[Opinion] In Defence Of Malaysia’s “Slow” Internet

Comments (45)
  1. Vector Teh says:

    “Figure out how to drop prices to make it more affordable to the masses”

    It’s not gonna happen. All Telcos are evil. Still, this article overlooked the fact that the price we have to pay for internet compared to other countries with similar speed.

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      Thanks for that, you’re right I did overlook that as I don’t think it’s just a problem solely with internet, it’s things like price of phones and other things as well that affect this. It’s a whole cost of living argument right there.

      Perhaps it was idealistic to assume telcos and ISPs would drop prices but perhaps another step to the Government initiative would suit this purpose?

  2. Cyrus says:

    once our unifi implanted quota, i think everything will go worst further. when consumer change their 5/10/20Mbps limited plan back to unlimited 4mbps streamyx, there you go the speed test result will go down, good luck on those fiber optic limited quota plan user.

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      I hope they wont implement quota for the plans! They have been saying They would for the longest time!

      1. Nicholas Joseph says:

        They will implement the quota once they have reached the maximum amount of customer needed. Thats why they are pushing people to adopt unifi like hell. But the problem is that they dont want to fix the infras.

  3. Mohd Rizal Mohd Ramly says:

    for me the study not make any sense especially for county that still serve by ADSL technology but have average speed up to 21Mbps like Thailand..

    Company that reach more than 400Mbps speed : ADVANCED INFO SERVICE PUBLIC COMPANY LIMITED but actually only serve 3G for consumer.

    Let’s check second company that can serve up to 42Mbps..

    No consumer package at all. just metro-e connectivity.

    If we check the third ISP able to serve nearly 40Mbps..
    Maximum speed for consumer:

    up to 4Mbps. How Ookla get 40Mbps?

    The theory behind this.. Maybe those ISPs use Ookla as the tools to check their throughput service not considering it is internet or not internet service..

    For me Netindex study not conclusive at all. Statistically wrong..

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      Thank you for your links, that’s a very good point as well!

    2. Jirasak says:

      AIS, Truemove-H and Dtac serve only Mobile network.
      KSC is a dead company in Thailand now (KSC use to famous more 10 year ago)

      Now IPS, ADSL and FTTx in Thailand serve by
      True Internet (bigest in TH)
      3BB Internet ( by Justmin Company)
      TOT Internet (Government)
      CAT Internet (Government)

      My home at Hatyai use 3BB Internet 30Mbps RM120 per month Unlimited
      And can apply to 100Mbps for my home Hatyai city area (Southern)

  4. Afif says:

    As Vector Teh said, Author had overlooked the prices we have to pay for our internet.
    I’ve lived in Japan for a good one and a half years. In Malaysia, we get 1Mbps connection for RM110, but in Japan I get 100Mbps unlimited.

    1. Lucas Lau says:

      Well to be fair UniFi is 5MB Unlimited for RM149, but I get what you’re saying. Cost of living in Malaysia is astronomical in comparison to a lot of places in Asia, even in the world. Japan and Korea are my yardsticks for good Internet Access where everywhere is connected to extremely high speed internet. Even when travelling, you’re hard pressed to find a deadzone for data.

      This is what we can aspire to =)

    2. Internut Vietcong says:

      Even Vietnam is cheaper than Malaysia …i using Fibre Optics 30Mbps unlimited only RM100 …if i per-month pre-pay for 6months free 1 month somemore if pre-pay for a year free 2 months …making it less than RM100 per month. My phone 3G service 600MB quota RM10 per month if quota finish become slow can top up RM5 for anohter 500MB.

    3. madno says:

      I agree, they are often blinded when it comes to the cost. Hell, I’m paying 4MBps RM140 for crying out loud (no Unifi coverage) which is a lot of money for a me just so the connection is stable enough for me to work from home and use skype because using 1MBps nowadays is like throwing money to TM brcause how ridiculous the lag is and how much they are charging for it. How my blood boils everytime this is discussed and someone tries to defend it while totally ignoring the most important thing above it all, cost.

  5. Jimmy Pay Chong Wei says:

    I demand author write a comparison price vs speed/quota for fix and mobile line among asean

  6. camuel says:

    All these studies are bull shit.
    Just feed place have what u call broaabdband speed.
    95% of Malaysian only can get 1 to 2mb speed. With crazy prices.
    All the good stuff in so call capital place.

