Residents of Bukit Gelugor, would like to highlight the following issues of their objection to the building of a 5G Telecommunications transmitter in their housing area and the health and safety concerns to the community of Bukit Gelugor.
Building a 5G Telecommunications Transmitter without Consulting Residents
It was been brought to our attention that the local authorities have given approval for the erection of a mobile telecommunication transmitter in the compound Surau of Bukit Gelugor. The residents were caught by surprise with the decision to erect a 5G Telecommunications Transmitter at the heart of Bukit Gelugor without prior discussion and agreement with the community who are directly affected by it.
An objection letter has been sent to the relevant local authorities [Office of the Honorable Chief Minister; Mayor Office; Majlis Agama Islam; Majlis Wakaf Pulau Pinang; Suruhajaya Kommunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (MCMC); Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia (CAAM); Masjid Taqwa; ADUN Seri Delima and the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP)] to highlighting this matter.
The residents were not served any notice as required by law on the construction of a 5G Telco Transmitter.
We were made to understand that there were discrepancies in the approval letters sent to MCMC, CAAM, Wakaf Pulau Pinang, TNB, Bomba and MBPP. The approval requests by the contractor to the local authorities were dubious and misleading. Some of the discrepancies include claiming there was a pre-existing minaret (that was just constructed two days prior to this PC) and that a 3 meter telco transmitter will be added on it etc. As its understood MBPP has only given approval for ‘Cadangan Tambahan Ubahsuai Sebuah Surau’ with no mention of an erection of a telco transmiter. The residents have no objection to the erection of a minaret in the surau. However the addition of a 3 meter ‘Wall Mounted Boom’ 5G Frequency Transmitter is objected.
Work however has progressed and the project was rushed to partial completion after residents started voicing out their complaints. During the entire construction no notice board was erected as per councils guidelines to inform the public of the said project, there are also concerns to the structures foundation and safety by the engineers and architects in the community.
Legitimate Health and Safety Concerns
While we welcome development and progress it cannot be at the expense of possible harm this infrastructure could bring to the community. Based on the globally accepted studies, there is no 100% assurance on the safety from the harm of the telco transmitter in the community.
In fact, there is growing evidence that those who are within 500m radius of the telco transmitter are likely to experience long term health impact and the surrounding natural environment will also see the impacts. The International Agency for Research on Cancer does consider RF waves more generally as potential carcinogenic.
These very transmitter towers are now sprouting up in schools, religious places of worship and other public areas is a concerning issue that needs to be addressed.
As a responsible government that serves the rakyat, we request that this approval to erect a telecommunication transmitter in the heart of the community is reconsidered. We seek a stop order and meeting to resolve this matter on an urgent basis with the community that will be affected.
On Behalf of the Residents of Bukit Gelugor
Hamdullah Bin Mohammed Farouk
Press Statement, 22 October 2023