KUCHING, Sept 28 — Estonia would be a good model for Sarawak to further develop its multimedia and communications infrastructure, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said today.
Abang Johari said Estonia’s model offers a workable solution for Sarawak to provide fast Internet speed and penetration crucial for the development of a digital economy.
The chief minister is currently on a study visit to Estonia and made the comments after visiting the Baltic country’s E-Government Academy where he and members of his delegation were briefed on various aspects of its electronic government initiatives.
Abang Johari expressed keen interest in the service by three main service providers that are supported by at least 23 smaller localised providers found throughout Estonia, which he said had triggered the country’s sharp rise as a digital economic power in European Union.
“Another aspect worth considering is provision of underground fibre optic network ducts along public roads in Estonia that has made 4-G Internet services easily available in all parts of the country where increasing number of business of all sizes are migrating to the digital transaction platform,” he said.
Abang Johari also expressed his government’s wish to collaborate with Estonia to digitise Sarawak’s economy during a courtesy visit to Estonia’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Vaino Reinart’s office.
He said he was particularly impressed with Estonia’s e-payment system that had permeated into most aspects of the country’s commercial, business and public service transactions.
“We hope we can collaborate with Estonia in developing a similar to-be-launched e-payment platform in Sarawak called Sarawakpay,” Abang Johari said.
He also said the state government would like to work with Estonia in research and development.
The chief minister’s delegation to Estonia includes Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, State Secretary Tan Sri Morshidi Ghani and state-owned Sarawak Information System Sdn Bhd chairman Tan Sri George Chan.