    1. kzm says:

      No wrong there is about 2.18 million (Q32013) TM customer out of that 845000 is Streamyx 4M, 8M and unifi user….that mean only 60%+ are using below 4M not 95%..that not include maxis fibre (50k+), time fibre (10k+) and p1 fibre(??k)….

  7. TS says:

    why we compare country that so far away?
    just compare with SG and thailand enough.

  8. Rafe CS says:

    In this era, things are moving forward. Yes you may say you are comfortable with 5mbps or etc. But the fact is that, for so many years broadband price in malaysia is still the same and new plan are only gets more expensive.
    In singapore, i used to use 8mbps 10 yrs ago for the price of SGD50 and for the same price right now i am having 1 Gbps connection.

    Do the calculation and you should know, not everyone stay in KL and the price we are paying is an old crappy service.

  9. Alan Gilmore says:

    This author lives in a well? Our telco is worse in the world, please dont bring africa into yhe picure, do you have any what is the return of investment for afsl per port? Tm is sucking all our money.

  10. pringles says:

    A lot of people complaint about the prince of internet in Malaysia.
    Yes it true that it’s a bit expensive an example compared to Singapore. My opinion
    that Singapore can easily deploy the latest and greatest technology in their
    island. Mainly because is just a small island. The cost is not the as Malaysia.
    Because they can have smaller CAPEX to invest in the infra, that’s is why they
    can offer a better price. Furthermore, I
    agreed with the author on this article.

    1. Jun Jun Yap says:

      Then, in the same logic, shouldn’t we have practically free petrol and water when we make comparison to Singapore?
      Again, I’m more than happy to pay, just for the record, my area don’t even applicable to 4mbps streamyx. And I live just outside Bandar Baru Selayang.
      Shouldn’t I bring frustrated, or even mad at tm?

  11. Chong Chong Choon says:

    thailand no msc slogan… but they data center all load with 1gbps port on local can reach 6-800mbps, with rm150-200 even local bandwidth, this price make most msc company cant survey, some closed down or some move to other asean country,

    even maybank also using usa gateway also server, how can internet price can drop?

    very simple, ask mcmc show the graphs how many ppl got sub >1mbps, u will know how worst the speed r going, most malaysia area with out 4mbps streamyx port, even the unifi also built on the area politic area, not depand the demand, open you eye pls, even local data center cant up, how can the speed can up?

    vietnam data center also more faster cheaper compare here,
    even combodia using back the thailand facilty by true, this why they more faster.

    here once of the provider at thailand.

    1. Chong Chong Choon says:

      forgot to tell u, thailand internet will full / > 70/80% link to oversea, local can up to 9-100% as the bandwidth promised, compare here oversea just 3-40% as your internet package.
      link to china the worst just can up <1-2mbps, most cheated by china internet very slow, pls try loading the same website at sg, thailand even combodia more faster compare here.

      thailand built dslam every "taman", mean araound 1-2km, no wire cutting issue, because inside the community, compare here telekom built 3-5km for 1 dslam, thailand will use wifi to help up some area with out dslam area to use internet

  12. Nicholas Joseph says:

    Are you high on mushrooms Lucas Lau? You’re defending our internet speed? For shame!!

    Malaysia could have followed Korea’s network infrastructure plan but instead gave it up to Telekom. Telekom still insist on using copper line which as you know, is prone to theft each time the price of metal increases.

    I have been waiting for 8 years for TM to up my available speed from 4 to 8mb. Do you know why they wont? Because my house is 100 meters away from their max cable length.

    Defending ISP when it is clearly their fault is just plain insulting to us internet users. Try living in sarawak for a change, 30km from the center of Kuching and you will know why us internet users rages against the machine.

  13. Jun Jun Yap says:

    As always, using “average” to judge the performance of a series is not a good technique in term of statistic.

    As the author said, when the series is small and evenly distributed (i.e Vietnam and Thailand), of course you get a nice average figure.

    But when the series is huge and unevenly distributed (i.e Malaysia, or in some case, try pull in data for USA), and we will get a lousy average figure.

    Thus, it is somewhat true about this article where, We as Malaysian, we are better than Thailand and Vietnam because we have more penetration and more choices. A good internet speed is good only when it is available, imagine that Thailand’s ISP provide cheap 20Mbps line yet only available in Bangkok, thus how can we say this is better than Malaysia?

    In the other hand, it is also true that Malaysia’s ISP is overcharging us with the combination of “decades old technology + big price tag”. Yet we as the Malaysians suffers from the monopoly of TM and Maxis. The point is,due to the fact that the infrastructure in our country is mainly laid by TM, in no way that TM will allow Maxis to grow so big until it threatens TM’s position in the market.

