Sarawak to connect 9 national parks with fiber-optic internet connectivity

Abang Johari addressing a press conference. Also seen are (from left) Lo, Abdul Karim, Len Talif and Zolkipli.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Aug 19: The state government through Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) has allocated RM3 million to wire up nine national parks in Sarawak with 100Mbps fiber-optic internet connectivity.

They included Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Bako National Park, Gunung Gading National Park, Tanjung Datu National Park, Kubah National Park, Matang Wildlife Centre, Similajau National Park, Niah National Park, and Lambir Hills National Park.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has today launched the internet connectivity at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, the biggest orangutan rehabilitation centre in Sarawak, at Jalan Puncak Borneo.

In a short video conference with primatologists, Abang Johari welcomed an international congress on primate conservation to be held in 2023 in the hopes that the exchanges between professionals, experts and nature lovers will bring about new knowledge to managing and conserving the state’s diverse forest and wildlife.

“We are honoured to be chosen as the congress’ destination as it is an indication of the professionals and experts recognition for our seriousness in conservation so they want to come and see what we have done.

Abang Johari places his palm on a tablet to launch the internet connectivity at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre.

“This also shows the global community’s confidence in the policies implemented in Sarawak since the 80s as we continue to improve our strategies to keep up with the times and to achieve a balance between nature and development,” he told a press conference.

Abang Johari pointed out that the video conferencing clearly demonstrated the state government’s desire to embrace technology and innovation in all sectors and industries to move forward.

“SMA in collaboration with Sarawak Forestry Corporation will enhance the telecommunication network in this area with fast speed internet. This way visitors can stay connected with the world in real time.

“Technology is important and we hope that we will be able to use it to showcase our forest virtually so to attract people from around the world to come and see and experience our real forests,” he emphasised.

With technology, he added that Sarawak can share what it has to offer not only its natural beauty but also efforts on conservation and preservation as the state government remained committed to their roles and responsibilities in climate change which threatened the world today.

“We are very fortunate in Sarawak as it is a very large state with a small population and we have to manage rationally between development and conservation for the natural environment.

Abang Johari (second left) takes the opportunity to see the orangutan residents of Semenggoh in action. Also seen are (from right) Lo and Abdul Karim.

“The state government is committed to do research and conservation on the forest as well as wildlife and their habitats. We have restructured the Sarawak Forestry Department in which now the SFC has been entrusted to look after the state’s conservation effort including wildlife and areas declared as Totally Protected Forest (TPF),” he said.

The event, which was held in conjunction with the International Orangutan Day, also witnessed Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) and Sarawak Timber Association (STA) presenting RM50,000 donations respectively to SFC for orangutan conservation and facility upgrading.

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, Padawan Municipal Council (PMC) chairman Lo Khere Chiang and SFC chief executive officer (CEO), who is also Controller of Wildlife, Zolkipli Mohamad Aton were present.—DayakDaily