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Empowering citizens through digital technology

21 Aug 2022, The Borneo Post

THE key community initiatives by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) since implementation have always been about bringing the obvious benefits to the people. Among them are the Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) and the Pusat Ekonomi Digital Keluarga Malaysia (PEDi). 

Preparing nation for 5G technology

JENDELA was implemented in September 2022 to provide wider coverage and better quality of broadband experience for the people, while preparing the country for 5G technology. 

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the learning and teaching process and even some work procedures had to go online or home-based to curb the spread of the virus. 

By improving digital connectivity, the education sector and the productivity of sectors that were still open during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period had seen the benefits.

In addition, it had helped keep the people connected with families and friends who were separated during the pandemic.

Greater improvements in connectivity also meant better opportunities for businesses, especially small-medium enterprises (SMEs) to diversify and reach out to a wider market.

JENDELA is being implemented in a phased approach, towards the national target realisation of 96.9 per cent mobile coverage, 35 Mbps speed and 7.5 million premises passed.

For Phase 1 (2020-2022), the target was to increase of 4G coverage from 91.8 per cent to 96.9 per cent, and to increase of mobile broadband speed from 25 Mbps to 35 Mbps. It is also targeted that 83 per cent of premises nationwide would have access to gigabit speed of fixed broadband. It also includes the gradual retirement of 3G coverage, followed by an upgrade of 4G and fiberisation.

Meanwhile under Phase 2 (2023-2025), the full deployment of 5G would follow once the robust platform for 4G coverage is achieved.

JENDELA targets to complete the construction of 1,661 new 4G mobile sites and fiberisation of 929,631 premises by the end of 2022.

As at March 31 this year, there are only 473,000 premises to be fiberised while all the identified locations for the new sites are undergoing site inspections or surveys.


Meanwhile, Internet access using satellite technology has reached the full target where 839 locations have been installed with broadband wireless access (BWA) which will provide broadband coverage, especially in rural areas including in Sabah and Sarawak as well as Orang Asli villages.

Also, a total of 7.027 million premises now have access to fibre broadband to date, while 95.7 per cent of all populated areas now have access to the 4G network despite the anticipated challenges such as geographical conditions. The average mobile broadband speed has also increased to 40.13 Mbps, surpassing the original Phase 1 target of 35 Mbps.

From January to March this year, the service providers jointly had fiberised 179,666 premises, upgraded 2,217 base stations to 4G technology, and built 60 new 4G towers.

The MCMC and the service providers had also addressed five high-profile connectivity cases during the first quarter of this year, including one case each in Sarawak and Sabah – namely Kampung Ulak in Limbang, and Kampung Mengkapon Darat in Pitas.

The construction of a new mobile tower is also expected to be completed in three (3) locations in Sarawak, Kedah and Kelantan by end of the year.

The construction of a new mobile tower is also expected to be completed in three (3) locations in Sarawak, Kedah and Kelantan by end of the year.

One-stop digital economy centre

PEDi is a one-stop centre that collectively provides Internet access to communities in areas with less broadband coverage. 

It is part of the government's initiative of bridging the digital divide between urban and rural areas with the aim of ensuring that the benefits and spill-over effects of communication services can be enjoyed by the people and thus, open up opportunities for them to start online businesses.

To date, there are 911 PEDis located across the country, with 18.9 million people estimated to benefit from their usage. 

Each PEDi runs courses and training such as those on ICT, entrepreneurship, multimedia and e-learning. 

The centre also serves as a platform to increase community awareness of and involvement towards improving the socio-economic status and empowering human capital among rural and urban poor communities.

It aims to produce micro-entrepreneurs who use digital technology, as well as to further intensify the transformation of business digitisation towards innovative and competitive digitisation.

PEDi’s focus is on efforts to help the people generate income via e-commerce through strategic partnerships with government and private agencies.

The emphasis on digital transformation is a major agenda so that rural communities and the urban poor can empower themselves for economic activities as well as increase their income through digital economic activities.

To date, 25,136 entrepreneurs have taken part in the entrepreneurship programmes provided at PEDis across the nation. Of that number, 20,259 entrepreneurs have already started implementing digital transformation and doing business online.

Through the transformation of PEDi, there are five transformation initiatives up for implementation towards realising the aspiration of digitising the national economy:

i.         Internet Community Centres has been transformed and renamed as PEDi;To establish an advisory panel comprising the local community in each PEDi.

ii.         The main objective of this advisory panel is to encourage and provide opportunities to various stakeholders in the local community to engage in PEDi-related activities, as well as to attract the local community to fully adopt the services and activities at the centre;

iii.         Each PEDi will have a ‘PEDi Entrepreneur Icon’ from among those who are already successful, and who will help and inspire local micro-entrepreneurs;

iv.         Six-hundred PEDi Digital Partners will be appointed in 600 selected PEDi to also help provide financial support information, train and develop PEDi micro-entrepreneurs, and;

v.         The Micro-Entrepreneur Digitisation Empowerment Programme (PUPUK) to assist the development of local micro-entrepreneurs in PEDi to reach a larger market.

This will be led by MCMC in collaboration with several government and private agencies.

All the programmes implemented under PUPUK will be monitored based on the number of entrepreneurs digitalised and onboarded onto e-commerce platform including income increase.

All activities under this programme will be monitored for impact. The impact is in terms of increased income by micro-entrepreneurs who have undergone guidance and training at PEDi.

It is targeted that the average increase in micro-entrepreneurs is not less than 30 per cent compared to the incomes generated before entering the Micro Entrepreneur Digitisation Empowerment Programme.

To learn more about these initiatives by MCMC, go to or

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