It needs a deputy minister to issue a reminder to the telcos - seek approval first before imposing whatever new charges to consumers.
I am not questioning or disputing anything BUT in boiling issues like this, the minister himself should attend to it. When a ministry regulates certain policies, it has to keep it firm, and the minister in charge must ensure that every party adheres to it.
But in this telcos issue, it was the deputy minister who broke the one week silence. The 6 per cent additional charges on prepaid charges was already taking center stage and journos and bloggers alike have written a lot about it. Where was the minister?
Deputy Information, Communication and Culture Minister Maglin Dennis D'Cruz said Sunday telcos could not raise the service tax at short notice as it would burden consumers (here).
However, I believe Maxis, Celcom, Digi and others will proceed with the plan to impose the six per cent service tax on all prepaid sales as planned starting next Thursday. Whether the consumers are against it, they got no choice. If they don't like it, stop using prepaid.
I am not belittling minister Rais Yatim but in issues like this, he should come forward and clear the air. Even the MCMC which is under his jurisdiction, was tight lip about it although it regulates the telcos from A to Z.
The MCMC too has yet to comment on allegations that Maxis personnel have been leaking customers private calls and SMS to auditing company PriceWaterhouseCoopers. While the minister himself was aware of it, no directive was issued to start investigation.
Or... the telcos are so BIG and powerful that even ministers cannot interfere in their decisions?