KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31– The National Digital Networking Plan (JENDELA) will be intensified next year to narrow the digital divide and provide quality and inclusive telecommunication services, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said this would be implemented especially in areas with least access privileges such as the remote interiors in the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic had directly accelerated digital transformation as digital technology and internet services were widely adopted by all walks of life in all aspects including business activities, services, education, communication, entertainment and so forth.

“We will also work with the respective states to realise the government’s policy in recognising telecommunication infrastructure as a public utility equivalent to water and electricity supplies,” he said in his new year message, ‘Moving Forward to 2021’ today.

Saifuddin said the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) with the support of the  Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) would continue the initiative based on shared prosperity for the people and thereafter to achieve Malaysia’s ambition as ASEAN’s Digital Pulse.

“Malaysia will also chair the first ASEAN Digital Ministers Meeting (ADGMIN1) on Jan 21-22, 2021 in addition to strengthening the country’s cyber security infrastructure based on the Malaysian Cyber ​​Security Strategy (MCSS) 2020-2024,” he said.

To boost Malaysia’s creative industry, he said KKMM would create a Music Corporation as well as the ‘Road to Oscar & Grammy Awards’ plan which would motivate new talents and local arts activists to produce works which are internationally competitive.

National and International Nasyid Awards which will make Malaysia a focal point for the development of nasyid work will also be planned.

In addition, Saifuddin said KKMM would increase bilateral communication between the government and communities which have somewhat been marginalised, among them the persons with disabilities (PwD) and Orang Asli communities.

“The PwD Communication Unit to be led by a PwD member, will be established in 2021. We will also be working with the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA) to ensure that all government communication reaches every Orang Asli member and communication with the rural communities will also be improved in every district with the collaboration of local leaders,” he said.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin also expressed his appreciation to all frontline workers for their sacrifices in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To start off year 2021 let us rise and unite to face the challenges of the future, so as to ensure the country’s success and well-being, in attaining Malaysia Prihatin (Malaysia Cares),” he said.


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