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Govt’s internet centres to be coordinated by Communications and Multimedia Ministry, says PM

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. — Malay Mail photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 3): The government’s Internet centres in the urban and rural areas, previously under the purview of different ministries, will be coordinated by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) with the launch of the Malaysian Family Digital Centre.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said while there had been Internet centres under the Rural Development Ministry and then-Communications Ministry, what was implemented in the past did not appear to be successful.

“Perhaps (this was) because the main focus at the time was simply on training on things like information technology (IT) and computer usage…

“(Now) the focus will not be solely in terms of training but will also on getting the participation of the B40 community, including those in rural areas, in online business, which has become a new culture for Malaysians,” he said in an interview aired on local TV stations tonight.

He noted that many have ventured into the online business after the pandemic prevented them from doing business face-to-face.

“We want to train the rural folk — and they also are using Internet centres in their villages — to be involved in the online business,” he said.

On the country’s digital divide, Ismail Sabri said firstly, the government needs to provide the necessary infrastructure to ensure a comprehensive Internet coverage nationwide.

“The digital gap is quite wide, especially in the rural areas. Even in cities, for example in the People’s Housing Project areas, the people may not be using the Internet despite having Internet penetration, due to affordability and other reasons,” he said.

He noted that the government is spending RM7.7 billion under the National Digital Network Plan (JENDELA), whereby RM3.61 billion is being channeled to Sabah and RM4.09 billion to Sarawak to ensure 100 per cent coverage in these states within two years.

“When the Internet infrastructure is already there, I believe many from the B40 group in the rural and urban areas would get involved in digital technology,” he added. — Bernama

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