It’s nearly 2020, and some city folk still can’t get phone lines


FMT letter via email from Irate Residents

When we moved into a new residential area in Sungai Buloh almost a year ago, we found that there were no phone lines for the area.

We contacted the developer about this and, in an email reply, he agreed to install the lines. In April, we observed what looked like installation activity going on in the area, but after a month nothing seemed to have happened. We inquired and were told that workers had merely inspected the underground canals and found that they could not install the lines because the canals were blocked and the specifications did not meet the requirements of Telekom Malaysia (TM).

These problems were apparently solved eventually and telephone poles were erected a few months later. But it’s now nearly the end of the year and we still don’t have telephone lines. According to residents who made inquiries, the installation is stalled because the developer has allegedly failed to notify TM engineers of the progress of the work.

We can’t help being concerned. Some of us have health problems and we need phone lines to enable contact with emergency services. Besides that, we are working people who need to connect to the Internet.

Furthermore, security systems like CCTV cannot be fully deployed without a reliable Internet connection. Also, some of us want to unwind after a hard day’s work by watching cable television, surfing the net, or perhaps playing some games.

One year without such services is not tolerable at all. Subscribing to a wireless broadband data plan is not a permanent solution as some of the residents work in professions that involve dealing with large amounts of data.

The absence of the phone lines has severely affected the resale value of the houses, and almost half of the area is still not occupied yet. Few people would move into a home without a phone line.

How could the Certificate of Fitness have been issued for this residential project if there are problems with the installation of phone lines?

We contacted some political groups, including MCA and PKR, about the issue, but all of them told us to refer to the developer. We got similar responses from the Communications and Multimedia Commission and the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang. But the developer is hard to contact and harder to get a response from.

Recently, a burglar broke into a house in the area but could not be apprehended by security guards. He escaped through one of the many vacant houses in the area. Had phones lines been installed, there wouldn’t have been so many vacant houses for him to escape through so easily.

Very recently, we were told that TM was planning to lay the cables within three to six months after the installation of the poles. Unfortunately, a lot of time has been wasted. We should have had our phone lines ready when we were handed the keys to our homes.

It will soon be 2020, but it doesn’t look like we are anywhere near to achieving developed-country status.

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