    Thus here we are, stuck in the no where where the problem’s origin is not clearly been capture by the most.

    1. Jirasak says:

      6Mbps – 30Mbps available every province of Thailand.
      50Mbps-1,000Mbps available only main Province in Thailand

      Not only in Bangkok

      my house at Hatyai 30Mbps pay RM120 per month with Unlimited

      1. Jun Jun Yap says:

        I’m talking metaphorically, not with the fact. My point is average number are bullshit.

  14. Dreal says:

    Already expect our own Malaysians bashing Malaysia in reply to this article.
    Always complain 1 thing while ignoring other facts.
    Stuff in this world work as a system.
    One country have cheap fast internet but stupidly high tax and expensive living cost.
    Another have moderate tax, moderate-low internet but cheap-but-high quality education.
    Another one have stupidly fast internet, high corruption,strict and human-right-violating culture, bla bla bla.

    Yes our internet is kinda expensive and imported cars have high tax, but just cause of these we forgot other benefits that we take for granted and some we receive without even realizing it(sometime those benefits yearn badly by other countries)??

    I seriously feel it is attitude issue, no matter how well Malaysia will become in the future the people will always keep complaining of few small issue while shunning the majority benefits, saying other country is better but not making any effort to improve, & etc.

    I hope everyone realize this and start being professional, show high dignity, be respectful, empower other & so on before it is too late.
    I can safely say Malaysia is nearing the peak of its time, and surely after that the chances to go spiraling down is high.
    At that time if we are still acting like now, we won’t be able to get back up.

    1. Gabriel says:

      well, it’s sad to break your bubble, but it is not an attitude issue. I believe many Malaysians are grateful that our country and government have provided us so many benefits and incentives: petrol, edible oil, sugar, rice etc. Not to mention many of these incentives are not provided by some of the developed countries.

      But, you have to remember, even though we are not paying a lot of tax (honestly speaking, you are right, Malaysians don’t pay a lot of tax), we are not getting a lot either.

      Yes, I have to admit that humans are imperfect, so to attain perfectness is futile. But does that mean we should be idle and content in everything we have? For real professionals, they will take criticism as their driving force for improvement. That’s why Japan and Germany could become great developed nations even after being devastated by The War. They have changed their shame and criticism from others into the driving force for improvement. So why can’t we just take criticism as a reason to be better, and not trying to find reasons to be conceited? I think it’s time to change the “Boleh” mentality to “Mahu“ mentality, because now the people don’t want “we can”, but ” we want to”. Yes, we could manufacture our own car, but do we want to make it better? Yes, we can have broadband, but do we want to make it the best in the region? Or are we just “yes, we can do that, and we have done it, then let’s put that aside and aim for other ‘Boleh‘ goal”?

      If every Malaysian has the attitude of to be “grateful for everything” in managing their own country, then we won’t be winning in this race to development.

    2. Edmund says:

      And why do you think imported cars have such high tax? To protect certain big wigs’ rice bowls and a certain car brand in Malaysia lah. Why are people still so freaking naive when it comes to such topic.. Do you really think such tax is used for the better good?? Why do you think people have ‘attitude’ in the first place.. The warning signs are all there and only the blind still can’t see..


      Perodua is doing okay.. But Proton?? A loss making company and still copypasting other brands design (cough-Perdana-cough!)..

      I don’t mind the current state of things IF THERE’S IMPROVEMENT but for the longest time, Proton has been nothing but a complete failure and is still unable to stand on its own without government support and tax protection.. It’s been 31 years.. How can things get this bad even with all the ‘financial support’ all these years??

  15. Hong Yean Tern says:

    let’s just go back to the basic : “average”. With this word you really don’t have to factor in penetration rate or amount of smartphone users or anything. After all, if you don’t drive a car, on what ground can I blame you for causing traffic jam?

    Average here simply means what everyone who is in fact ACTUALLY USING THE SERVICE experienced, be it throttled or forgot to pay bills. Koreans Japanese and singaporean gets throttled too on mobile network but they still come out pretty good. And that my friend put us a whole lot behind of country.

    My myself has been travelled across malaysia and stayed in quite a few town here and there. I’ll tell you how ridiculous is the penetration rate of our own HSBB fibre outside city like KL, Penang and JB : it’s almost non-existent. 4 years after the introduction, the availability maps of HSBB looks almost the same as the first year it launched. And i used to believe when people tell me country like Singapore is easier to implement this infrastructure due to their nature of small area. When i visited Taiwan, Korea and Japan, with areas and terrain thousands of times harsher than our little bump and forest here and there, people has never made infrastructure implementation an issue. We’re all brainwashed by the fat lazy ass sitting on top of TM.

