The state governments of Penang and Perak have begun clamping down on thousands of “illegal” telecommunications towers. This comes as a result of unnamed telcos who have failed to pay permit fees for the towers, and were costing the two states millions in revenue each year.
According to reports by Free Malaysia Today, telcos are obliged to pay states some RM2,000 annually for each tower they erect. The report goes on to say that there were some 2,800 illegal towers in Perak, while another 137 were found in Penang.
Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir was quoted as saying that failure to pay these permits was costing his state some RM20 million each year. Penang State Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said that letters were issued to direct the telcos involved to dismantle their towers or face legal action.
Constructing communications towers requires permits from both state and federal regulators; something that doesn’t come easily. NGOs also often keep an eye on the proposed location of some of these towers to ensure that they are not constructed too closely to residential areas for fear of electro-magnetic radiation.