Malaysia sat dish crackdown

Owners of 22,000 satellite dishes in Sabah and Sarawak will be issued notices early next year to dismantle their sets.

They will be given a one-month grace period, after which they could be fined or taken to court.

The Cabinet made the directive at its weekly meeting over the weekend, reinforcing the decision it made last year to impose a total ban on the use of the gadgets.

The ban was imposed after the Cabinet made a full study of the social effects of free access to satellite programs. It found that negative effects far outweighed other values.

The ban, however, exempted foreign embassies, federal and state ministers and certain institutions (not necessarily educational).

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