News: Local radio ham operators can help in emergencies


The Star, 30 Jul 2014

MALACCA: Malaysia has 11,626 amateur radio ham operators who can offer help during emergencies or natural disasters.

Head of the Malaysian Commu­nications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) southern region Roszeta Kassim, said of the total, peninsula Malaysia had 9,919 operators.

Sabah had 1,487 and Sarawak had 220, she said.

Amateur radio is a scientific hobby that involves construction, study and communication through means of radio waves that brings together fellow enthusiasts who use a set of pre-determined and allowed radio frequencies.

Roszeta said amateur radio operators played an important role in helping the authorities during emergencies and disasters.

“For example, when Johor was hit by the big floods in 2007, a group of amateur radio operators offered assistance as the cellular network was disrupted,” she said.

She said Malaysians aged 14 and above were eligible to become amateur radio operators after passing a MCMC-conducted test.

“Each operator will then be assigned a ‘call sign’ as a unique identity in the amateur radio frequency bands.

“They are allowed to communicate on any subject except politics, religion, commercial dealings and pornography. The operators must self-regulate.

“If other operators were to bring up the issues concerned, they must reprimand them. If the issues are serious, it must be reported to MCMC for further action,” she said. — Bernama