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Penang probing EMW emissions
PENANG, Fri. ó The Government has asked experts
to determine the extent of the danger posed by electro magnetic wave (EMW)
emissions from telecommunications structures, amidst claims that they can
Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said today
authorities have asked the Atomic Energy Licencing Board and the Malaysian
Institute of Nuclear technology to conduct a study.
He said the
State Government and the Federal Energy, Communications and Multimedia
Ministry will await the findings of experts from these bodies to provide a
clearer picture of the perceived threat.
Public anxiety had been
rising, particularly among residents in areas where telecommunication
structures are located on roof-tops of residential and shoplot units,
following claims that several people have died or are dying from cancer
caused by EMW from such structures.
Koh said this after opening a
cancer exhibition organised in conjunction with the Mount Miriam
Hospital's 25th anniversary celebrations at the Equatorial
Among those present were Lee Chong Keat, the chairman of the
hospital's Board of Directors, Consultant Radiologist and Oncologist Datuk
Dr Adel M Zaatar, and Friends Of Mount Miriam society president Datuk Dr
Loga Bala Mohan.
State Works, Public Amenities and Transport
Committee chairman Executive Councillor Datuk Koay Kar Huah, who is an
electronics engineer, has been directed to work with the various
Ministries and agencies to look into the technical aspects of the
State Local Government, Environment and Traffic Management
committee chairman Dr Teng Hock Nan, a medical doctor, will look into the
medical and health aspects of the issue.
"We also have three other
medical doctors in the State Exco who can contribute." Meanwhile, the
Consumers Association of Penang voiced support for the decision by the
State Executive Council to adopt the Housing and Local Government
Ministry's guideline which bans rooftop communication towers on all
"In doing so, the State Government has taken
the first step towards recognising the risks posed by such structures and
protecting public health and safety," Consumers president S.M. Mohamed
Idris said today.
"The Penang Island Municipal Council and the
Seberang Prai Municipal Council must now enforce the ban." CAP also urged
the Housing and Local Government Ministry to continue investigating the
health risks arising from the close proximity of telecommunication towers
and devices to the people, and to improve and tighten the
"Currently, the Ministry's guidelines do not prevent
transmission devices from being installed on commercial and industrial
buildings. They also do not specify the distances between the devices and
residential areas," he added.
Idris said CAP had been receiving
complaints from an increasing number of residents and workers who are
concerned about the transmission devices and towers being installed near
"In reviewing the Guideline, the Ministry and the
State Government should also consult citizen groups and non-government
organisations for their input and participation."