #18 by harrisonbinhansome on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 11:57 pm


    I think you are at the wrong thread. :)

    In retrospect, if one looks at how Telekom Malaysia (TM)’s monopoly of telecommunication services from home and business fix-line, Streamyx, and other related services, it provided the worst service to other rigid competitors whom was only ratified by the Government in providing STD/ IDD calls sometime about 2000 and TM still hold and foisted a high an unhealthy rate of home and business rental on consumers.

    In 1999, calling Australia was about 2.10/2.20 per minute where there are no other telecommunication establishment in providing competitive rate. Now TM offers as low as 20 cent using “I-Talk” when stiff competition provided by other players like Maxis, Digi, are around.

    TM as a whole is a bully sanctioned by the Government at the expense of the public and Malaysians have been victimized when monopolization of such essential consumerism is still dominated by one company -TM – if appraised by an independent pollster – I can vouch it is the worst in terms of service.

  19. #19 by OrangRojak on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 12:20 am

    Not again. I use the Internet a lot. When Streamyx isn’t working (completely broken for a few days every 3 months), or working badly (2 minutes to load pages from BBC / Google, a few times every week), I go through the options again. I usually just plug my handphone into my laptop and use GPRS (I’m near Port Dickson), and it usually works better than Streamyx, even with the nominal difference in bandwidth. The great thing about using the handphone is it ALWAYS works, every time I try it. I’d climb the ladder and rip the TM point off the outside of my house myself, if it weren’t for the fact that I run some hobby projects on servers in my home. Incoming Internet traffic is deliberately disabled by the cellular providers, it seems. I could buy a satellite dish, but they have their own problems, besides the ongoing high costs.
    In desperation, I contacted TNB once, there are pylons not far from here, and I had read about the FibreComm project online. I was half prepared to buy a shop lot somewhere near the powerstation and setup my own ISP, I was that desperate for broadband that works. Malaysia DID have a great fibre network project that SHOULD have brought high speed networks close to everyone’s town. It was scuppered:
    FibreComm couldn’t provide broadband, because the “Ministry of Energy, Communications and Multimedia is concerned that a monopoly could be created as a result”. WTF? They were concerned ANOTHER monopoly might be created? Who gets to say this s**t and get away with it? Why aren’t there crowds of people laughing at the people who say this kind of thing and saying “haha you daft c**t, who are you trying to kid?”
    So you can’t get access to the lovely Fibre, but don’t worry, it didn’t go to waste, the shares in the project were transferred to TM:
    So now you know. It could have been great.
    As for WIMAX, oh that’s another good one. That’s a poisoned chalice and TM knows it. WIMAX works just great as long as there are only a few people using it. ‘Allowing’ other companies to offer WIMAX is ensuring those companies can’t compete with TM. But at least the appearance of competition is there.
    I’m sorry about the Anglo Saxon language: I regularly remove the vandalism from the Wikipedia articles on TM Net and Streamyx. It’s like giving someone a free pedicure while they urinate on my back.

  20. #20 by aprobosky on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 12:24 am

    Market Economics 101…. Competition among key players increases product value and quality. Subsidies are never good ideas, be it for petrol, projects, whatever… The HSBB is much required but even so, there is a need for us to be transparent in every dealing. I currently work in an MNC in which even the smallest requisitions have to go through the whole company (29000 employees) through an open E-procurement network. Anybody can comment especially if they believe the price is too high or better suppliers have not been contacted for the particular requisition. It does slow procurement but saves the company hundreds of millions a year. This savings are then passed down to the customers which means good news for everybody. I believe a system such as this can work in Malaysia. Think about it, YB Lim…

  21. #21 by scorpian6666 on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 1:38 am

    My only prayer and sweetest dream is to see that Telekom and entities of it’s likeness completely disintegrated shamelessly one day.

  22. #22 by monsterball on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 1:50 am

    So sick to read this and the helicopter deals.
    UMNO ..majority ministers and politicians are so greedy and low class worms.

  23. #23 by passerby on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 3:19 am

    That subsidy is necessary because it is service charges for the umno. Maybe PR should put a caveat that if and when they come to power, they will investigate this payment and anyone who is involved in the transaction can be charged for corruption.

