RESORT owners and tour operators in Pulau Lang Tengah, Terengganu, are unhappy about poor telecommunications facilities on the island.
They claim that the Internet, WhatsApp, email and other online systems are working at a snail’s pace, and at times, not functioning at all.
They said the situation was so bad that it was threatening the tourism industry, not only for the state, but also the country as Terengganu was famous for its idyllic islands.
Chong Fah Ming, operator of the four-star Summer Bay Resort Lang Island resort, said he feared the problem would discourage tourists to come.
He said the resort was fully-booked almost year-round, with the exception of the monsoon season, giving Terengganu much-needed tourism revenue and providing plenty of jobs.
“About 12,000 tourists come to the resort annually, mainly from China, Europe and Southeast Asia. The number is rising with Visit Beautiful Terengganu Year in high gear.
“But sadly, the telecommunications connection is wanting. It creates a negative image of the country, especially in the era of information and communications technology (ICT).
“Many of my resort’s patrons are upset as they cannot connect, communicate, work and attend to personal matters. I have highlighted the problem to the authorities, but to no avail.”
Terengganu Tourism, Culture and Information Technology Committee chairman Ariffin Deraman said he had forwarded the complaint to telecommunications companies Telekom, Celcom, DiGi and Maxis.
He said a private company, OCK Group, had been commissioned by the Malaysian Multimedia and Communications Commission (MCMC) to erect and manage the sole communications tower on Pulau Lang Tengah.
“I hope something can be done to resolve the issue by next month. I urge MCMC to look into the matter immediately.”
An OCK spokesman said the company was commissioned by MCMC two years ago to install the telecommunications tower’s 2G and 3G network facilities, as well as maintain the tower.
He said OCK was aware of the situation and service interruptions, which could be the result of the microwave transmission being affected by waves and adverse weather as the island was far from the mainland.
It is learnt that OCK is Malay-sia’s largest telecommunications network services and facilities provider, and owns and operates over 200 tower sites.
OCK is said to own and lease ground-based and rooftop-based transceiver stations and tower space to telecommunications network operators.