Sadia Rajang: Rectify internet connectivity in Sibu’s outskirts

Tuah Lumpoh

KUCHING, August 22: The residents of two longhouses in Engkalat, Batang Igan, Sibu are complaining about the horrendously poor internet connectivity in their area despite Engkalat being only 11km from Sibu town under the jurisdiction of Sibu Municipal Council.

After receiving numerous complaints from those residents, Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) Rajang branch vice-chairman, Tuah Lumpuh is calling on authorities to promptly look into the matter.

He said that the issue was compounded by the fact that many government job aspirants from those longhouses are required to undergo online interviews and online assessment tests.

“First, it was the disruption of WaiFm radio broadcast coverage. Now, this issue of poor internet connection even though there are two telco towers nearby; one in Aup while another in Penasu.

“Although our phones show 3G or even 4G connectivity, most of the time we are only able to send ordinary text messages.

“So, I strongly feel this issue must be addressed promptly by the relevant authorities. There are many job-seekers here who are unable to sit for their online assessment tests as required by Public Services Commission of Malaysia (SPA),” Tuah said here today.

He reiterated that many parents of higher institutions undergraduates also voiced their concern over their children’s inability to complete their coursework due to the poor internet connection.

“This, by the way, violates Article 14(2) United Nations Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP).

“While there is an internet community centre nearby, it can’t cater to the demand of the residents and is also subject to the poor internet reception. It has also encumbered the rest of us who rely on modern communication devices to stay abreast with the outside world. In this day and age, news is obtained via our fingertips.

“We don’t want to be left behind. Or are we the Dayaks being purposely left behind so that we do not get access to government job opportunities, attend online classes and tutorials, or even have access to unadulterated news? Then this is in violation of Article 2 of UNDRIP.”

As such he called on the relevant authorities to take the necessary action to address the issue promptly.—DayakDaily