KUCHING: The state government is taking the issue of poor telecommunications service in rural areas seriously, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau said.
He said to provide full internet coverage in Sarawak’s rural areas in the shortest time possible was a tall order, requiring a huge budget.
“It is indeed a mammoth task but a task that the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition is taking seriously,” he said.
Dennis said poor telco services is a concern shared by GPS leaders and was one that was being addressed with coverage of telecommunications service in rural areas improving year after year.
“The chief minister has proven his commitment to this by approving RM1 billion allocation for the upgrading of telco services in line with his effort to digitalise the state economy both in urban and rural areas of the state,” he told New Sarawak Tribune today (June 28).
The Telang Usan rep was commenting on the plight of the students in a village near Pakan needing to scale a nearby hilly forest to obtain decent internet signal to complete their online lessons.
“It is a sorry sight, but it is not something that is unexpected. It cannot be denied, even in my constituency of Telang Usan in Baram, many areas — longhouses and settlements — are in dire need for better telco services.
“In fact, I believe other elected representatives too have received many requests from village headmen and village safety and development committees (JKKKs) for phone lines for their villages,” he said.
Dennis said in addressing the issue, inputs from the people’s representatives were required to help the state government understand the problems on the ground.
“Let us be a bit proactive and look at the local situation,” he said.