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.

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