Sarawak Invests RM1.89 Billion to Develop Telecommunication Infrastructure and Digital Economy

Sarawak has invested RM1.89 billion since 2018 to develop telecommunication infrastructure and the digital economy. The aim is to facilitate the federal government’s efforts in expanding internet network coverage in the state. The Sarawak government plans to erect 600 4G telecommunication company (telco) towers through the Sarawak Linking Urban, Rural, and Nation (Saluran) program and Sarawak Multimedia Authority Rural Telecommunication (Smart) operated by the Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SEDC). The target is to have all these towers fully operational by the end of 2024.

Other initiatives under the Saluran program include expanding broadband service via satellites in 250 locations operated by the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) and Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd (Sains). These initiatives are now fully operational. The Utility and Telecommunication Minister, Datuk Julaihi Narawi, highlighted that these efforts symbolize Sarawak’s commitment to drive Malaysia’s digital economy development. He emphasized that the Digital Economy Centre (PEDi) represents a transformation effort that will serve as a driving force for entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The PEDi initiative allows the rural community to learn how to use the internet and become part of a digital community engaged in the digital economy. Through PEDi, entrepreneurs like Anna Anthony have experienced significant income growth. Anna Anthony sells handicrafts through Shopee and Facebook and has gone from earning less than RM150 per month to now earning more than RM1,150 every month.

Similarly, another young entrepreneur from Kampung Gedong, selling songket and handicraft, has managed to increase their monthly income up to RM10,000 through the e-commerce platform. The implementation of PEDi aims to improve socio-economic standards by providing local residents with broadband services.

The government, along with the telco industry, is committed to ensuring the successful implementation of various digital initiatives and programs that will benefit the people of Sarawak.