Cabinet should overrule Multimedia Ministry and announce tomorrow that refund  would be paid to anyone holding television licences for any  period of at least one month after April 1

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Tuesday): The Energy, Communications and Multimedia Ministry said in a statement yesterday that only television licence issued after  last March 31 qualify for refund.

It said that the abolition of television licence as announced in the Budget 2000 last  Friday did not cover those issued before April 1 1999.

This is a wrong interpretation of the Budget announcement made by the first Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin, when presenting the Budget 2000 in Parliament last Friday and represents a dishonourable attempt by the Multimedia Ministry to fleece the people of their rightful monies.

If the Energy, Communications and Multimedia Ministry is right, then those who had taken out three-year or five-year licences before April 1 this year would not be entitled to a refund, which is grossly unfair.

What Daim announced last Friday was the "abolition of television licences since 1 April this year", and this can only mean that those who have television licences for any period after April 1 this year, even though paid earlier, are entitled to a refund.

In other words, a person who paid annual licence on March 1, 1999 should be entitled to a refund for the 11 months for which licensing had been abolished, i.e. from April 1, 1999 to March 1, 2000 - for RM22.

As the Energy, Communications and Multimedia Ministry has chosen to give a misinterpretation of the abolition of the television licences, the Cabinet tomorrow should overrule the Multimedia Ministry and announce that anyone holding television licence for any period after April 1, 1999 of at least one month would be entitled to refund.


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong