Digital Village construction continues despite pandemic

Len Talif (fourth left) and officers giving their thumbs up as construction works for the Digital Village resumed.

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KUCHING, June 16: Construction work for the Digital Village (DV) at Sama Jaya High Tech Park here resumed last week with a new catch up plan as the progress was delayed by 16 per cent following the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Sarawak (TEGAS) chairman Datuk Len Talif Salleh revealed that the project, which commenced in January 2019, has now reached 80 per cent completion and is scheduled for completion in early December.

“It was initially scheduled for completion in July 2020. But in March 2020, the project was slightly behind schedule (3 per cent). And when MCO was enforced in March, we had to issue a stop-work order to our contractor.

“As a result, the project is delayed by 16 per cent as of June 2020. We resumed the construction works last week with a new catch up plan, and we are working closely with our consultants and contractors to expedite the project,” he said in a media release yesterday (June 15).

Len Talif, who is also Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment, assured that the project will be completed without compromising on the quality as required under the contract.

Satisfied with the quality of work so far, he was also pleased that the Green Building Index Accreditation Panel (GBIAP) has awarded the Provisional Green Building Index (GBI) Certified Rating for the DV based on the recommendation provided by the assigned GBI Certifier(s) on March 12, 2020.

The DV is set up under Sarawak’s Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2025 (Action 38) to facilitate technology transfer and accelerate the maturity of start-ups through global partnerships.

Initiatives at DV will include ‘Launch Sarawak’ (Action 39), a programme to support innovation, intellectual property creation and spin-offs, as well as scale-up programmes and an open lab.

The Sarawak government will also set up digital landing pads (Action 40) overseas to promote Sarawak as a destination for hi-tech innovation and entrepreneurship and to encourage domestic and foreign investment.

Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) general manager Dr Zaidi Razak said the DV will further expand the impact of local established start-ups by providing them with cutting-edge technology, the latest research and up-to-date digital skills.

“It will play a significant role in establishing and developing localised knowledge in Sarawak and put Sarawakian technopreneurs on the world map,” he added.

Tegas is also collaborating with SMA to run the SMA-Tegas Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) in Kuching, Miri and Bintulu.

Len Talif pointed out that the Sarawak government through SMA-Tegas Digital Innovation Hub is offering a free three-month co-working pass in an effort to help Sarawakian startups and social enterprises affected by the current Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are also offering support for entrepreneurs on a regular basis via free webinars, online capacity building programmes, and digital accelerators,” he added.—DayakDaily

Len Talif (centre) discussing the progress of Digital Village project with officers during a visit to the site.