Addressing digital poverty in Sabah should be a priority, says Salleh

Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak urged the Sabah state government to find the best solution to the issue of digital poverty in the state. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli
Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak urged the Sabah state government to find the best solution to the issue of digital poverty in the state. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli

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KOTA KINABALU, Nov 16 — Usukan assemblyman Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak has urged the Sabah state government to find the best solution to the issue of digital poverty in the state.

He said digital poverty was a state of deprivation, especially in terms of information and communication technology (ICT) in the community, either due to the lack of ICT infrastructure or ICT skills.

“Digital poverty is not necessarily related to one’s economic position. A person may already have ICT devices such as a computer, smartphone and high-speed Internet but could still be digitally poor.

“This is because a person is still not proficient in using ICT properly in his or her daily affairs. The community is too familiar with face-to-face communication and has not yet been able to practise the concepts of working from home and doing business online.”

He said this at the state assembly sitting, here, today when proposing the motion of thanks to Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin for the latter’s speech at the opening of the assembly last week.

Salleh opined that the issue should not be allowed to go on as it would have a real economic impact and cause Sabah to lag far behind in development.

Thus, Salleh hoped the state government could plan appropriate measures or provide incentives to tackle digital poverty in the state.

Meanwhile, in winding up the debate on the speech, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor said the state government would take note and act on all the recommendations made at the sitting for the betterment of the state.

“On the issue of digital poverty raised by the Usukan assemblyman, I admit that Sabah is still lagging in digital development, and the matter will be given attention and priority to ensure the state’s digital communication status can be improved,” he added. — Bernama

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