Materia Medica Malaysiana

October 6, 2008

Penang’s WiFi forum

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:32 am

Star: GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government will hold a forum to discuss the concerns raised over its plan for free wireless Internet access throughout the state.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the forum, to be held soon, was part of the state’s efforts to educate the public on wireless Internet usage and implementation, especially with regards to health issues.
He said the forum would address objections raised by non-governmental organisations on the wireless broadband project aimed at providing free round-the-clock WiFi connection in the state.
He said he had instructed “tech-savvy” MP Jeff Ooi to organise the forum. “We will make available various research papers on radio frequency (RF) radiation that has been wrongly linked to WiFi and WiMAX,” he said.
“We are receptive to public requests for continued consultative and educational sessions with the government pertaining to the implementation of the free Wireless@PENANG project. Public consultation is a continuing process even after a project is announced.”
Lim said the state government would cancel the project “if there is scientific proof that the people’s health will be adversely affected by the wireless network”.
He expressed regret that efforts to make Penang the first WiFi state in Malaysia had been equated with the proposed RM25bil Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) project by the previous government.
“PGCC merely enriched one company and did not benefit the people. But the two companies undertaking this wireless effort will not be paid any money by the state or its people,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Kebun Bunga assemblyman Jason Ong said concerns over the RF antenna erected at the Penang Scouts Association headquarters would be looked into.
According to SJKC Shang Wu Parent-Teacher Association chairman Ong Bee Lay, there had been an increase in the number of students complaining of headaches and nose bleeds recently.
“The RF antenna was put up a few months ago. While there is no concrete evidence to show a link between the antenna and the children’s health, we cannot take any risk. There are several schools in the area, and their health must be a priority,” she said.
About 20 residents turned up at the headquarters to highlight their concern.
Desa Timur Apartment Residents Association treasurer S. Thanneer-malai said the residents were concerned the RF antenna could be harmful to their health.

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