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Friday, October 5,
Ban on structures atop private houses
By CATHERINE CHONG
PENANG: All rooftop telecommunication structures on residential
buildings in Penang have been banned with immediate effect.
With the ruling, the existing rooftop devices, numbering about at
least 50 in Penang, will have to be dismantled.
However, those sited atop commercial and industrial buildings are
allowed with consent from the owners.
In announcing the decision
yesterday, state Local Government, Environment and Traffic
Management Committee chairman Dr Teng Hock Nan said both the Penang
and Seberang Prai municipal councils had been directed to enforce
the ban with immediate effect.
MUST GO...a mobile phone transmission
towers on top of a residential block in Batu Lancang in
He said the state exco decided at its meeting on Wednesday to
adopt the Housing and Local Government Ministry guidelines which did
not allow the installation of rooftop telecommunication structures
on residential buildings.
“Both councils must take steps to ensure the decision is complied
with immediately by telecommunication companies,” he said in a
Most of the rooftop transmission devices are located atop
shophouses and buildings in the city and the outskirts.
On Sept 16, the Consumers Association of Penang claimed that
studies around the world showed that persons living within 200m of
telecommunication structures have a higher chance of developing
Last month, the Penang Municipal Council directed a building
owner in Kuantan Road to dismantle the rooftop transmission
structure following complaints of health problems by nearby
Dr Teng said the state exco had in March approved the
installation of rooftop transmission structures on residential
buildings provided there were no objections from resident
associations, developers or management corporations.
On Sept 28, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong
Ka Ting directed all state and local authorities to adopt the
ministry’s existing guidelines on rooftop telecommunication devices.
He had also reiterated that all telecommunication transmission
towers (those rising from the ground) must be located at least 150m
from residential homes.
Dr Teng said the ministry guidelines only prohibited rooftop
transmission structures on residential buildings and not on
commercial and industrial buildings unless with the owners’ consent.
He said in view of public concern, State Public Works, Utilities
and Transportation Committee chairman Datuk Koay Kar Huah had been
directed to work with the relevant federal ministries to come up
with a new set of guidelines, if necessary, governing
telecommunication transmission structures in Penang.
Meanwhile, five major telecommunication companies have assured
the public that the installation of their transmission structures
complied strictly with the permissible radiation and health
In a joint statement yesterday, the operators said the
guidelines, based on the international practices and standards, were
enforced by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission
and outlined in its Regulatory Framework on the Sharing of
The five are Celcom (M) Sdn Bhd, DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd,
Maxis Communications Bhd, Telekom Cellular Sdn Bhd and TIMECel Sdn
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