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MCMC launches first telephone service in Sarawak longhouse

19 Dec 2002, The Borneo Post
Pakan: It will be a more joyful Christmas celebration this year for 26 families of Rumah King, a remote Iban longhouse, here, as they will now be able to communicate with the outside world. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has yesterday provided them with a basic telephone service under its Community Communications Development Programme (CCDP). It was launched by the Member of Parliament for Julau, Joseph Salang Gandum. Also present was the chairman of the commission, Tan Sri Nuraizah Abdul Hamid. In her speech before the ceremony, Nuraizah said the CCDP was the latest initiative by MCMC to introduce communications and multimedia-based services to communities in the country who had limited access to them. She said these communities needed "to be shown how to maximise the benefits of the infrastructure so that they can create opportunities to add value to their daily lives through such services." "We intend to create community communication hubs which will be equipped with a range of communications and multimedia services to facilitate Internet access, e-commerce and e-learning. "In this programme at Rumah King, which is the first longhouse in the country to enjoy the facility, we are for instance working closely with Maxis Communications Bhd," Nuraizah said. She also said with the programme, the commission hoped to reach out to more underprivileged areas with large population countrywide. In his speech, Joseph Salang hoped the service could be extended to more longhouses, schools and clinics in his Julau constituency soon as at present only about five per cent of the people had such access. Later, to demonstrate the system, he made a phone call to the Minister of Energy, Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Amar Leo Moggie in Kuala Lumpur.
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