TELCO TOWER WOR­RIES RES­I­DENTS

New Straits Times - - News -

ABOUT 400 res­i­dents in Ta­man Mount Austin Phase Two in Jo­hor are wor­ried about a trans­mis­sion tower which they claim sud­denly sprang up within the wa­ter tank area of their neigh­bour­hood.

“The tower came up within five days. After the struc­ture came up, out­siders kept com­ing into our neigh­bour­hood and they are ar­gu­ing with the se­cu­rity guards ev­ery day.

“The out­siders, mainly from telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pa­nies, do not even have let­ters of au­tho­ri­sa­tion from their com­pa­nies.

“When the se­cu­rity guards de­mand to see their iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and their rea­sons for en­ter­ing the neigh­bour­hood, they would ar­gue that they have valid rea­sons as they must work on the tower,” said K.H. Wong, a spokesman from the Ta­man Mount Austin Phase Two Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion.

Wong added that it was all right if Syarikat Air Jo­hor (SAJ) Hold­ings Sdn Bhd wanted to do work on the wa­ter stor­age area, but it was not right if telco com­pa­nies were en­ter­ing the neigh­bour­hood and har­rass­ing the guards in the process.

The New Straits Times team vis­ited the site and were also con­fronted by two men in an SAJ van who said that no unau­tho­rised per­son should be in the vicin­ity.

When asked if the tower was an SAJ project, the van driver de­nied it was their project.

“If it was not SAJ’s project, then how can out­siders come in as and when they like, claim­ing that they have work to do at the site?” asked Wong.

The res­i­dents have also con­ducted their own re­search on elec­tro­mag­netic ra­di­a­tion health ef­fects in ex­posed and non-ex­posed res­i­dents and found that based on a study con­ducted by aca­demi­cians in 2014, those who lived within the ra­dius of 100m from a telco tower suf­fered dizzi­ness, ir­ri­tabil­ity and loss of mem­ory more than those who lived be­yond the 200m ra­dius.

ACTIONLINE:

Te­brau mem­ber of par­lia­ment Khoo Soo Seang dis­puted the 2014 find­ings and said that based on other stud­ies that he had come across, the elec­tro­mag­netic ra­di­a­tion health ef­fects from trans­mis­sion tow­ers ac­tu­ally af­fected those who lived fur­ther away from the tower than those liv­ing nearby.

“It is a misconception that the ra­di­a­tion emit­ted from nearby trans­mis­sion tow­ers can pose a threat to health.

“On the con­trary, if the phone sig­nal is weak, the phone user’s health is more at risk.

“When there is a strong sig­nal, the phone user is ex­posed to less ra­di­a­tion. You do not need to take my word for it, there are re­ports that prove this,” he said, adding that when the sig­nal was weak, peo­ple would also com­plain about the telco’s ser­vice.

Jo­hor Baru mayor Datuk A. Rahim Nin said the Jo­hor Baru City Coun­cil (MBJB) would look into the mat­ter and check the dis­tance be­tween the trans­mis­sion tower and the houses and other build­ings nearby, as there were guide­lines on the ap­proval of such tow­ers.

PIC BY HAIRUL ANUAR RAHIM

K.H. Wong (left) with other res­i­dents of Ta­man Mount Austin Phase Two show­ing their con­cern over the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion tower built in­side an SAJ wa­ter tank site.

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