KUALA LUMPUR, Wed: Several non-govermental organisations today expressed their dissatisfaction over the additional charge of RM12 a month for the Astro sports package imposed by the pay television station.
The president of the Muslim Consumers Association, Datuk Dr Maamor Osman, urged the government to review the terms and condition which were given to Astro in order to stop the pay television station from making too much profit that causing a burden to the consumers. "Astro should discharge its corporate social responsibility as the sports programme is one of the ways to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle," he told Bernama here today. He said sports programme enthutiasts had no other option to view live or current international sports programmes except by subscribing to the sports package offered by Astro. Dr Maamor suggested the government-owned television station to air more international sports programmes so that the public would not depend too much on Astro to watch international sports programmes.
Meanwhile, Cuepacs president Omar Osman concurred with Dr Maamor and urged Astro to review its additional charge.
However, the president of the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) Datuk N. Marimuthu diagreed and said Astro was a luxury item and those who could not afford it did not have to subscribe to the programme. "Astro is an option, not a must. I have stopped subscribing to Astro at home. We can still watch programmes on normal television, read newspapers and listen to the radio to get information," he said. Astro in a letter to its customers had claimed that the station had to impose the additional RM12 due to re-evalution of the sports package because of the increasing cost of sports broadcasting worldwide. Astro also claimed that all this while it had absord the increased cost in broadcasting the sports programmes and managed to maintain the sports programme package as one of the lowest in Asia but the station could no longer bear the cost. -- BERNAMA