14 Mar Better digital services for Sarawak
In picture: Najib wearing an Orang Ulu costume at the launch of ‘Malaysian National Digital Inclusion (Minda)’ at Kuching Waterfront yesterday.
Sarawakians can expect better communication services throughout the state with Putrajaya injecting millions of ringgit into several enhancement projects over the next few years.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak pledged Sarawak would not be left out of the national agenda for a new digital economy.
“The connectivity recovery plan in terms of cellular phone for Sarawak is ongoing. RM290 million has been approved for this first phase. We aim to achieve 85 per cent coverage,” he said when launching the ‘Malaysian National Digital Inclusion (Minda)’ programme yesterday.
Najib said he would be in the state again next month to launch the second phase of the entire enhancement plan – 3G and 4G cellular communication services.
He said all areas including longhouses would enjoy such services adding: “We will make sure we can implement this.”
He said the highspeed broadband services would also be further enhanced up to 10 megabits per second (Mbps).
“That is our target for the urban areas. For rural areas, our target is 4Mbps to 10Mbps. This is what we will do in Sarawak. With highspeed broadband, we can have better voice and network data. It is to help e-learning, e-government, e-banking, e-commerce and so forth,” he said.
To implement the second phase, Najib said at least RM1.8 billion would be required.
Acknowledging that the figure is significant, he said Public Private Initiatives would be used.
He said the government through the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is also in the process of widening cellular and WiFi coverage in Sarawak.
Towards this end, he added that 150 communication towers and 438 WiFi spots would be established by MCMC in collaboration with telecommunication corporations Celcom, Digi, Maxis, RedTone and Miasat.
“Besides, we are also constructing an undersea cable which is expected to be completed in three years at a cost of RM850 million.
“We truly have huge plans. We also have, among others, e-Rezeki and e-Usahawan to train Malaysians to make extra income in the digital market. They can earn RM300 to RM400 extra a month by spending two to three hours a day in the digital world,” he said.
Najib said the new economy would be implemented for Sarawak to be on par with the peninsula.
Meanwhile, Najib said he also aimed to close the development gap between Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.
“In Sarawak, we have not even solved the development divide, let alone digital divide. But give it another five years because the Pan Borneo Highway will become a game changer for Sarawak and Sabah,” he said.
Najib said he would be in Serian today (March 13) to launch the third phase of the Pan Borneo Highway project for Sarawak.
He also hit out at the opposition for making promises which they could not deliver, asserting: “This is the difference between the opposition and the government.
“They (opposition) want power only but when we promise, we deliver.”
Source: The Borneo Post