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Sometimes I wonder if CAP is really representing the voice of majority of consumers in Penang or just broadcasting its own incredibly conservative views.

I have often seen CAP calling for stops to proposals for progressive implementations which will help solve inevitable long term issues, in favour of preserving the status quo, based on the premise that people should buck the trend and change their lifestyles. This is akin to ignoring reality and obvious trends.

While I agree that CAP has, at other times raised the right issues, but the most recent call to stop the free wi-fi implementation in Penang seems suspicious at best if not just plain ridiculous and completely unreasonable. How can it ask the state government to prove something that cannot be proven?

Penang state government should be applauded and encouraged for their progressive thinking to provide free wi-fi service to the people. The growth of wireless connectivity in the country is exploding and in fact, it started with mobile phones many years ago.

People all over the world, including Malaysia, have caught on, and almost everyone now carries a mobile phone while the country is pretty much blanketed by wireless radio wave signals which are sometimes also called RFR (radio frequency radiations) generated by mobile phones.

Today, wi-fi adoption is growing exponentially as people hunger for even more mobile connectivity. You can go to any urban areas, and you will see people working or chatting away online on their laptops while in malls, hotels and other areas where wi-fi is available. Even hospitals now have wi-fi connectivity for their patients. The only problem is most of these wi-fi services are not free, so users have to pay to use.

CAP claims that the wi-fi fog will generate RFR levels that can have harmful effects on people. But, do they even know that the RFR level generated by wi-fi is insignificant compared to those generated by mobile phones?

In fact, a study done indicates that one year of exposure to wi-fi is equivalent to 20 minutes of exposure to the RFR generated by mobile phones. Additionally, the RFR level generated by wi-fi is comparable to the home microwave or TV or FM radio. And, bear in mind, there is yet no clear scientific evidence that RFR generated by mobile phones is harmful to people.

So, it makes no sense at all to call for the stop of the free wi-fi initiative that the Penang government is trying to implement for the people. It's a great initiative and it helps people to stay mobile and connected while not having to pay exorbitantly to individual wi-fi hotspot service providers.

CAP has asked the state government to conduct a study of the effects of wi-fi on people first, but why don't we turn the table and ask CAP to conduct it's own study or provide clear proof that there is indeed scientific evidence wi-fi has harmful effects on people. If there is any evidence of harm, then we can start by banning mobile phones first. Otherwise, please stop being so counter-progressive.

If the internet stays free then the rakyat can make intelligent, logical and fully informed decisions to protect its best interests.

If the Internet stays free, those in power will not be able to hide their wrongdoing from the public because their crimes would be open to public scrutiny. Could this be a reason against free wi-fi?

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