SACOFA STRIVES TO PROVE THAT TELCO RADIATION IS NOT HARMFUL
LIMBANG (Sarawak) – 2 August 2018: SACOFA Sdn Bhd, Sarawak’s leading ICT infrastructure company behind Sarawak’s state-of-the-art telecommunications and information technologies development, has conducted a public seminar today on the misconception people have on the dangers and hazards of Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) and Radio Frequency (RF) emissions to people living in close proximity to telecommunications towers. SACOFA’s public safety drive, which is now in its second year, helps the public to better understand telco towers, how vastly important they are to the state’s development, and that they pose no threat to public health and safety. They are widely reported to have a highly positive impact providing high-speed broadband connectivity and all its benefits to the life of the people around it as a driver for education where schools can have access to open-source learning opportunities and materials; and also to stimulate innovation, entrepreneurial growth and economic advancement for the communities they serve.
SACOFA has recently responded to public complaints in places like Taman Jasmine in Bintulu, Siang Siang in Miri and Stapok in Kuching, which demonstrates the importance of educating the public via interactive seminars and public engagement activities. The most recent dialogue was with the residents of Tabuan Desa in Kuching for the proposed site at Lorong Keranji 4F1 on 19th July this year. The residents have been made aware of the safe levels of emissions from telecommunications towers and they have ultimately agreed to the construction of the tower.
SACOFA engaged the Malaysian Nuclear Agency to conduct the RF emissions tests and audit for 15 locations throughout Sarawak in 2017. This year, an additional 26 locations have been audited and the RF radiation in all the 41 locations fell well below the exposure limits and comply to International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) standards, which are set by the World Health Organisation and have been adopted as the mandatory standard set by the Ministry of Health Malaysia and Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for members of the public. Findings from the audit proves that SACOFA telco towers performed at a level far better than the minimum international and Malaysian standard. In fact, the radiation is comparable to the low emissions of a table lamp or a TV.
SACOFA Sdn Bhd’s Managing Director, Zaid Zaini, said: “Based on the findings of this assessment by the Malaysian Nuclear Agency, we strongly believe that the presence of the RF radiation emitted by the antennas from our telecommunication towers with the present loads and the background radiation would not lead to any harmful radiation exposure to the public. Additionally, SACOFA is in full compliance with local regulations on the minimum setback distances from towers to residential and commercial buildings.
“We understand the concerns from the public regarding the safety aspect of telco towers and we aim to provide the best service to the public as the State’s ICT enabler within the parameter of health and safety. Nevertheless, we will continue to engage with the public via multiple platforms, offering information with the utmost transparency.”
Speaking at the seminar was Mr. Chee Lay Heng of CISSPR Sdn Bhd, a premier RF, EMF, EMC and safety services and solutions provider in Malaysia that specialised in test and measurement, projects and consultancy. Also invited as a speaker was Miss Roha Tukimin, Research Officer and Manager of the Non-Ionising Radiation Group of the Malaysian Nuclear Agency. Closing remarks were made by the Resident of Limbang, Ir. Ahmad Denney bin Ahmad Fauzi, who read the text of speech of YB Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Ismail, Assistant Minister of Agriculture Sarawak and Sarawak State Legislative Assemblyman for N.79 Bukit Kota. The seminar was attended by Limbang District Council officers, Councillors, Government officers, community leaders, teachers, media representatives, and members of the public.
Zaid continued, “More awareness talks conducted by industry experts alongside the Malaysian Nuclear Agency and professional consultants are being planned. We are working closely with local councils and relevant parties, especially the public, to bring a better understanding of the safe levels of non-ionising emissions which are often misunderstood and falsely assumed to have harmful health effects.
“SACOFA emphasises on high priority on the safety and health of everyone. As a leading ICT company, we constantly strive to bring new technology to enhance everyone’s quality of life but we will never endanger the public while doing this.
“People need to remember that my staff at SACOFA and I too are cellular phone users just like everyone else and are part of the communities that reside in proximity to these same towers. Hence our high standards are maintained to ensure the safety of everyone! Surely we will not treat lightly the risk to our health in the name of technology,” Zaid Zaini highlighted.
He added that all parties need to work together to clear misperception of tower emissions and dispel the myths about RF radiation into order to bring Sarawak to greater heights with a Digital Future for the benefit of everyone.”
SACOFA DEBUNKS MYTHS AROUND TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWERS WITH COMPREHENSIVE RF EMISSION AUDIT BY MALAYSIAN NUCLEAR AGENCY
KUCHING (Sarawak) – 5 July 2018: SACOFA Sdn Bhd, Sarawak’s leading ICT infrastructure company that is striving to deliver on the State’s ambitious digital economy targets, has received the latest RF emissions audit report from Malaysian Nuclear Agency, focussing on the health and safety of telco towers’ emission levels, disproving, yet further, that they pose any harm at all to nearby communities.
The overarching objective of the audit is to share transparently and impartially with the public what the authorities are doing in terms of testing, regulations and compliance to protect the public, while addressing the myths and misperceptions surrounding telco towers. The audit focusses on Radio Frequency (RF) and Electromagnetic Field (EMF) public safety, highlighting recent test results conducted throughout Sarawak. The overwhelming evidence found within the audit proves that telco towers pose no threat to public health and safety through alleged harmful emissions and that emission levels comply with all State, national and international regulations and emissions standards.
