Petition asking for an “unbiased” Communications and Multimedia Minister appears online

The Communications and Multimedia Minister has made several of public statements recently especially about TM and it seems there are a number of people that don’t agree with his approach so much so that a petition calling for his replacement has appeared on the popular petitions website, change.org. At the time of writing, the petition has amassed over 4,500 virtual signatures. 

We are demanding the current Minister of Communications & Multimedia to step down as he had clearly showed to us he is being bias and not doing the work the better good of Malaysia.

The petition begins with a demand asking for the Gobind Singh Deo, the minister of communications and multimedia to step down alleging that the minister had been negatively biased towards TM.

This is presumably as a response to the many public statements made by Gobind Singh condemning TM for what he claims is a failure on TM’s part for not being able to reduce the price of Streamyx subscription fee and for the lack of transparency when it comes to communicating to its customers, amongst other things.

The petition also claims that Gobind’s statements have had a negative impact on the value of TM’s share price with the GLC losing “almost RM12 billion in market capitalisation” since the minister took office. 

Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) is a GLC company that should bring return to Malaysia. However, after Mr Gobind Singh had been elected to become the minister, TM share price had drop from RM6+ to RM2.27, losing almost RM12 billion market capitalisation.

The creators of the petition also allege that other parties stand to gain from the minister’s decisions which the creators claim are one-sided instead of a win-win for all parties involved.

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The creators who call themselves “concerned citizen” also raised concerns on whether the minister has the “proper planning and understanding” of the Malaysian telecommunications industry.

We as Malaysian raised concern whether this minister have a proper planing and understanding of Malaysia telecomunication industry. 

In its closing, the petition demand for the current minister to be replaced with someone the creators say is “unbiased” and “have adequate knowledge” of the local telecommunications industry.

Therefore, we demand a minister that is unbiased and have adequate knowledge on telecomunication industry that will be better for the citizen of Malaysia.

At the time of writing, the change.org petition has gathered over 4,500 virtual signatures. You can take a look at the petition, here.

Two sides of the coin

While Gobind’s statements about TM has gained much praise from the public online, a number of netizens have also shared their opinions on the minister’s actions and how it will have a wider impact beyond just cheaper internet.

A freelance writer by the name of Kak Jah Hashim wrote:

I wonder what’s the deal with Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo? Every time he opens his mouth about Telekom Malaysia (TM), their share prices fall.

Her Facebook post has received over 450 reactions and over 830 shares.

Meanwhile a netizen called “Kakaroct Kakaroct” asks the question:

Aku tgk facebook dan twittter, bila netizen mentioned TM, laju betul pak menteri jawab.

Bila netizen mentioned Maxis or Astro.. Senyap seribu bahasa mcm takde apa2 masalah dr telco nie.

Translation: “I see on Facebook and Twitter, when netizens mention TM, the minister is quick to respond.

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When netizen mentions Maxis or Astro. There’s no reaction as if there are no problems with these operators”. 

Unifi is not perfect, everyone will agree to that but neither are any other operators in Malaysia. Consumers have the option to choose from a number of providers offering a range of broadband services at different price points. There is choice and  broadband services are definitely much cheaper now, thanks in part to the minister and also the ground work made by the industry.

Beyond that, Streamyx is still a major bugbear for a majority of TM’s customers. The cheapest Streamyx plan you can get right now is RM110/month for 1Mbps — it’s 2018 and it’s just ridiculous to pay that amount of money for that speed. It’s just ridiculous to offer a broadband plan with only 1Mbps download and 384kbps upload. TM should seriously re-look at how they price their Streamyx plans and be more aggressive in upgrading Streamyx customers who are in unifi areas to better and cheaper packages.

But having said that, the industry is open, while TM work on improving their Streamyx and low-end offerings, competitors like Maxis, Time and Celcom, are free to offer their services in Streamyx areas as well where TM is unable to provide better and more affordable packages

Surely there’s a major untapped market for competitors where TM is unable to offer their services. So is TM completely to blame? Is the minister justified in his actions? Do you agree with the comments otherwise? What do you think?