Hornbill Unleashed

November 9, 2017

Tabling of Sarawak Multimedia Bill in accordance with state laws, says minister

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Wong said that the Bill was tabled in accordance with the state laws provided for under Article 95(b) of the Federal Constitution. — Picture by Sulok TawieThe Sarawak Multimedia Authority Bill 2017, which was passed in the Sarawak State Assembly today does not contravene any federal laws regulating telecommunication and multimedia, Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said today.

The state Minister of International Trade and e-Commerce said that the Bill was tabled in accordance with the state laws provided for under Article 95(b) of the Federal Constitution.

He was replying to points raised during the debate on the SMA Bill which he had tabled earlier.

During the debate, PKR’s Batu Lintang state assemblyman See Chee How expressed his concerns if the Bill is appropriate and sufficient to accord constitutionality and legality of the establishment of the SMA to carry out its activities and achieve its objectives.

He said the jurisdiction over wireless, broadcasting and television are given to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

“MCMC’s authority to regulate the converging communications and multimedia industries and for incidental matters, under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 or Act 588 and its numerous subsidiary legislations are applicable both within and outside Malaysia,” he said.

“Our Bill which proposes to establish the SMA as an entity to be the authority in the state for communication and multimedia activities and for matters connected therewith, is clearly heading into the collision course with Act 588 and its subsidiary,” he said.

DAP’s Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen reminded the state government that federal laws override any state laws in the event of a constitutional conflict.

When tabling the Bill earlier, Wong said, among others, the Bill sought to develop the state digital economy covering digital infrastructure, cyber security, talent development, e-commerce, research and development of digital technology, digital innovation and entrepreneurship and digital government.

Wong said the Bill barred any person from erecting, using, maintaining or operating any structures for purposes of communication and multimedia activities including communication towers on any land or building without the approval of SMA.

He said a fine of up to RM1 million or an imprisonment of up to 10 years or both shall be imposed on anyone found guilty of contravening the provision.

With the passage of SMA Bill, the Sarawak Information Technology and Resources Council Ordinance 1999 (Cap 28) is repelled.

Source : The Malay Mail Online by Sulok Tawie



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