SMA on the future of Sarawak as a digital state

(From right) Hafeez Rosland (SMA Assistant Public Relations Officer), Hakim Junaidi (AZAM Sarawak Communications officer), Mohd Faizal Ibrahim (SMA administrative officer) and Sarawak FM's DJ Ajiey

KUCHING, Sept 18: The Sarawak government through Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) is actively producing new products and technologies in preparation for the digital transformation, especially through the Open Data initiatives, in order to bring the government closer to the people.

SMA administrative officer Faizal Ibrahim said among the challenges faced in creating an open digital government were internet connectivity (especially in rural areas), digital adoption by the local community, lack of information, and information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure.

“SMA is currently active in carrying out information to the public through various mediums such as social media, short-message-system (SMS), and also using the two-way communication through telephone, including infographics involving the confidentiality of personal data which are downloaded in certain apps, so that the public can understand,” he said during the ‘Sembang Digital Normal Baru’ radio programme organised by SMA and Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak (AZAM Sarawak), recently.

Faizal said that apart from that, Sarawakians must also be aware of the current development because Sarawak is the first state to apply the 5G test bed, to ensure that no one is left behind when the implementation begins in the future.

“SMA also guarantees that personal information used in Sarawak ID and Sarawak Pay is secure and will not be shared without permission in accordance with what is stipulated in the Personal Data Protection Act 2010,” he added.

Meanwhile, SMA assistant administrative officer Hafeez Rosland, said open data initiatives would benefit everyone, and it is also closely related to the five digital principals of the government.

Apart from that, he said, with the information shared between various agencies such as the Ministry of Health (MoH), Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), would enable the government to become a one-stop Information Center (centralized government data center), where the information is authenticated and verified by the agencies involved.

Hafeez pointed out that open data also helps the government to manage the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

According to him, the available information could be utilised to identify and contact the public if there is a need from MoH and other related agencies.

“Mobile applications such a Qmunity and COVIDTrace were developed for this purpose and for the convenience of the public, at the same time creating an excellent digital government for the people of Sarawak,” he explained. — DayakDaily.