KUCHING: Thirty-six locations in Betong, including Pusa, have been identified as the site for erecting new telecommunication (telco) towers to enhance digital connectivity.

In pointing this out today, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said 32 of these projects are in the process of being implemented, out of which nine will be completed in the near future.

“Four of these new telco towers have been completed. We are going to build more to improve network connection. Once all these (36 new telco towers) are completed, we will have strong signal,” he said when launching the ‘Rindok Digital@Pusa’ programme in conjunction with the Sarawakku Sayang campaign in Betong.

Initiated by the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), the three-day programme is second of its kind held in Sarawak with the objective of reaching out to the rural folk and empowering them through digital talks and activities.

Rindok Digital@Pusa is one of the digital inclusivity programmes of SMA in collaboration with the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Sarawak (MANRED) and other government agencies.

According to Abang Johari, the state’s broadband penetration is 68 per cent.

He said the Sarawak government is committed to erecting more telco towers across the state to further enhance broadband penetration.

He reminded that SMA was set up in 2018 to play a role in promoting the use of digital technology to improve the lifestyle and livelihood among the local community.

“Digital technology is our new way of life. Everyone is using smartphone these days. With smartphone, we embrace the selfie culture, no more Kodak (a film brand).

“We can even buy pineapples using smartphone, through Sarawak Pay, just scan and pay with the QR Code as long as there is enough credit in your account,” he said.

The Rindok Digital@Pusa programme includes exhibitions by MANRED, Land and Survey Department, Sarawak Women Welfare Department, Sarawak Pay, Old Kuching Smart Heritage, Bank Simpanan Nasional, Pustaka PANDei, Centre of Technical Excellence Sarawak (Centexs), Wataniah Sarawak and Positive Mind Sdn Bhd.

Other activities include Digital Economy talks, Bakat Kamek Concert and Stand-Up Comedy, colouring contest, eSports Tournament, Randau Pertanian and local fruit eating campaign by MANRED.

Under the Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2025 (Digital Inclusivity: Action 47), the Sarawak government through SMA aims to establish a digital-ready community through developing digital skills and inclusive digital participation.

Among those present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also Minister of MANRED and SMA general manager Dr Zaidi Razak.

[Source: “Abang Johari: 36 new telco towers to enhance digital connectivity” published by BorneoPost Online]
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