Cabinet says “No” to Astro’s rate hike

KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 (Bernama) — The Cabinet has decided not to allow pay TV station Astro to raise its rates until the company gets clearance from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, said Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.

He said the matter was discussed at today’s Cabinet meeting and that the members felt it was not appropriate for Astro to raise its rate at this time.

“I agreed that Astro’s rates could only be hiked with MCMC’s approval and that any hikes must be reasonable and conform to the law,” he told reporters after chairing his ministry’s post-Cabinet meeting at Angkasapuri here.

He said Astro had violated MCMC’s regulations by issuing notices on its rate hikes to customers without the commission’s clearance.

“As such, I have asked MCMC to take appropriate action and instruct Astro not to continue with the rate hike until such a time deemed more suitable.

Explaining what he meant by “appropriate action”, Rais said this was up to MCMC to determine and that it could be a fine with the amount as allowed under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

Astro recently announced that it would be streamlining the packages it was offering, which would take effect on July 11.

According to Astro, following the streamlining exercise, customers could make savings of between RM4 and RM14.95 or pay nominal increases of between RM1 and RM15, depending on packages preferred. — BERNAMA

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