14 January, KUCHING – Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said today he wants to ensure that all Malaysians, especially those in Sabah and Sarawak, enjoy an Internet service of international standard.
He said the geographical landscape of Sabah and Sarawak, which have many mountains and remote areas, could prove to be a challenge but it had to be overcome.
The government has to see how we can ensure that all Malaysians have access to the Internet. The ministry wants to place emphasis on an Internet service of world-class quality, that is with minimum speeds of 10 Mbps and 40 Mbps in a good environment, he said when interviewed over the SARAWAKfm radio station at Radio Televisyen Malaysia Kuching.
Gobind also emphasised the cost of using the Internet, saying the ministry wanted consumers to be imposed a rate that was not too high.
If the cost of using the Internet is too high, some people cannot afford to use the Internet service, he said.
Gobind said that after providing adequate Internet infrastructure and facilities, the government would have to have programmes which educated the people on the use of this technology to improve their standard of living.
One thing that I can see with our provision of the Internet facility in the rural areas is that many small traders can use the Internet to widen the market (for their goods), he said.
He also said that access to the Internet was not limited to business but encompassed the banking, education and medical fields which also benefited from the facility.
For example, in banking, many people go to the banks to check their account balance. However, with the Internet, we can do our banking chores online, he said.