Dishes are in deep

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The Malaysian government is poised for a crackdown against illegal operators of satellite dishes. The Energy, Telecommunications and Posts Ministry says it only awaits final approval to launch a massive blitz against about 22,000 parabolic dish owners in east Malaysia.

“We’re awaiting an official directive from the minister himself soon,” said Zaki Hj. Mohd. Yusoff, director of the licensing division of the ministry’s telecommunications department.

The federal cabinet recently decided that action would be taken against some 20,000 illegal users in Sarawak and 2,000 in Sabah.

Under the Telecommunications Act of 1950 (amended in 1970), anyone convicted of owning a parabolic dish without a valid license can be fined the equivalent of $ 40,000.

Exempted from the ban are the king, the sultans and heads of the various states, certain ministers, foreign embassies and selected four and five-star hotels.

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