KOTA KINABALU: DAPSY National Public Policy director, Phoong Jin Zhe, said that Pakatan Harapan (PH) promised to break the monopoly of telecom tycoons through “Youth New Deal” once PH is in power.
“There will be half reduction of price and the Internet speed will be doubled through open competition. Only then, our country’s citizens can enjoy lower prices with faster Internet services,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He said, according to the survey conducted by OpenSignal, a UK mobile network speed measurement agency, the average 4G speed in Malaysia is 14.83Mbps, ranking bottom 20 out of 88 countries, thus making Malaysia one of the countries with slowest Internet speed in the world.
He added: “Even more shameful is that Malaysia is slower than neighbouring countries, such as Vietnam (21.49 Mbps in average), Brunei (17.48 Mbps), Myanmar (15.56 Mbps), not to mention our nearest neighbouring country, Singapore with the fastest Internet speed globally, which is 44.32 Mbps.”
“Slow Internet speed implies the incompetence of Malaysian government. This will seriously affect our country¡¦s competitiveness, especially when the world is moving towards ‘Industry 4.0’, online marketing and electronic trade have become emerging industries that compete to develop globally. For instance, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) that evolved in the digital economy are the new technologies that require good network services as the backbone and basic infrastructure,” he pointed out.
But apparently, Phoong said the government did not prepare well in this area and although the 4G service had been in operation for five years, its network speed had not improved.
He said compared with the previous year’s 14.35 Mbps, it only increased approximately by 0.5.
He reminded Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also Finance Minister on the promises he made during the Budget 2017 announcement at the end of 2016, that he would allocate RM1 billion through the Multimedia Commission and to double the Internet speed with half reduction of prices in two years.
However, till today, Najib did not fulfil his promise and there had been no significant progress on Internet speed upgrade.
“Where is the RM1 billion that was supposed to be spent on Internet speed upgrading? Why there is no significant improvement on the Internet speed?” questioned Phoong.
He said although the government announced the cooperation with Chinese tycoon Jack Ma from Alibaba to set up the Digital Free Trade Zone, there is a possibility of losing competitiveness, wasting time and money for the merchants engaged in the electronic commerce if Malaysia does not provide comprehensive network infrastructure and good internet speed.
Therefore, he stressed: “We must grasp future development opportunities by supporting Pakatan Harapan to allow a new government to focus on developing emerging industries. Pakatan Harapan promised to vigorously develop new industries such as e-commerce, Youtuber, e-sports, programming and AI once the Pakatan Harapan is in power.”
PH, he said, regarded this as a national strategic and would certainly devote all its efforts to invest resources and develop future economy so that young people in particular would be able to participate in these emerging industries.
“With more involvement from young Malaysians, this will help to create decent job opportunities and encourage young people to start their own businesses. By catching up constantly, our country can fully develop its potential and avoid neighbouring countries to surpass us again, thus bringing hope to the young generation,” Phoong concluded.