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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Nov 20: Hundreds of People’s Aid (BSH) recipients lined up outside the Democratic Action Party (DAP) headquarters here this morning to get the TV decoders in order to tune in and enjoy free quality digital TV.
Malaysia has fully switched over to digital TV transmission from analogue terrestrial TV broadcast with Sabah and Sarawak the last regions to shut down the analogue TV transmission on Oct 31.
The new myFreeview Digital TV Transmission offers a myriad of TV channels, radio and new applications like online shopping, current information, interactive learning and more via 15 TV channels and six radio channels including TV1, TV2, TV3, TV Al Hijrah, and Bernama News Channel (BNC).
Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong said about 3,000 decoder units will be distributed today and tomorrow (Nov 21) from 9am to 4pm for eligible recipients, especially in the lower income (B40) group.
“It is given out on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis. If the 3,000 units have been totally distributed, we will arrange another time for the next batch to be distributed,” she told reporters.
“We hope through this initiative taken by DAP together with myFreeview and MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission), we can help people get this decoder,” she said.
Without the decoder, Yong noted that many people, especially rural folks, were unable to access TV broadcasts following the decommissioning of the analogue TV service.
“More decoders are coming especially those who have yet to receive or claim theirs. Similar initiatives will be carried out in Sibu, Miri and Bintulu,” she added.
Many of the recipients expressed thanks to the federal government for the TV decoders including Herman Kasim from Kampung Pasir Panjang near Santubong who said: “I want to thank the government for giving out the decoder, else it will involve extra expenses to buy one.”
“I heard we can get free decoder so that’s why I am here. My family cannot watch TV as the analogue service has been shut down so we are thankful,” added Dius Nyagir from Kampung Bunga in Serian.
Ampina Babu, who came all the way from Betong, shared that she went out as early as 7am but could not find the headquarters office and as may have to wait a long time for her queue number to be called.
“I am going back tonight but I really hope to get the decoder as I am glued to the TV nearly everyday. It is inconvenient and expensive to buy, so good that it is given free (to those eligible),” she said.
According to various news reports, the new myFreeview Digital TV Transmission is a government effort to reduce the digital gap between people in rural, urban and suburban areas.
It is also in line with the government’s Shared Prosperity Vision to enable the people enjoy free quality digital TV without monthly subscriptions.
Those who have yet to switch to the myFreeview Digital TV platform are encouraged to obtain a decoder and ultra-high frequency (UHF) aerial to be installed to the existing TV set, or obtain an integrated digital TV (IDTV) which comes with a decoder and UHF aerial installed. — DayakDaily