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Digital Economy Centres to equip people with digital skills

18 Jan 2024, New Sarawak Tribune

KUCHING: The implementation of the 23 new Digital Economy Centres (PEDi) in Sarawak is expected to commence soon and is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2024.

Utility and Telecommunication Minister Datuk Seri Julaihi Narawi expressed the Sarawak government’s strong support for the expansion of the PEDi initiative carried out by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

PEDi, he said, is a crucial enabler for the Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 strategic plan and the Sarawak Digital Economy Blueprint 2030, aiming to equip people with digital skills and knowledge to navigate the era of information technology and digital economy development.

“In line with the aspirations of the Sarawak Digital Economy Blueprint 2030, MCMC is hoping to emphasise each PEDi’s focus on digital transformation efforts by guiding and fostering entrepreneurial communities, especially micro-entrepreneurs in rural areas, to integrate digital technology into their business activities.

“With improved ICT infrastructure and internet connectivity, PEDi officers now play a pivotal role as change agents, bringing change and transformation to local communities for mutual benefits in the digital economy era.

“Given that a significant portion of PEDi officers interact with the community, it is crucial for PEDi to be led by individuals with digital skills actively engaged in community work,” he  when officiating at the briefing on the implementation of the new Digital Economy Centre (PEDi) in Sarawak at the Riverside Hotel yesterday (Jan 17).

On the same note, Julaihi suggested the establishment of the PEDi initiative  in each constituency throughout Sarawak, considering the vast distribution of the population in the state.

“In Sarawak, there may be constituencies that require more than one PEDi. This matter may be considered in the future,” he added.

He also recommended integrating the usage of the Sarawak government’s digital services or applications like ‘Service Sarawak,’ ‘S Pay Global,’ and the upcoming ‘SarawakPass’ into PEDi.

This, he said, aligns with the government’s goal to achieve a thriving digital ecosystem in Sarawak.

“At the state level, we have established a total of 45 Digital Community Centres (DCCs) and Innovation Hubs, which I believe share similarities in terms of roles and objectives with PEDi.

“I hope that MCMC can engage with the relevant agencies in Sarawak to explore potential strategic collaborations between PEDi and existing DCCs and Digital Innovation Hubs,” he said.

For the record, the Ministry of Communications and Digital through the MCMC has provided a total of 133 Digital Economy Centres (PEDi) in Sarawak.

Among the constituencies involved in the implementation of the new PEDi are Krian, Telang Usan, Ba’kelalan, Gedong, Saribas, Semop, and Belaga.

Deputy Minister of Utility and Telecommunications Datuk Liwan Lagang and Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Corporate Affairs and Sarawak Public Communication Unit, UKAS) Datuk Abdullah Saidol were also present.

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