Snowdan lauds mobile bank services in rural Sarawak

Snowdan Lawan (file photo)

KUCHING, Dec 18:  Balai Ringin assemblyman Datuk Snowdan Lawan lauds the setting of mobile banking in rural Sarawak as it will cut transportation cost for the rural folks.

“The much anticipated mobile bank services to be introduced in rural Sarawak is very much welcomed. There will be much cost savings in so far as transportation is concerned,” said Snowdan.

In a press statement, he particularly pointed out that such an initiative will definitely cut cost for rural parents who need to send money to their children who are furthering their studies in other parts of Malaysia or even Sarawak.

“Parents sometimes wish to remit money to their children who pursue their studies in Semenanjung, Kuching, Sibu or Miri, but the transport cost from their villages to town stole parts of the remittance,” he said.

Snowdan, who is also Youth and Sports Assistant Minister said this in response to the announcement of Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz who stated that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has established cooperation with Sarawak government to introduce mobile banking in some rural areas in Sarawak.

“I urge the Finance Ministry to provide for cash deposit too, but also for withdrawal and ATM cards replacement if possible. These are basic services needed by the people,” he said.

Snowdan pointed out that mobile banking will also help rural folks to reduce loss caused by fire while at the same time, bringing in interests for their savings.

“Nowadays, with good commodity prices, lots of smallholders engaged in oil palm planting are cash rich when harvests are good. So mobile banks provide safety in the event of fire outbreak instead of keeping their cash ‘under the pillow’ in longhouses,” said Snowdan.

He said in some smaller towns, the use of agent banks does prove advantages for smaller groceries transactions or cottage industries.

Nonetheless, he held that to complement the state digital economy initiative, the Finance Ministry can probably look into the use of Sarawak Pay as parallel initiatives. — DayakDaily