Illegal parabolic antennae usage is widespread both in rural and urban areas of Sarawak and Sabah.

Illegal parabolic antennae usage is widespread both in rural and urban areas of Sarawak and Sabah.

Despite the hefty fine of RM100,000 or two-year jail term many households in the state still having illegal parabolic antennae installed at their properties.

According Section 239 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588) accessing or having access to foreign television broadcasting – via illegal meant (ie., installation of parabolic antennae) is an offence.

An offender can be fined up to RM100,000 or sentenced to jail for two years – and worst sentenced for both. As for the antennae it can be confiscated by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

In Bintulu one could easily get an antennae up for as low as RM250 – which enable them the access to eight or more foreign TV channels.

“It is much cheaper than having an Astro,” according to a shop owner in Bintulu – who offering services (illegally) to install these parabolic antennae to his customers, on Sunday.

He said, he sourced the antennae from neighboring countries. Asked if he knew it was illegal selling the antennae in Malaysia – he said he did.

“ I’ll stop selling it if there were no longer demand,” he said.

Deputy Information Minister Datuk Salang Gandum when contacted by The Borneo Post confirmed the usage of parabolic antennae is prohibited in the country – including in Sabah and Sarawak rural areas.

He admitted it usage still widespread and difficult to curtail.