Sacofa to conduct practical tests for Taman Park View residents to allay telco-tower fears

Lo (standing) in a dialogue session with residents of Taman Park View located near Stapok, on the erection of a telecommunications tower near their houses.

KUCHING, August 13: State telecommunications infrastructure company Sacofa Sdn Bhd wants to erect a telecommunications tower near Lorong Stapok Selatan 8 here, but about 30 residents of Taman Park View protested as they believe the radio frequency (RF) radiation emitted from such a structure would ruin their health.

In addition, the protestors said the tower would ruin the scenery in their housing area.

Faced with the “You want the signal and services but you don’t want the tower” dilemma, Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang, who also lives near to where the tower is to be built, arranged a dialogue session between the company and the protestors today, and it led to this decision — Sacofa is to conduct practical tests in the presence of the affected residents to convince them that the RF radiation emitted is not harmful.

“The objective of the dialogue was to convince the residents that it (telco tower) is safe. Unfortunately they are not convinced.

“So, Sacofa would have to come up with something to convince them with proof beyond doubt. This includes using an RF detector device to compare the radiation between everyday appliances like television, microwave oven, radio, refrigerator and wifi router with a telco tower,” Lo told reporters at the MPP headquarters here this afternoon.


Lo speaking to reporters after the dialogue session.

He said he proposed to Sacofa to do the RF detection tests in front of the residents so that they would see for themselves that the radiation emitted by telco towers is well below the mandatory limit set by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), which is below 1,000 microwatts per square centimetre.

Since such an approach had never been done before, Lo suggested Sacofa use it to convince residents in other places where they planned to erect telco towers.

Lo, who is also Batu Kitang assemblyman, related that Sacofa had been planning to erect the tower near Lorong Stapok Selatan 8 for use by telco service providers like Celcom and Maxis since two years ago. They were about to start work on this project two weeks ago, but were stopped by the residents there.

He advised the affected residents to give Sacofa the benefit of the doubt and not to be selfish as there could be thousands of residents in Taman Park View and nearby areas who yearned for the tower to improve their mobile data reception.

As for the “scenery” issue that was raised by the residents, Lo pledged to ask Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian for funds to beautify the area if the tower project proceeded. — DayakDaily