Residents complain about Sacofa’s U-turn

Sacofa agreed to relocate the tower but they asked for two months to dismantle the tower. But a letter from Sacofa dated Sept 28 informed the people that the company changed their decision to relocate the tower. The residents felt appalled. Chong Chieng Jen, Kota Sentosa assemblyman
KUCHING: Residents of Lorong 10, Jalan Stampin are not happy with Sacofa’s about turn to change its earlier decision to remove the telecommunication tower it erected in the residential area few months ago.

Thus, they sought the help of Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman, to resolve the problem.

More than 130 residents in the area have signed a petition opposing the erection of the tower in their recreation park.

The group and Chong had a meeting with Sacofa management at Sacofa’s office in Satok yesterday.

“About two months ago, Sacofa constructed a telecommunication tower in a park in the residential area. After a protest, the residents had a meeting with Sacofa management on July 12.

“Sacofa agreed to relocate the tower but they asked for two months to dismantle the tower. But a letter from Sacofa dated Sept 28 informed the people that the company changed their decision to relocate the tower. The residents felt appalled,” said Chong at a press conference after the meeting.

Chong wanted to know whether it is Sacofa’s policy to erect towers instead of installing telco transmitters on top of tall buildings.

“There are a few tall buildings in the area. Why are they not chosen for the installation?” he asked.

He claimed that Sacofa gave up the site of its previous tower for a private developer to develop condominiums.

“While the company can accommodate the business needs of one private developer, why are they ignoring the wishes of hundreds of residents in the Jalan Stampin area?” he asked again.

He said there were other state lands in the vicinity which were not developed.

“Why chose the recreation park right in the middle of the residential area?” he questioned, arguing that the recreation park is a facility for the residents and their children to play and exercise.

Other than causing mental stress resulted from looking at a tall tower in their neighbourhood, Chong said the tower would subject the residents to constant electromagnetic fields ( EMF) exposure which might be detrimental to their health in the long-run.

“There are also studies showing that the existence of a tower will attract lightning strikes which will induce Ground Potential Rise which may cause harm to humans and damage to electrical equipment,” Chong pointed out.

Meanwhile, Chong disclosed that the company is 50 per cent owned by Cahaya Mata Sarawak (CMS) Berhad, a private company with profit as its key motivation.

“We have no objection for your company to make profit, but it should not be done at the expense of the people, by taking away their recreation park and subject them to constant stress and unknown EMF exposures against their will,” said Chong.

Chong said he would bring up the issue at the next State Legislative Assembly meeting.

TheBorneoPost October 5 ,2016