Call on the people of Sarawak to be in the forefront of information technology (IT) revolution by increasing 300 times the number of Sarawakians in the internet by the end of next year


Arrival Press Conference by Parliamentary Opposition Leader DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Kuching on Sunday, 17th September 1995 at 9 p.m.

Call on the people of Sarawak to be in the forefront of information technology (IT) revolution by increasing 300 times the number of Sarawakians in the internet by the end of next year

I notice from Sarawakian newspapers mat Sarawak will be holding its first exposition of Information Technology (IT) – TTXPO ’95 – in Kuching from 28th September to 2nd October 1995, where there would be a conference with 32 papers on Technical and non-technical subjects and an exhibition on IT products.

I call on the people of Sarawak to be in the forefront of information technology (IT) revolution by Increasing 300 times the number of Sarawakians on the internet by the end of next year.

At present, Sarawak has less than 300 subscribers to Jaring out of a national total of over 7,000 subscribers. Jaring allows Malaysians to “surf” on Internet, the global information network.

All over the world there is an explosion of Internet users and Malaysia will be no exception. Jaring expects its present number of 7,000 subscribers to explode to 100,000 by the end of next year, and I call on Sarawakians not to be left behind in this Information Technology revolution, and to get onto the Internet without any delay by subscribing to Jaring – latest by the first Sarawak IT revolution in two weeks time.

The excuse that Sarawakians have not got on to the Internet to make full use of of the I-way, for the global Infor¬mation Superhighway is not acceptable for the IT revolution has wiped out geographical barriers and geography is no longer a disadvantage. This is because in a world of interconnected high-speed networks, every place, whether Kuching, Sibu, Bitgangor, Bintulu or Miri can be the “centre of the world”!

All that is needed for Sarawakians to be at “the centre of the world” by getting onto the Internet to plug into the Worldwide Web of information together with 50 million other Internet users is to have a computer, a modem, a telephone line and a Jaring membership.

Call on Sarawak State Government co allocate RM10 million to educate Sarawakians about how to use the Internet and to inform them about its poten¬tial for social and economic development.

The Federal Government and every State Government should have a IT policy and I call on the Sarawak State Govern¬ment to allocate RM10 million to educate Sarawakians about, how to use the Internet and to inform them about its potential for social and economic development.

The information superhighway can mean:

• An increasing competitive advantage for Malaysian enterprises;

• Opportunity for specific new industry to develop;

• Better, more effective and cost-efficient, provision of government services and information; and

• Improved quality of life and a changed way for Malaysians to live, learn, work and play.

If Malaysia is serious in wanting to be a developed nation by the year 2020 and Sarawak does not want to be left out of the IT revolution, then the Sarawak State Government should form a Task Force representing government, business and academia to develop a strategy to accelerate the evolution of the informa¬tion highway in Sarawak.

One of the planks of this Sarawak IT policy should be to get all schools in Sarawak to have access to Internet by the year 2,000.

Investigation into MAS aircrash in Tawau should be an independent and high-powered one and not an in-house inquiry by MAS

I notice from the statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on the Tawau MAS air-crash which killed 34, with 19 survivors, that the inquiry Into the crash would be conducted by MAS.

This is most unsatisfactory as the investigation into the MAS air-crash in Tawau should be an independent and high-powered one and not an in-house inquiry by MAS.

Aviation experts have been quoted as saying that the Dutch-made Fokker 50 turbo-prop airplane which crashed in Tawau is a very reliable aircraft and known for stability. Does this mean that the cause of the ill-fated MH2133 in Tawau was because of human error, whether that of the pilot or caused by poor MAS maintenance?

In this connection, there is a need for MAS to review its philosophy of service to the public. During my present visit to Sarawak, I have had unpleasant flights on MAS, both from Miri to Bintulu and from Bintulu to Sibu. On both flights, the air¬craft’s air-conditioning system was not functioning properly, and the cabin vas like a furnace.

May be, MAS should be required to refund 20 per cent of the fare to passengers if the aircraft’s airconditioning system failed causing great discomfort to the passengers. If there is such a system of refund for any failure of MAS air service, it will definitely improve the quality of MAS service to the public.

Call on Liong Sik to raise in Cabinet on Wednesday the urgent need to relocate Bintulu airport to outside the heart of Bintulu town within 24 month

The air disaster at Tawau airport should be a dire warning to the Transport Minister, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik of the greater disaster which could befall Bintulu if any air mishap should occur at Bintulu airport.

This is because the Bintulu airport is smack in the heart of Bintulu town. If the Tawau airport air disaster had happened at the Bintulu airport, half of Bintulu town would have become a graveyard!

The people of Bintulu are really sitting on a timebomb because of the airport in the heart of the Bintulu town. In Tawau, the Fokker 50 plounged into a squatter village and 19 persons could still survive the crash.

But if the air disaster had happened in Bintulu, there would be no survivors but even more casualties running into hundreds, as the aircraft would have plounged into shophouses, a primary school with 3,000 schoolchildren and a Malay Kampong!

The DAP has launched a mass signature campaign in Bintulu as well as else where in Sarawak to urge the Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Long Sik to remove the Bintulu airport from the Bintulu town within 24 hours and the first batch of the signatures would be forwarded to Liong Sik next week.

I call on Liong Sik to raise in Cabinet on Wednesday the urgent need to relocate Bintulu airport to outside the heart of Bintulu town within 24 months and to ask the Cabinet for an immediate approval of funds for the relocation of Bintulu airport.

DAP lawyers studying the possibility of instituting legal action to stop any work on the Bakun dam project until full and proper approval had been given to Bakun

DAP lawyers in Sarawak are studying the possibility of instituting legal action to stop any work on the Bakun dam project until full and proper approval had been given to the Bakun project.

The Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Taib Mahmud said a few days ago that the Sarawak state Government is prepared to recommend to the Federal Government to cancel the Bakun project if the people of Belaga do not want it. How can the Bakun project be cancelled when Ekran Bhd had already been given the logging concession rights in Bakun, and had sold three million cubic metres of logging rights for over RM400 million?

It is most improper for any work on Bakun project to begin when full and proper approval for the Bakun project ha not been given.

Allowing Ekran Bhd to start work on Bakun when there is only Part One of the EIA report – and Ekran had been asked to redo its three other EIA reports – is to make a complete mockery of the EIA process.

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