    And also, those who are stuck with copper DSL? The actual usable speed is nowhere near 5.7mbps “average”. You’ll be really lucky if you could upload your afternoon picnic photo album on fb using Streamyx without timeout nowadays.

    1. truman6 says:

      and i still CAN’T get unifi after few years waiting..even dun have 4mb streamyx…and i live in ipoh, 10 minutes from ipoh city central….AVERAGE? i get 0, not average…seems like this article is cheating us or any other people…lol

    2. Gabriel says:

      Don’t forget their “upgrade costs a fortune” phrase. Well, they should stop brainwashing people that it costs a lot to become fibre. Fibre is way more cheap than copper, and easily available. But they still haunt people that they will have to wait patiently or they have to pay expensive bills because “upgrade costs a fortune”.

  16. Ken L.c.c says:

    “I think we don’t cut our ISP or Telco enough slack”

    ermm……..haven’t we had enough of their BS already? it’s been almost 3 years since the area right next to my area got UNIFI and the expansion plan hasn’t reached my house yet.

    and i’m sure u haven’t been to Cambodia, their 3g services even covers the MIDDLE OF A LAKE (that’s a HUGE lake, the biggest in SEA). i can’t even get proper 3G in the city center of Ipoh…and i’m using Maxis

  17. bZz says:

    Went Singapore… Demmit! So hard to find free internet wifi. No wifi in mamak, starbucks etc. Same goes to Thailand. HK, a bit better but still hard since I didnt enter every coffee shop or restaurant. Macau is the same. I can get my free wifi when im waiting for the ferry. Here, I can get free wifi even in my nearest mamak. 10Mbps somemore. The best part was, cybercafe just near the mamak stall already tutup kedai. For free wifi in Starbucks, Msia free wifi plus you can smoke. In thailand, no free wifi n no smoking.

    1. Chor Win Lee says:

      When the price is cheap and affordable, who need the free wifi?
      Free wifi only a gimmick stuff.

  18. Chor Win Lee says:

    For me, loser always have the excuse.
    In old days, broadband charges were high, they blame Malaysia penetration rate is low, and need critical mass to cut down the overall cost. In today, the speed lag behind neighbor countries (not Sg, but Vietnam & Cambodia), they finding other excuses again. Is time to stop wasting the brain power to “construct” excuse, but spend the effort to think how to improve overall infrastructure and connectivity. No matter what survey results pop up that stated Malaysia behind in IT infrastructure, they will find excuse to protect, and seldom see the related parties take the note and come out aggressive working plan to improve situation. From point of view of Korea, Europe, China’s expatriates, we’re slow, moving damn slow, and never on time. Is time to change the mindset and throw away the name of “Juara Kampung”.

    1. Gabriel says:

      Have you ever seen any Malaysian official took responsibility after a scandal happened? None. Nada. Zero.

      Haven you ever heard a sincere apology from TM or any Teleco if there is a service disruption? Answer is same as above.

      Malaysian mentality still stays at the “not my fault” and “I am too high to say sorry” level. So whenever an unfavorable incident or accident happens, a frenzy of finger-pointing will soon ensue.

  19. Henry HYMC says:

    Consumers are complaining of slower speed to overseas server while local authorities are benchmarking their KPI speed based on connection to local server….

  20. Gabriel says:

    Hmm, good points you have there. Malaysia is not doing bad actually if we compare ourselves to some other developing countries. But one thing we need to remember, the world won’t stay still waiting for us to catch up. Instead, we need to catch up with the world’s trend. Internet across the world is getting quicker and quicker, but our internet pace hasn’t increased much. Take TM for example, it should phase out its 512 kbps and 384 kbps (or whatever speed that is lower than 1 mbps) service. But if you take a registration form from TM, it is not possible to see these two speeds on the list.

    Yes, there is no difference between using an 8 mbps internet connection with a 100 mbps internet connection. But one thing we always forget to put into calculation is, files online are getting bigger and bigger, which means bandwidth that has to be used should be bigger too. Maybe 8 mbps, or even 1 mbps is ok for watching Youtube. But could you guarantee that in the near future Youtube will still continue providing 144 ppi streaming resolution? Don’t forget, not so long ago, we could store a file in a diskette of just 1.44 mB storage. But now, even 1 TB is not enough for us.

