JEMPOL, July 27 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today handed a Starlink satellite device unit to Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).
The device will be used by the UiTM campus in Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, thus becoming the first Higher Learning Institution (IPT) in the country to use such a technology.
The prime minister handed the device to UiTM’s vice chancellor for Student Affairs, Prof Dr Mohd Sazili Shahibi at the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in conjunction with the Wilayah Felda Raja Alias at Dataran Seri Jempol, here today.
Also present were Minister of Communications and Digital, Fahmi Fadzil and MCMC chairman Tan Sri Mohamad Salim Fateh Din.
Media reported that the government plans to install 40 Starlink satellite devices at IPTs to boost internet reception at campuses.
The idea was derived through an online video conference between the Prime Minister and SpaceX chief executive officer Elon Musk on July 14.
Anwar who is also the Finance Minister was quoted as saying that the government would give priority to IPTs internet services after receiving a number of complaints from students during his visits to several universities throughout the country.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters after the session, Fahmi said the device would serve as a temporary solution to the problems faced by IPTs before a permanent long term solution is found.
“Today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim handed the first Starlink satellite unit to the UiTM Kuala Pilah campus as proof of concept in efforts to resolve the problems of internet services faced by students in their respective campus.
“…and at the same time, I was made to understand by UiTM that they were waiting for allocation to resolve the issue of wifi access points throughout the campus as wifi routers need to be installed. This will take time, so during the interim period we will use Starlink,” he said.
He added that his ministry would also receive feedback from UiTM to assess the use and acceptance of Starlink as a temporary solution.
Fahmi added that he would also stay connected with the Health Ministry, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Rural and Regional Development to identify areas that needed satellite internet services for connectivity, especially those living in rural areas and interiors.
“This is to identify locations, whether health clinics, schools or rural areas that need satellite internet services that can assist in resolving problems of internet connectivity in interiors or locations where telecommunication towers cannot be build or where the installation of fibre optic cables is not possible due to their location.
“…this we see as an effort to resolve problems at community levels. Starlink and satellite internet is not a solution for individuals but a solution to provide internet services to the community. I therefore hope to receive the support of various parties,” he said.
The Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament also assured that MCMC would increase programmes together with providers of internet satelite services in Malaysia for the benefit of the Rakyat.