Malaysia's digital divide: our broadband?
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take concrete measures to overcome the digital divide within the country as well as between Malaysia and other countries such as Korea and Singapore.
For a start, can the Prime Minister announce the report of the Smart Schools project and the achievement in the broadband and fastlane technology in the country? What is the target of broadband? Have we attained 20%? When are we getting on to 80% or higher as the Koreans have done?
As Chairman of the National IT Council, we hope that the Prime Minister is able to take effective steps to deal with the digital divide. He has mentioned e-soveriegnty, e-agriculture, e-services and digital social inclusion. We expect him to work on these seriously.
We shall continue to encourage Malaysians to learn to use the technology. We must catch up. On the other hand, Malaysia has to improve broadband and fastlane technology. It is only a matter of time before a newer, faster and more efficient technology is available.
What Datuk Seri Najib can do is to check the number of government departments and agencies which are effectively using e-mail and broadband. It is not unusual to find out that the emails of certain departments are not functioning. For example, I have sent messages to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org. Very often, these messages are sent back. There are officers whose emails do function.
Certain departments such as the Federal Territory or Kuala Lumpur Welfare Department do not appear to have email address. On several occasions, I asked the personal assistant to the director whether her boss had email address. She said that she would check and ring me back. She had not done so for months.
We have heard the Cabinet's intention to upgrade ICT, such as to install highspeed broadband and make nearly 10,000 schools Smart Schools. But, we are waiting for the Government to let us know how successful are these projects. What are their Key Performance Indices (KPIs)?
Dr Tan Seng Giaw