    The definition of “broadband” set by SKMM is no good as well. It defines “broadband” as any internet service that provides speed at least 64 kbps. This is far lower than the speed set by International Telecommunication Union, that is 256 kbps. Of course, you can’t get any broadband that is lower than 384kbps, but the lower threshold means lower standard and expectations, not from the public, but from the internet provider.

    The Malaysian government is also lax in upgrading and expanding the broadband availability. Yes, our PM has plans to make internet available throughout the country, but is there a clear-cut goal? Or his goal is just vague and indefinite? What is our goal on broadband coverage by 2020? Has anyone heard of anything on this matter? I haven’t. And I doubt the public has.

    Unlike Malaysia, many developed and developing countries are trying to set clear and definite goals on their broadband services. Whether to increase penetration rate, decreasing internet cost or increasing average speed. Our country should know that in order to jump on the “developed country” wagon, we have to brace ourselves for changes, and they have to be done drastically. If not, we will always stay this way for time indefinite. But sadly, no one is willing to change drastically. The “OKlah” mentality still roots in every Tom, Dick and Harry in this country. And there is no sign this mentality is going to be uprooted soon.

    So back to the average speed thing. Yes, we should be relieved and not to be in anger when we our internet act up. But that doesn’t mean we could sit back and relax. We should strive for better, or even best. The nation should know that good internet service will in turn change the future of the country. No country could continue to develop if its internet service is being neglected. A country has to change many of its elements in order to develop, be it infrastructure, pubic transport, media, or mentality. But judging from the current situation, Malaysia still has a long way to go before it will be declared as a “developed country”.( Self-declaration doesn’t signify reality though).

  21. tlc9711 says:

    Simple…..Malaysia Internet
    Speed = ok
    Stability = worst
    Price = hell expensive
    Coverage = city > rural
    Policy = confusing
    Customer Service = like monkey
    Technology = far behind Vietnam…
    Consumer = mostly unhappy
    Anything to add???

  22. Edmund says:

    Your article has brought new insights to the true state of Malaysian internet performance and it’s definitely food for thought. But I’m sorry to say that no matter how you put it, one simple fact remains.. MALAYSIAN INTERNET IS FREAKING SLOW and will remain so for the forseeable future.. For a nation striving to be a developed country by the year 2020, this is pathetic..

    Maybe you see value in everyone gaining access to internet no matter where they are (much like the AirAsia business model where everyone and anyone, except wanted criminals, can fly), but it’s a completely different thing..

    We are not against better internet penetration, but considering that we are already paying RIDICULOUS money for internet speeds which are considered extremely slow elsewhere, we paying customers have the right to expect better services.. It’s that wrong?

    Why can’t we improve both the internet speed (at least in areas where Internet is much needed) and internet penetration? Internet speed is NOT an opportunity cost for better penetration..

  23. The Shakegoo says:

    I disagree because nobody runs speedtest by ookla on throttled connection to affect the speeds in the survey. If they do, the low numbers would not hurt the collective of users who are on higher speed broadband.

    I’m in a major city in Kelantan, and my speeds average about 1Mbits. (Occasionally hit 7Mbits, but they’re not very often)

    There are many areas outside Klang Valley where the internet speeds are absolutely pitiful.

    Yes, we may have more penetration, but the truth is also that we have LOWER AVERAGE SPEED due to the number of users that are still on SLOWBAND.

  24. Anonymous says:

    My opinion is that you’re full of shit.

  25. Helmet Boy says:

    But im from Kedah 🙁

  26. Sean Nam says:

    In case you’re a reader from future like me that happened to google the state of Malaysian internet and stumble upon this monumental shit of an article. Streamyx by TM is offering RM140/mo for 4 Mbps the moment I wrote this (JAN 2018). This is pathetic and at the same time alarming as Malaysia is drifting even further away from every technologically competent nations since the conception of this abominated article.

    In the past several years, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, streaming service, and even DNA sequencing technology in my field have seen much progress. New data is bloated into a new high level we human have never seen before. Ever-hungry machine algorithms are crunching bigger and bigger data; competent countries are banking/archiving big data for R&D or monitoring purpose.

    I am old enough to remember the creation of Multimedia Super Corridor, CyberJaya, etc., and now I see even less hope for Malaysia to get out of the rank of developing countries, and much less becoming a formidable economic/technological power any time soon. Please, no more excuse, or shitty interpretation of test results.

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