PUTRAJAYA: Upgrading the internet network in rural areas will be among the major agendas of the new minister of rural development Mahdzir Khalid.
To meet the agenda, Mahdzir said his ministry (KPLB) would collaborate with the communications and multimedia ministry (KKMM) to implement efforts to improve the network in identified rural locations.
“The effort to boost the internet network must be given priority. Prior to this, at KPLB, we always talked about roads, halls, electricity and water supply but now the requirement in the rural areas is internet.
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“A simple example is the home-based learning and teaching (PdPR) which is internet-based and the young in the rural areas want a faster internet network,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after taking over the ministry today.
At the event, former minister Abdul Latiff Ahmad, who is now minister in the Prime Minister’s department (special functions) handed a handing over of duty note to Mahdzir.
Mahdzir, who is also Padang Terap MP, said KPLB could offer information on rural areas requiring faster internet networks.
“This collaboration will be done in phases. KPLB too can co-operate with Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) for us to boost the internet network because we know TNB has fibre optics,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mahdzir said KPLB had allocated RM550,000 to repair 40 houses in Yan and Merbok in Kedah which were damaged by the mud flow tragedy from Gunung Jerai on Aug 18.
“Work to repair the damaged houses started last Sunday. KPLB is still assessing the damages for repair on houses belonging to other victims,” he said.
The water surge tragedy from Gunung Jerai killed six people and affected over 1,000 houses in Yan and Merbok.
Commenting on the announcement of the special Covid-19 assistance (BKC) by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Mahdzir said he hoped the payout would be able to provide relief, and to a certain extent, ease the burden of expenses and cost of living of the recipients,” he said.
Ismail today announced that BKC would be paid in stages with the Phase One payment to be credited from Sept 6.
Mahdzir plans to boost internet service in the rural areas
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