Malaysia will have Digital Terrestial Television (DTT) broadcasting services by the year 2016, thus becoming Asean’s pioneer in the field, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

He said the free TV channel known as MYTV formed part of the transformation agenda of the government that felt the current need for the digitalisation of the broadcasting system.

“If what we plan becomes a reality, Malaysia will be the most advanced among the Asean member countries in this field.

“The DTT which is based on new technology not only encompasses comprehensive coverage but can also raise the quality content of the industry to be more advanced,” he said at the launching of MYTV at the Sime Darby Convention Centre, Bukit Kiara, here last night.

Also present were Datuk Hilmi Mohd Noor, the director of Puncak Semangat Sdn Bhd, the company responsible for implementing the DTT project, the project director Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Yaacob and chief executive of industry development of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Datuk Mohd Ali Hanafiah Mohd Yunus.

The DTT project, which will start next year, will be implemented in four phases beginning with Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang in January 2015 while phase two will cover Sabah and Sarawak with phase three covering Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor.

The last phase will cover Selangor, the Klang Valley, Putrajaya and all the urban areas.

A dynamic DTT sector is also perceived as being capable of strengthening the nation’s capability in raising innovativeness, design, creativity and market for new products which could contribute towards national economic growth.

Ahmad Shabery said the project would start in the interior areas because besides the spirit to provide the latest facilities to the lower strata of society, the module was also simpler as the technical challenge to move from the analogue system to digital was greater.

“We hope to have 100 to 200 channels in the market and we can develop more channels in the future..last time two and three channels were enough because the whole module was based on pure broadcasting but the new model now is more to narrow casting,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Shabery said the Prime Minister had every right to sue online news portalMalaysiakini, for publishing an article titled “A case of the PM reaping what he sows” and “How much will Najib spend to keep Terengganu”.

The case was filed in the High Court here on May 30.

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