  24. #24 by lbn on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 6:19 am

    Streamyx is presently the best among the worst. We’re left with no choice for better service. The monopoly pratices by the BN government have gone over board. How can the tax payers’ money be used to fund private enterprise? YB, please do something and do things right. I’m really disgusted!

  25. #25 by Mark Foo on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 7:37 am

    We need to see the transparency of telekom finance and profit. Like petronas, maybe then we can see why the government delegates such movements.
    Everything that GOvernment invested must have return, if not our goverment is too darn stupid. Spending and investing tax payer money without monitoring the market jobs and opportunities.
    Malaysia corruption level is in dangerous level, no one is safe and no one will support the government whether you are malay or chinese.

  26. #26 by Thinking Two on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 8:55 am

    Why make noise now and stop paying taxes that all.

  27. #27 by taiking on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 9:22 am

    Two reasons. One, as badawi said the rakyat has given them a strong mandate to rule. Two, our economic fundamentals are still strong.

    Adding the two together give us an obvious answer. And it is this: ways of the past can continue on and will continue on. Umno’s role is to ensure that continuity.

  28. #28 by Toyol on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 9:45 am

    In troubled times like this, BN can still continue to channel money out of the system. M’sian economy is balanced on private consumption. Capital expenditure is going into the wrong pockets. yet Badawi maintains economy strong! Its these sort of unsubstantiated and sweeping statements that will make M’sia sink deeper into recession faster than our neighbours.

  29. #29 by pakmang on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 9:48 am

    You all have done a good job. Keep it up!

  30. #30 by smeagroo on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 10:05 am

    internet has proven to be the major stumbling block for BN to regain power fully. See how they lost out in GE12. If internet penetration has been more, BN could hv lost the gomen. So what better way than to keep Msians out of reach of the internet than to gv the job to run-dog TMnet. They can control TM like the Bosmah controls the N. Wanna censor MToday? NO problem. Just a phone call and it will be done.

  31. #31 by dawsonruby on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 10:29 am

    I honestly dont think Streamyx is that bad, their services have been improved so far and the line/queve connecting to their technical engineer over the phone has been improved as well. The only problem with Telekom is probably those big guns who earns way too much from our taxpayer’s money from getting those mega projects from the Government.

    The question is, why is Government helping telekom when they can open the HSS project for tender. I guess everyone know that clearly that those big guns of telekom will get their fair share from getting this big project from the gov and only god knows how many % will our najis gets from offering them the project

  32. #32 by Malaysia For ALL Malaysians on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 12:09 pm

    Hi All Malaysians,

    The only way we Malaysians can do is to start another tsunami, as what happened in the last elections where the citizens of Malaysia immaterial of race, religion or origin proved to the government of the day that all the abuse of power, the crony concept, left hand helping the right hand in the name of BUMPIUTRA has to come to an end. This process has to go on and on till BN is dethroned or at least ensures there is fair play in all their dealings involving the citizens money. Yes BOYCOTT the service provider “TELECOM” till they go BUST or else we will also be part and parcel of this HARAM deal that the government has got involved in. We will only be helping some individuals from the government to be millionaires over and over again, worst still we will be killed twice i.e. once for allowing the taxpayers money to be mismanaged and secondly as contributors to the service provided by “ TELECOM” we will again be enriching the criminals. “BOYCOTT TELECOM” and you will not be a part of this HARAM transaction……

  33. #33 by Mark Foo on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 8:17 pm

    History taught us to learn from mistakes and change have to be made. Progression of the country is important. We have Maxis, Celcom and etc, these companies provide technologies at a competitive level. Research and development reveal the capabilities of each companies also.
    Somehow the government is still mismanaging the funds and it is not a small funds.

  34. #34 by TheHiddenFact on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 11:55 am

    The acts of government is reflecting to the edges of manipulation of their own interest & desire . Why they never even open a competition among the telecommunication firms? They are so many good firms that can overtake TM and yet government is making this dominant (TM) to be a player even that they are losing their quality of services such as Streamyx. I’m a streamyx’s user but currently suffering a very very bad technical problems in the DATA SPEED & Quality. RM 2.4 billion is just a waste project that govrm had proposed . I dont think that TM will achieves it. The knife(TM) has lost its edge.

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