TANJUNG MANIS: Residents in Kampung Paloh and Kampung Berangan will get to enjoy high-speed internet access by the end of this year.
It will be available following the installation of two towers as part of the Sarawak Multimedia Authority Rural Telecommunication (SMART) 300 phase one project.
In a statement yesterday, SMA General Manager Dr Zaidi Razak said there is also an existing 4G telecommunications tower located between Kampung Paloh, Kedang and Bernagan which could enable the locals to participate in the digital economy by conducting business online.
Met at the Mukah Division Social Development Randau Programme held here recently he said the people living in coastal areas are quickly grasping the concept of a digital economy.
According to a resident of Kampung Paloh, Affendi Sahari, 42, most of the residents are from the B40 group.
“The economic activities of the villagers here focus on agriculture and fishing.
“With the produce or the catch, the villagers will sell it to middlemen,” said Affendi.
He added that with establishment of a telecommunications network in the village, products can now be sold through WhatsApp among the villagers.
“Therefore, I hope that Kampung Paloh is equipped with basic facilities such as roads to enable the marketing of products outside of this village,” he said.
Meanwhile, another small trader Muhammad Nizam, 30, said if he sells traditional cakes, it can now be announced through the WhatsApp group and is thus thankful with internet connectivity provided in the area.
Longhouse chief of Kampung Berangan, Jawing Jalau, 64, said the villagers now understand the new concept of farming as mooted by the Premier.
“With the internet connectivity, we are ready to move towards modern agriculture however, we do hope that the telecommunication facilities will be improved ,” he said.
Another longhouse chief of Kampung Berangan, Jammie Isan, 51, said besides agriculture, the villagers are also involved in fishing activities.
He hoped for the existing facilities in the area to be improved to connect Paloh with other areas.
The Social Development Randau Programme, organised by the Ministry of Women, Early Childhood and Community Well-being Development was officiated at by Tanjung Manis MP Yusuf Abdul Wahab.
Among those present were Deputy Minister of Women, Early Childhood and Community Well-being Development Razi Sitam.