ALOR STAR: Kedah and Perlis Telekom Malaysia (TM) lost about RM3.2 million due to 836 cases of cable thefts reported between January and July in the two states.
Kedah/Perlis TM general manager Noor Lela Baba said two hotels in Langkawi were among thousands who fell victim to cable thieves during the first seven months this year.
She said the cable theft at the hotel had tarnished the good name of Malaysian hospitality since it forced many foreign visitors to be "disconnected" with their families and friends abroad due to the inaccessibility to the Internet and telephone calls.
Also not spared by the cable thefts, Noor Lela said, were the factories. Some factories in Kulim Industrial Park and at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park were also "disconnected" from their clientele and the rest of the global market after thieves stole power cables as well as telephone lines in southern Kedah.
"This is a very serious matter. The country's good name as an investment hub would definitely be marred," she said after officiating TM's annual bubur lambuk cook-out here recently.
Some 50 TM staff took part in the annual event, and some 800 packets of bubur lambuk were later distributed to TM staff and customers.
On its part, Noor Lela said the telecommunications giant installed 80 per cent of its "I watch" safety alarms in Kedah and Perlis to stop cable thefts. The alarm would send off a short messaging service (SMS) to the police and TM's security division when the cables are cut.
TM officers would be deployed to the scene fast to check on the alert and carry out an immediate replacement of the stolen cable.
Teams in both the states were also working closely with the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission, police, TM's auxiliary police, People Volunteer Corps (Rela) and local residents to check against cable thefts.
Noor Lela said the public played a vital role in helping TM fight cable thefts. Fifty people in Sungai Petani and Alor Star received letters of commendation from TM in March and July this year for helping to check against cable thefts.
TM's hotline for cable thefts is 04-720 2999. By Fariza Uzmat