Under-fire Salleh says ‘fact’ that 70pc Malaysians choose slow broadband


(Malay Mail Online) – Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak today accused critics of twisting his declaration that most Malaysians chose sub-1Mbps broadband speeds, leading to his ridicule online.

The recently-appointed minister also added that the statistic showing that 71 per cent of Malaysians subscribed to TM’s Streamyx packages with speeds between 384kbps and 1Mbps was a “fact” provided by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia  Commission (MCMC).

Salleh added that he wrote two blog posts on the topic after it was revealed that the average broadband speed in Malaysia was below the regional average and slower than in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

“But they (detractors) had taken a small passage in one of the statements out of context,” he told reporters after meeting officers from departments under his ministry here.

The former Sabah State Assembly Speaker said he has no problem with people giving constructive views and criticisms.

“But to tell me that I am wrong for quoting the statistics from MCMC, I do not know what to say anymore. I do not come up with the statistics out of nowhere,” he said, adding he, too, wants to have high-speed broadband and at a cheaper package.

Salleh then told DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, who has been critical of Salleh over the statement, to respect that the statistic he quoted was fact.

Salleh was ridiculed by a variety of sources after he appeared to defend Malaysia’s sub-par broadband infrastructure, despite over RM3 billion invested by Putrajaya to improve local networks, by pointing out that most Malaysians subscribed to packages with low access speeds.

Lim and other critics contend that Malaysians chose the slower Streamyx packages, which are no longer open for new subscriptions, due to limited offerings and expensive prices here.

The Gelang Patah MP previously pointed out that Internet users in neighbouring Thailand enjoyed Internet speeds of between 10 and 30 times faster than Malaysia at the same price.

Today, Salleh said his ministry is in talks with the service providers on what ways to improve the Internet speed.

“We have identified some of the problems and we are sorting these problems out and I hope the industry can find ways and means to solve the problems,” he said.

He said his ministry and the industry are looking at ways to increase the speed as well as reduce the costs of the packages.