By Peter Sibon
SERIAN, Aug 22: The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Association of Sarawak (SME Sarawak) today called on the government to expedite the implementation of internet connectivity throughout Sarawak so as to enable more SMEs to participate in the digital economy, said SME Sarawak advisor Datuk Raymond Jolly.
He said currently, the internet capacity is not comprehensive enough to allow greater participation in digital economy and e-commerce.
“Not at the moment, the capacity (of the internet penetration) is not there.
“But we are hoping that what the CM (Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) has said, such as WIFI and the telcos are coming in, I don’t think there will be any problem in digitalisation and e-commerce.
“And I think that is something that is positive which the CM is trying to do. And I think that’s a very good move,” Raymond told a news conference after a closed-door briefing with Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem at a hotel here today.
Raymond pointed out that SMEs in Sarawak has no choice but change with the need of time.
“We have to follow the government’s digitalisation (policy), because that is the new norm that we got to follow. We need to change and we cannot do the things that we used to doing before. The change is already here.
“So, as advisors of SME Sarawak, we are telling the SMEs that these are the new changes and we have to follow it accordingly to promote our business. Not only locally but internationally,” he said.
He also believed that Sarawak SMEs have the capacity to penetrate the international markets provided that they are willing to work hard to achieve it
Touching on the same issue, Riot reiterated that there is much to be done to improve the internet penetration in Sarawak.
“Much more can be done. Just for an example, my very own kampung, (Kampung) Pichin is only 15 km (from here). I’m smiling….you know what I mean….internet saya kosong…and its only 15 km away.
And you want the investors to come….but I did raised it up in Parliament,” he said, adding that the incident of an Iban girl in Pakan which has gone viral recently has triggered the urgency of implementing such crucial infrastructure in Sarawak.
Meanwhile, SME Sarawak president Datuk Seri Charles Voon Jan Poh said SMEs in Sarawak have the capacity to penetrate international markets.
He said, its members consisted of those who have business turnover of between RM300,000 to RM15 million annually.
SME Sarawak is now recruiting new members so as to provide them with better avenue for them to grow.-DayakDaily