Monday, December 12, 2011

Parabolic Dishes Banned in Malaysia

The public is prohibited from using parabolic satellite dishes to receive transmission from foreign television stations because their content may have a negative impact on Malaysian viewers. This was what the Deputy Minister of the concerned ministry told the Dewan Rakyat recently.

The government has since, through the Customs Department confiscated 193 parabolic satellite dishes valued at RM200,000 in a major crackdown in Sabah. For the record, Sabah and Sarawak enjoyed unofficial freedom of use of such dishes for many years.

Needless to say, people were not happy with the Customs Department's sudden tough act, but for all the furors that followed the big scaled operation by the authority, let us understand that the ban has been there for very long time already. The ban was enforced in 1988 following the enactment of the Broadcasting Act 1988. All types of satellite dishes were prohibited then until amendment to the act was made in 1995 to allow satellite TV, ASTRO in particular, to come into service. Even then, parabolic dishes were legalised only after issuance of licence for very specific applications and upon fulfillment of certain standard equipment or device. Don't ask me what is standard and non-standard in this context.


Parabolic dish <span class=
Big satellite dish used by operator of Poring Hot Spring, Ranau, Sabah.

Section 239 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (ACT 558) states that an offence of "unlawful use, possession or supply of non-standard equipment or device" is punishable by not more than RM100,000 or imprisonment for a term not more than 2 years, or both.

I'm so unimpressed by the lack of enforcement. If there was no amendment to allow for the usage of such devices then take action and be consistent. Don't give leeway at pleasure and put the law in a mess by allowing the use of the devices depending on the situation. I haven't seen any clear guidelines and I believe this has encourage numerous unlawful installation of the banned device especially in Sabah.

I mentioned 'freedom of use' earlier. When you do not enforce the law and allow infringement to happen for so many years, and I say 20 years is very long, you are giving an impression that the law there just for show and probably to save your butts when things get out of control. Also, you are implying that that act of law is redundant. In the case of the issue at hand (satellite dishes), one set of instruction is there for Peninsula Malaysia and another for Sabah/Sarawak.

We seem to be not serious in doing our job putting the law at work.

ASTRO dish is only 60cm in diameter and as the technology advances so is the size of communication equipment and devices; they become smaller. It is near impossible now for the enforcement officers to detect the small 'illegal' dishes. The ministry will then need to employ 'bugs' in every house to spy and catch these culprits which would effectively make Malaysia a police country. All in the name of trying to block contents that may have a negative impact on Malaysian viewers. If that is the case, then we might as well block or heavily filter the internet access as well.

For your reading pleasure:
Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, ACT 558
The changing broadcast media environment: perspectives from Malaysia, 1994
ASTRO: Legality & content. A bit biased write-up but surely a good read.
Is your Parabolic Dish (TVRO), handphone, walkie talkie legal? This is MCMC asking you a question.

10 comments:

Wak Gelas™ said...

wak pon dah lama X pegi sabah dan sarawak jugakkk... eeeeE wak dh dateng niiii nk komen komennnnn..........

de engineur said...

Wak dateng lah. Dgn skill photografi macam Wak, gunung kinabalu tu mesti nampak lebih cantik!

KY Chua said...

Certain parties (Penguatkuasa/Pihak berwajib) are like:
1. Hangat-hangat tahi ayam;
2. Melepaskan batuk di tangga;
3. Cakap tidak serupa bikin;
4. Indah khabar dari rupa;
5. Double-standard (Talam dua muka?);
6. Dan lain-lain (dll.) :D

Some Parabolic Dishers are like:
1. *Shrug* (No comment?)
2. Don't care;
3. Angry;
4. Ignorant;
5. Clueless?
:)

Carolyn (Lil' Dahling) said...

oh so this is the parabolic dish that allowed transmission from foreign television stations. I've heard about it long time ago during my college days from a college friend who hail from sabah. Never knew it still exist today..:)

de engineur said...

@KY Chua. It's quite typically so isn't it.

@Carolyn. Many people are still using them on this part of the country.

Anonymous said...

We have satellite tv since i was small.. Now im close to 40 yrs old and my kids are watching them now.. When i was small the dish was very big, but nowadays the dish that i use is slightly smaller than the astro dish. We installed it on our roof at an angle that is quite hard for ppl to notice. Its a very simple setup, just a dish connected to a tunerbox.. Obviously it can only received free channels from around the world but hey, thats about 500 channels! No complaints here.. Oh and im in kl, not kampung shitplace like sabah or sarawak. As long as enforcement in malaysia is as it is currently, im quite happy. Im not for giving my hard earned money to fuckedup companies like astro and such. For u guys who wants a setup like mine, just buy a satellite dish and a tunerbox. Forget all those openbox skybox bullshit. U can do all that for free but knowing malaysians, most of us are lazy ass wankers anyways.

Anonymous said...

Im from sarawak.not come from shitplace like kl. Busy taking money and earned much more than sarawak self..without sarawak and sabah. Semenanjung is nothing.fuck up ur word bro. I dont mind if u rich or not.mind ur word bro.
Sarawak-gas and petrol
Sarawak- biggest oil plantation
Sarawak-more balak here dude.
Sarawak-more culture and.we are happy with it.
Ext ext ext

Satellite Tv said...

Using parabolic dishes will expose to negative element is just bull shit and nonsense accusation,is the population of country that legalize parabolic dish living like cave people?

No they are more sophisticated than us and more developed,why because it's the mentality that differentiate them and us.Our government only want big tax from satellite tv service providers..just imagine you're paying 6% tax each month and if average customer paying rm100 bill thats RM6 and multiply with 10 million Astro customers,equel to RM60 million to government each month and do you think people caring government will allow you to use parabolic dish which is less than RM500 one time expenses and one time 6% tax for each devise?

As long as Malaysian thinking negative about the usage of useful gadgets and devices and always showing fingers/blaming the west we will be labelled as developing nation forever..............to achieve as developed nation first we must free our negative mentality.

Anonymous said...

hey, why not ban the internet for all Malaysian. It has even more negative elements.

Anonymous said...

i think totally wrong for only can use under astro....
its so stupid...