KUANTAN, Aug 15  — Television stations are encouraged to air special programmes on the morning of Aug 31 to further liven the National Day celebrations that will be bereft of its usual fanfare this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said a discussion with broadcasters on the matter will be held on Wednesday, adding that he was informed that several stations had already produced special programmes for the occasion. 

Citing Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), Saifuddin said the national broadcaster had already recorded segments such as the oath reading ceremony, raising of the flag and parades, all these to ensure the National Day spirit lived on in the new normal. 

“Many Malaysians switch on the television on the morning of National Day to watch the live broadcast of the parade, so for this year, we hope television stations can air special programmes symbolic with the celebrations,” he said.

Saifuddin, who is also Indera Mahkota MP, said this at a media conference after officiating the opening of the Pahang Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) office here, which was also attended by MCMC chairman Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek and Pahang MCMC director Zahari Ismail. 

In another development, Saifuddin said according to MCMC statistics, for this first quarter of this year, broadband coverage for every 100 people in Pahang was 101.7 percent compared to the national average of 127.4 percent, while 4G coverage in populated areas was at 80.38 percent compared to 88.96 percent at the national level. 

In this regard, Lipis, Cameron Highlands, Rompin, Jerantut, Raub and Bera are among the districts that require special attention due to poor 4G coverage, he added. 

To overcome this, 30 telecommunication towers are being built with completion expected in the second quarter of next year.

Saifuddin said among expanding broadband coverage in rural areas can be challenging compared to urban ones due to geographical factors, including hilly terrain and thick forests. 


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