Basic e-Commerce structure in 3 years

Unimas Applied Learning and Multimedia Coordinator Chuah Kee Man showing his prototype app, LexiEyes, which helps the blind to read by utilising text to speech system. More apps like this will have a chance to be developed further when Sarawak goes fully digital in the next future -

KUCHING: The basic structure of Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari’s drive to steer the state into the era of digital economy should be in place in the next three years, he told the state legislative assembly today.

He said the portal for e-commerce, apps for tourism and healthcare would be among the first to go online.

Abang Johari said the e-commerce portal could be online by the end of this year.

“There are many levels by which the e-commerce can be developed.

“In the short term, we can immediately promote the cottage industry as well as seasonal fruits and food which often crops up now and then in various remote parts of Sarawak.

“I can imagine that the e-commerce can be up and running in a very short time, such as by the end of this year.”

The former tourism minister said the mobile tourism app is targetted “for visitors to use when they arrive in Sarawak”.

He said the app is fun and interactive as there would be “games for them to play using the local environment”.

He added it would also be informative as the app could provide information like places to eat and drink, entertainment, accommodation and medical care services.

For healthcare, especially in the remote areas, the chief minister said the government would introduce the “tele-care” service so doctors and medical experts in all parts of urban Sarawak can advise nurses in remote areas on how to handle more serious cases especially for the ageing population.

To put in digital economy jig-saw pieces in place, Abang Johari however said one area of “immediate concern” is to have properly trained young people who could drive the “digital economy”.

“There will be those who are already in the digital economy, doing programming, web design and creating content.

“There are also those who are already in angel financing who are looking out for promising start-ups.

“They will be immediate beneficiaries when we open up Big Data by the first quarter of next year.

The chief minister also said Sarawak is collaborating with Chinese smartphone maker Huawei to explore ways to help Sarawak in developing our Digital Economy including training of talents.

“I am working on getting people certified on digital programme, such as done by Huawei or any other reputable programmes, by the third quarter of next year.

He said SDEC on the other hand would provide a longer-term programme for knowledge and skills training and certification. –