Do we need such towers in our schools?

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667

This is an example of a transmission tower that has sprouted in a school in Penang believed to be linked to YTL’s 1BestariNet project. Each tower is believed to have a 4km range. More than 1500 such towers have been built in schools around the country.

I have just one question: Do schools in developed nations have such large towers in their premises?

Here is one school that says it has removed the tower.

MP Zairil Khir Johari has been critical of the project:

The rollout of 1BestariNet also includes the erection of telecommunications towers in and around school compounds. As at 31 May 2013, 1,503 1BRIS (1BestariNet Receiver Integrated System) towers have been built and are in operation, while 281 have been built but not yet operational. 53 1BRIS towers are still under construction.

The installation of these telecommunications towers raises quite a few questions. According to a report by fz.com on 10 May 2013, YTL director Yeoh Seok Hong is quoted as saying that the “towers going up at the schools won’t just provide wireless Internet connectivity at the school, but in surrounding areas too.” In other words, YTL will effectively be able to use these towers to offer their YES 4G broadband services to residents in the surrounding community.

If that is the case, then it is necessary for the Ministry of Education to explain the following:

Are taxpayers effectively funding the commercial expansion of YTL’s YES 4G network?

Why is YTL allowed to generate additional profits from infrastructure installed on school premises and meant for educational use?

Will YTL be charged a fee for using school land for commercial purposes?

According to a report on Digital News Asia:

The (1BestariNet) project was mooted at one of the many labs or brainstorming sessions organized by the Performance Management & Delivery Unit (Pemandu) of the Prime Minister’s Department as part of the Malaysian Government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

Then in 2011, a tender was announced with 19 companies making bids. By August, they had been shortlisted to six: Celcom Axiata, Jaring Communications, Maxis, Multimedia Synergy Corp, Telekom Malaysia/Time dotCom Bhd (which submitted a joint bid) and YTL Communications.

Then something unusual happened: In October of that year, without much fanfare, the Ministry of Education posted a notice on its website that the project had been awarded to YTL, which operates the YES 4G wireless network – then took down the notice two hours later.

Those two hours were enough to foment murmurs of discontent throughout the industry, especially since the VLE solution would be provided by another YTL-owned company, FrogAsia.

This was followed by a period of silence until May 2012 when YTL Communications, part of the politically-connected YTL Power International Bhd, officially announced that it had been awarded the project and would be rolling out the first phase.

According to Zairil, the three major projects that have been awarded to YTL are as follows:

  • High-speed 4G broadband under the 1BestariNet programme to all schools (RM663 million for a contract of 2.5 years);
  • A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) platform for teachers, students and parents (RM250.5 million for fixed-term licensing fees and RM262.8 million for management and maintenance costs); and
  • Chromebooks under the 1 Student 1 Device programme (RM139.6 million for an initial order of 116,399 units at a cost of RM1,200 per unit).
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Kelty

Jelutong is Jeff Ooi’s turf.
Perhaps Jeff Ooi is trying to promote internet?

henson

Jeff Ooi should stick to “internet” matter. See how he got in the mess trying to settle hawkers issue in Jelutong ?

Our Telco companies (ALL of them) are charging big time for snail crawling speed (unless one can afford Unifi) and keep charging when quota is up like ask us to top up.

Jeff Ooi can collaborate with Consumer Penang (the chief very outspoken as well) to bring to Parliment the poor services (in terms of speed and cost) of Telco internet monopolistic nature.

As I m writing this, i am paying Telco every bit & byte.

Ageee ???

tunglang

Penang Free Wifi sucks.
Erected but not ‘strong’ (in internet delivery) as claimed.
I detected one in my area but it always play hide & seek or on leave.
Such frustration of a ‘mirage’ Wifi for the public done purely for someone’s political feel good @ Komtar Tower.

henson

Penang Free Wifi not for domestic use.
Its installed at commercial area.
You need to buy Kopi Orr Orr Kau Kau at food courts to get a seat to enjoy free surfing.
Having said that, you should get a mobile smartphone. The you can surf standing and read updates from anilnetto.
Not sure you can get free internet at Lorong Susu Kopi Or kau kau there ???

Kelty

tunglang

Have you tried the Hotlink free wifi?

corrupt to the core

Whats the point if our edu standard is zilch and all they want to do is make everyone a Sunni citizen? The Chromebooks should not cost that much. See how corruptions works better and better in Malaysia? All gargled and googled up! 😯

Ken

No need to erect such towers in our schools’ compound.

John

I think Malaysia is privilege to have this educational project, that is winning accolades for its infrastructure and delivery system, promising betterment for the future generation and attracting interest from many countries. The results will speak for itself, in the years to come. Perhaps the critics should balance the few inconveniences (some may be politically motivated) against the wider recognition to the nation and contribution to the masses.

Blimey

Ha ha ha, are you from the YTL public relations department?

John

Actually I am not even a Malaysian, but I can tell if there is a good product. A rose by any name, will smell just as sweet.

Blimey

John, you obviously don’t know how things work here in Malaysia.

sputjam

These towers are good. It may provide free broadcast of singapore/western australia/hong kong/china syllaus to our students instead. therefore the options are limitless. We can go from the bottom education system to the very top.

Jerry

The standard of English among our school children is very low (Oh My English!!!) according to OECD’s PISA report.

Singapore TV Channel 5 recently started this ‘Say The Word’ game show on correct pronounciation of English words.

It is hosted by the Malaysian celebrity Soo Kui Jien (who has since ‘migrated’ to Singapore after married a Singapore girl). I suggest you watch this show with your children to learn the correct way of pronounciation.

Episode 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS4gpU61Ih0

Episode 2:

kee

Jerry thanks. Fun… look at the Malays in SG, shame to Umno for using and riding on their brethren to achieve their own goal…

henson

Have you ever notice our local politicians can hardly make a speech in full english. They like to campur a bit of bahasa here and there.

Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka MUST send strong warnings to such politicians not to make our Bahasa a kacukan language !

Want to speak in English, then speak fully in English.
Don’t believe me, then watch local TV news clips.

Kelty

I think our local politicians especially those from Umno are not competent in English.
They usually sprinkle bit of Manglish here and there to show off, just like the rojak way that was promoted by Oh My English! on Astro.

Jerry

YTL is using the 1BestariNet project as an easy excuse to install the transmission tower in the school compound, knowing that it could not erect one at other places without facing complaints and opposition due to health concern. The school children may get internet access, but putting their health at risk with prolonged exposure to concentrated radiation?

rajraman666

Penang state government have no authority on how big the tower should be and the side effect cause by the tower to the student? Don’t the town council have the rights to reject the size of the tower.

rajraman. Malaysian are bleach dry by UMNO vampire.

semuanya OK kot

A classic case of plutocracy, like allowing PLUS to use the land the government acquired for it for purposes other than highways. These towers bathe the area in radiation in he microwave range. WHO has stated that these towers are dangerous, besides handphones being particularly dangerous for the young. A 2008 stody by UiTM found 8.23% of 170 the people interviewed in Taman Subang had cancer compared to 1% for Malaysians in general. A telecom tower with more than 50 antennae was put up in the area 10 years earlier.