RF testing was conducted by the Malaysian Nuclear Agency between 2017 and 2018 at 41 rural and urban sites revealing that emissions in the immediate vicinity of the telco tower sites varied from as little as 0.01% to 0.56% of the maximum exposure limit levels set by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and are fully compliant with the standards set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
The RF emission assessment audit for 2018, coupled with previous audits, covers most of the State of Sarawak, and the results are staggering insofar as how much they fall below the maximum levels set by MCMC, with the highest emissions of all the towers tested falling almost 200 times below the maximum permitted levels.
With these new findings, SACOFA will continue its roadshow of public awareness talks and seminars between now and December 2018 to spread the word, educate different audiences and disprove the increasingly unfounded myths and misconceptions, piloted by a minority of special interest groups and individuals who have no credible research of their own.
Speaking about the RF Emission Audit by the Malaysian Nuclear Agency (2016-2018) Zaid Zaini, Managing Director of SACOFA, said: “We’re pleased, but not surprised that these findings go even further to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the emissions given off by telco towers are completely harmless. Common misconceptions have emanated from diverse groups, ranging from the media, NGOs sections of the general public and even elected officials. These talks, scheduled for the remainder of the year, provide an excellent opportunity for the experts to lay out the facts in robust terms, backed up by hard evidence, to ensure public concerns are met and misconceptions – which are sometimes motivated with questionable intentions – are tackled head on with research and testing.
“SACOFA maintains an exemplary standard on safety and health for the benefit of everyone. Whilst we as an ICT company are continually adopting new technology to enhance our quality of life, we will never endanger the very community in which we are a part of. We are also cellular phone users and live in proximity to the same towers just like everyone else in Sarawak,” he emphasised.
The most recent round of testing shows that SACOFA’s towers are performing, on average, several hundred times better than the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) standards, which are set by the World Health Organisation and have been adopted as the mandatory standard set by the Ministry of Health Malaysia.
Zaid continued: “Telco towers emit RF radiation, which is considered non-ionizing and operates at extremely low frequencies and is harmless to humans at the minimal levels at which SACOFA towers are built. To put that into context, that is the same kind of absolutely harmless emission given off by radios, lamps and televisions.”
SACOFA continues to expand its reach to more communities for a better-connected Sarawak
(SACOFA4U CSR Programme empowers Sarawak’s geographically-isolated communities by providing wireless digital connectivity, free of charge)
Kuching (Sarawak) – 8th May 2018: SACOFA Sdn Bhd (Sacofa), Sarawak’s own telecommunications infrastructure company, today took another step closer towards bridging the digital divide in the state by launching its SACOFA4U Community Outreach Programme for Kampung Pulau Salak near Kuching, Sarawak.
The Corporate Social Responsibility Programme is in addition to the three-legged tower which was completed late last year. The entire programme is a collaboration with REDtone International Bhd and Tejas Networks Ltd. SACOFA also collaborated with University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) to implement the Digital Economy Initiative via two workshops namely “Scratch Programming for Kids” and “Introduction to Business and Digital World” on 31 March and 1 April 2018 at Sekolah Kebangsaan Salak.
Zaid Zaini, Managing Director, SACOFA Sdn Bhd, said: "I am pleased to announce that Kampung Pulau Salak is now equipped with telecommunications infrastructure and technology which puts it on par with other connected rural areas in Malaysia. The construction of the telecommunications tower and the launch of our SACOFA4U Community Outreach Programme have ushered in a new era for the local community.
"This historical moment will certainly bring great opportunities to the local residents especially teachers, students, and entrepreneurs. They are now in a better position to raise their standard of living in terms of economic and social development.
"I wish to express my appreciation and thanks to REDtone for their contribution in this collaboration with SACOFA by providing Time-Division Duplexing LTE spectrum; and to Tejas Networks for their commitment by providing LTE equipment that enables the provision of the state-of-the-art technology. As a result of this collaboration, local residents are now able to connect to the Internet and be in a better position to improve their standard of living,” Zaid said at the launching ceremony.
“SACOFA4U’s main objective of providing telecommunications infrastructure to facilitate connectivity is consistent with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Dr Haji Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Abang Haji Openg’s vision of transforming Sarawak to a high-income state via the digital economy.
“Our SACOFA4U CSR programme is proving to be a key element in boosting further the overall efforts by the government to make internet access available to as many people in Sarawak as possible,” he emphasised.
To date, SACOFA4U has provided free high-speed Wi-Fi services to 10 locations and continues to expand its reach to more communities for a better-connected Sarawak. The programme covers schools, institutions of higher learning, religious places, Government buildings and public areas.
Through this programme SACOFA is empowering geographically-isolated communities by providing free wireless digital connectivity, consistent with the State Government’s vision for Sarawak, where all sections of society can realise the benefits.
The ceremony was officiated by YB Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Assistant Minister of Utilities Sarawak (Electricity Supply) and attended by Dato Sri Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, caretaker Minister of Natural Resources and Environment; senior figures from the telecommunications industry, Government officials, and local residents.
Kampung Pulau Salak which is accessible by a 20-minute boat ride from the Sungai Daun jetty in Pasir Pandak Santubong, is home to a small fishing community benefitting from the recently-connected electricity supply in October 2013, and subsequently a treated water supply in June 2017.
The SACOFA4U community outreach programme’s primary goal is to bridge the digital divide and develop an e-knowledge society, promote human capital development in Sarawak, stimulate innovation and creativity in the telecommunications technology industry and to reinforce Government, community and industry efforts towards an ICT literate society.