The Borneo Post (Sabah)
Five-strategy policy to resolve digital poverty in Sabah
KOTA KINABALU: Independent think tank, EMIR Research, has recommended that the Sabah government adopt a five-strategy policy to resolve digital poverty in the state.
Its research analyst Amanda Yeo said the policy involved expanding the fibre optic networks, collaborating with the authorities, working closely with schools, encouraging private investment, and strategising with the industry players.
“Therefore, the state government needs to use its newly established Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry that has replaced the Education and Innovation Ministry in the previous state administration to resolve digital poverty in Sabah,” she said in a statement here yesterday.
Yeo said EMIR Research had several policy suggestions to the Sabah state government.
“These include expanding the fibre optic networks, together with commercial development of communication infrastructure in the rural areas of Sabah, bringing connectivity to more rural households and entrepreneurs on top of bridging the digital divide between urban and rural areas.
“Work closely with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as well as local authorities to ensure there is no variation in quality and cost of building digital infrastructure in Sabah and encourage private investment to develop digital infrastructure, besides reducing complications of the local authority procedures,” she added.
Yeo noted that despite the recent signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with ASEAN Plus Three, Australia and New Zealand on November 15, Sabah was still relatively lagging behind in digital connectivity compared to other Malaysian states and neighbouring countries.
“By advocating the digitalisation agenda in the state, Sabah will be able to use the economic advantage from RCEP and will be ready to create more business opportunities when Indonesia’s capital city relocates from Java to East Kalimantan by 2024,” she said.