Dr Zaidi Razak

KUCHING, Dec 13, 2021 - The proposed setting up a Sarawak telecommunication company is neither a daydream nor a white elephant project, but a noble policy that will propel Sarawak into a digital economy powerhouse, asserts Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) general manager Dr Zaidi Razak.  

He explained that the setting up of such a telecommunication entity would enable Sarawak to transform the livelihood of its people towards a more advanced economy through not only using the Internet (IoT) but more into the Internet of Everything (IoE).

"The proposed setting of a Sarawak telecommunication company is a much bigger agenda than merely having better telecommunication coverage per se, as it is part of the bigger agenda of Malaysia Agreement 1963, which the State is relentless pursuing. 

"As such, having our own telecommunication company will allow Sarawak to have its autonomy in such crucial tool to allow us to tap our potential in all fields of the economy including talent development, including a more holistic end to end of telecommunication that is crucial in the digital ecenomy, which includes providing IP transit to service provider especially in the era of 5G and edge data centre for main data centre, which normally resides in a developed country," Zaidi said.  

He stressed that the setting up of the Sarawak telecommunication company would propel the State further to tap the endless potential of digital economy.

As a concrete example, Zaidi said, many Sarawakians are now using S Pay Global, compared to when it was first introduced.

"It has become the eWallet of choice for many in the major towns of Sarawak for their daily spending such in supermarkets, retail and food and beverage outlets,' he said.

He disclosed that when it was first launched in 2018, there were roughly around 42,000 users.

"Since then, we have carried out many promotional activities to attract and increase the number of users. For example, on Sarawak Pay Day, which falls on Sarawak Day itself , users would get additional incentives for using S Pay Global eWallet.

"As a result, today S Pay Global users have grown exponentially to 60,000 users. This surge is also partly because of the pandemic which hit Malaysia in the first quarter of 2020, where the public started to accept e-wallet as an alternative to cash,' he said. 

Zaidi explained that the main benefit of using S Pay Global compared to other eWallets would be the cash rebate. Users wouls get cash rebate every time they use S Pay Global to make purchases, or for bill payments. 

"We aim to be an eWallet that appeals to all ages, and this is reflected in S Pay Global. As of December 2021, there are 83,000 merchants that have registered with S Pay Global. 

"From the beginning, our focus was primarily to merchants in Sarawak, and the app name then was called "Sarawak Pay". Now with the name change to S Pay Global we are now opening to other parts of Malaysia starting from the fourth quarter of 2021, he said, adding that S Pay Global is now looking into neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei," he added. 

Meanwhile, Zaidi reiterated that he is not a politician but a State civil servant who has been entrusted to lead the authority in the digital economy initiative, through which the government hopes to turn Sarawak into a high-income economy by 2030.

It was also his hope that others leaders would share the farsighted vision as Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg. 

Source: The Borneo Post