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MoU to improve internet coverage in Sabah

0 month ago, 23-Nov-2021

Dr Jamili (left) exchanging the signed MoU with Mohd Ali, witnessed by Isnin (middle).

KOTA KINABALU (Nov 23): The Local Government and Housing Ministry, Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and eight local authorities in Sabah on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the implementation of the Communication Infrastructure Permit Management (CIPM) system.

Through the CIPM system, it can be determined that the tower structure built by service providers are approved by the local authorities and which of the telecommunication towers are operating illegally.

Use of the system is also aimed at making the application and approval process for permit renewal of telecommunication infrastructure easier, increase the local authorities’ revenue and also to improve the government’s delivery system through digital technology service by providing quality and effective service.

The CIPM system will also help MCMC in its implementation of the Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) plan as with correct information about digital information in Sabah, efforts to improve coverage in areas which have none will be more effective.

In Phase One on Tuesday, eight local authorities were identified to be the proof of concept for the CIPM system in Sabah and they are Tawau Municipal Council, Sandakan Municipal Council, district councils of Penampang, Putatan, Tuaran, Keningau, Beaufort and the Kudat Town Board.

Sabah is the ninth state to use the CIPM system after Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Terengganu, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and Labuan.

Signatories of the MoU were Local Government and Housing Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Datuk Dr Jamili Nais, MCMC COO Datuk Mohd Ali Hanafiah Mohd Yunus and the municipal councils’ presidents and executive officers of the district councils.

It was witnessed by Assistant Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Isnin Aliasnih.

Isnin when speaking in a press conference later said that the MoU will help to improve internet coverage in Sabah.

“This is part of the steps taken by the government and MCMC so that we can identify all the registered communication towers because there are some which were built without the government’s approval,” he said.

Isnin also expressed gratitude to the federal government for the RM3.6 billion for building 588 communication towers in Sabah by 2022.

He said the tenders for the infrastructure are out and expressed hope that the contractors will start work on the towers soon.

“Once all the towers are up and running the internet coverage in Sabah will improve and there will be no need for the people here to climb trees or get inventive in order to use the internet,” he said.

Isnin also disclosed that 2,337 out of 3,500 transmitters in Sabah have been upgraded before adding, “we hope that MCMC will be able to implement all these by next year so we can provide the best service to the rakyat in Sabah.”

Mohd Ali who was also present at the press conference said that the CIPM system can optimise the local authorities’ revenue and also help to identify the towers and transmission structures in the state.

“We are working closely with the local authorities on the number of unregistered towers in Sabah but I want to make it clear that this is not (us) about going around catching them.

“We just want to work closely with them so that the information (about the structure) is captured into the system. It’s more about working together because we know there are certain instances where they build first then apply for the approval because the demand is already there as people are already asking for the service,” he said.

He however said that owners of unapproved towers can be compounded by MCMC and the local authorities.

He added that MCMC will try to complete all the infrastructure planned for Sabah by March next year.

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