Deputy Communications and Digital Minister Teo Nie Ching was happy that the Digital Economic Centre (PEDi) Song which was activated here can be an effective platform to promote products produced by villagers, especially in rural areas through e-business or online.

Teo said through PEDi, small entrepreneurs who were capable of earning only RM150 in the past can now hit an average earning of RM1,000 by selling their products online.

She said compared with a number of PEDi that she had visited throughout Peninsula Malaysia, PEDi Song has continued to receive very good response and support from the community although the centre was activated some time ago.

“I see that every week there are three courses organised for the local community. Thank you TM (Telekom Malaysia) and the managers appointed to PEDi,” she told reporters when met after visiting the centre today.

PEDi Song is among 133 PEDi centres established in Sarawak to cater for the needs of the people, which among others encourages rural villagers to be involved in online business or e-business activities.

Teo said craft produced from the rural areas of Sarawak has a big potential to be marketed online through various platforms outside Sarawak.

“When we connect the rural people with the outside world, we are not only connecting places like Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Johor or Penang but they have the opportunity to be connected to countries like Singaporea, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia,” she said.

Apart from the PEDI centre, nine telecommunication towers have started operating in Song, 17 more will be installed under the Federal Government’s Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) programme and 15 more by the Sarawak state government through the Sarawak Multimedia Rural Telecommunication or SMART programme.

During her working visit to Song today, Teo was briefed of the Song digital infrastructure development at the Song district office, she later visited the Point of Presence (POP) project at SK Cardinal Vaughan and also paid a visit to the Menara Telekomunikasi JENDELA in Nanga Sesawa.

Teo said the vision and road map of the Sarawak state government and the Federal Government was the same, because the objective is to provide internet access and to develop the digital economy for the benefit of the people.

Meanwhile, in a media statement released in conjunction with her three-day working visit to Sarawak, Teo said the Sarawak state government and the Federal Government have the same goal of improving the digital economy and to upgrade telecommunication facilities throughout the country because it is the people’s basic rights.

She added that the objectives were put forward during her courtesy call on Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, Sarawak Utilities and Telecommuncations Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi and his deputy Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi in Kuching, yesterday.

To achieve the objective, she said sites for 636 new telecommunications towers have been identified and the towers to be built throughout Sarawak will be fully equipped as the project will be carried out under the JENDELA programme involving a cost of RM4 billion in the first phase.

"Under the point of presence initiative, KKD has also identified sites for 60 schools in phase 1 and 681 schools in phase 2 throughout Sarawak,” she said.

She added that to reach the government’s objective, 23 new PEDI will be developed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) this year.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency