CYBERJAYA: Developer Monarch Lodge Development Sdn Bhd was fined RM60,000 by the Seremban Magistrate’s Court last Friday for damaging network facilities owned by Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM).

Judge Diana Md Razali passed the sentence after the defence failed to raise reasonable doubt against the prosecution’s case.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in a statement today said Monarch Lodge Development was charged with the offence of intentionally digging and damaging TM’s network infrastructure, specially nine conduit routes and six routes at Kilometre 8.2, Jalan Seremban-Port Dickson, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan.

The company was charged under Section 235 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 [Act 588], which allows for a fine of up to RM300,000 or imprisonment for up to three years, or both.

According to MCMC, the results of an investigation found that the damage to TM’s network facilities was caused by excavation work carried out by the developer in relation to the Bandar Pelancongan Kota Lukut development project in Port Dickson.

It said that as a result of the damage to TM’s network facilities, it affected the service to TM customers in the area.

“MCMC takes a serious view of this issue and reminded all development companies to adhere to safety measures as outlined in the Guidelines for the Relocation and Reinstallation of Utilities in Government Programmes and Projects,“ the statement said.

“The guidelines are aimed at giving clarification regarding the scope of compliance, funding methods, implementation methods, and the application of the latest work procedures for utility relocation and reinstallation works at all project sites in federal and state reserves.”

According to MCMC, the guidelines also guarantee protection of public utility facilities, especially network facilities.

“Apart from this, MCMC also suggests that contractors or development companies use the ‘Call Before You Dig (CBYD)’ portal for the purpose of construction works to be carried out when involving network facilities.

“Through this initiative, the rate of possible damage to network facilities and service disruptions can be reduced to a minimum level,“ it added.