DAP laments 64 State constituencies without good Internet coverage

DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen (2nd left) at a press conference

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By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Dec 7: The fact that 64 constituencies in Sarawak have been declared as areas without good Internet coverage by the Election Commission (EC) recently came as a shock to Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP).

Its chairman Chong Chieng Jen said this revelation has shown how much Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) as previously part of Barisan Nasional (BN) and the State government has done for Sarawak in the last 58 years.

“The EC on Dec 5 released the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for 12th Sarawak Election. Among the negative list in their SOP was no physical ‘ceramah’ or gatherings allowed throughout the campaign period except in 64 semi- or rural areas that do not have good Internet coverage. We have 82 constituencies in Sarawak. It means only 18 constituencies are enjoying good Internet coverage,” Chong said in a press conference here today.

He added that this itself speaks volumes of GPS’ poor performance for the rakyat over the years.

He asserted that Internet access is now regarded as a basic necessity just like roads, electricity and water, particularly so during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As everyday life is now almost totally dependent on the Internet, and Chong pointed out that without it, people’s access to many resources and necessities such as education is hampered, just as what is happening in Sarawak.

“Over the past one-and-a-half years, children are unable to attend school physically because they (schools) were forced to close due to Covid-19 and classrooms are now in the digital realm. However, with such poor Internet coverage particularly in the rural areas of Sarawak (as shown in the EC SOP list), how many children have been left out from their studies?” he said, adding that no matter how teachers are running daily online classes, many of these children simply are not able to participate. — DayakDaily