Sarawak govt invests RM13.5 mn to bring high-speed Internet to rural Sebauh, plans to expand to Baram

Abang Johari signing a certificate to mark the completion of the Sebauh Rural High-Speed Open Broadband Network at Rumah Layuh. Also seen is Dr Rundi (left) and Zaidi (right). Photos credit: Ukas

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Sept 17: The Sarawak government has allocated RM13.5 million to bring high-speed Internet to rural Sebauh which today has benefited over 7,000 local residents from 52 longhouses, six schools, two higher education institutions and two government offices.

With the success and effectiveness of this Rural High-Speed Open Broadband Network project, Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the government will look into expanding the project to other rural areas, like remote Baram in particular.

“Initially, I wanted to come without notice to check the effectiveness and performance of the Internet network coverage here through a project implemented by the Sarawak government.

“Earlier, I played with my mobile phone and I am satisfied that the speed of the Internet is not bad. It appears that the project is successful and effective,” he said during a visit to inspect the overall performance of the newly completed Sebauh Rural High-Speed Open Broadband Network project at Rumah Layuh located at KM20 Simpang Ulu Segan near Bintulu here today.

Abang Johari delivering a brief speech at Rumah Layuh.

Jointly implemented by Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) and Danawa Resources Sdn Bhd under the Sarawak Linking Urban, Rural and Nation (Saluran) programme, the pioneer project involved the installation of 130km fiber optic cables and telecommunication equipment which covered 60 rural sites in Sebauh district.

Abang Johari emphasised that reliable high-speed Internet is important to Sarawakians across the State to access services, supports and opportunities.

“While there are a lot of banks in Bintulu, now we want to set up an ATM (automatic teller machine) at Sebauh District Office to enable people to withdraw money as well as access to certain banking services.

“Moreover, we have SPay Global (Sarawak government’s e-wallet application known as Sarawak Pay previously). So children can send money to their parents and parents can also send pocket money to their school-going children. That’s why the Internet is very important,” he said.

He congratulated SMA, Danawa as well as elected representatives of the areas for their hard work in serving and delivering services to the people.

Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing, Jepak assembleyman Datuk Talib Zulpilip and SMA general manager Ts Dr Zaidi Razak were among those present. — DayakDaily