Improve connectivity in these areas urgently – YB Flovia Ng

Papar, 18 November 2020 – Assistant Minister II to the Minister of Social Development and People’s Wellbeing, YB Flovia Ng today handed over smartphones to a few underpriviledged children to enable them to study online during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in the district.

The gadgets were donated by Hanafundme through their online campaign #Digital4All in collaboration with Sabah based NGO Beyond Pitas. The campaign is spearheaded by West Malaysia based Sabahan, Ms Angie Chin-Tan and supported by Sabah based NGO Beyond Pitas to bridge the digital divide among underpriviledged Sabahan children especially in the rural areas.

Accompanying YB Flovia to hand over the gadgets was the Co-Founder of Beyond Pitas, Mr Justin Sunam-Wong.

Social activist turned politician, YB Flovia noted that this is the second batch of recipients that benefitted from the campaign by the NGOs. The first one being in Kg Bomboi and Kg Kindasan in Tulid in September 2020.

“I welcome the efforts made by Hanafundme and Beyond Pitas in bridging the digital divide amongst the underpriviledged children in Sabah. I hope more civil societies will come forth to help us build a better future for our children.

“We must be mindful that the Digital Divide in Sabah’s context do not simply refer to lack of smartphones or poor connectivity but also the exposure of our children to familiarisation of learning to use digital devices such as laptop and desktop be it online or offline to enable them to participate in the Digital bandwagon. Unlike children in urban areas, most children in the rural areas do not grow up with this luxury. Hence they are handicapped when it comes to proficiency in using such devices.

YB Flovia Ng hopes more NGOs could step in to fill the gap and help the government to address the shortcomings. As to connectivity in the State, she noted that the Prime Minister has unveiled the JENDELA initiatives which aim to improve connectivities in Malaysia, especially in Sabah and Sarawak.

“However, I hope they will consider that in certain areas in Sabah such as Kg Bomboi in Tulid, simply upgrading the existing tower will not help improve the connectivity in that area as the problem there has to do with the topography of the area.

The Assistant Minister also regretfully noted that the connectivity in Papar specifically Kg Kayau and Kg Marahang where the recipients are were poor to non existence at the day she visited and hope that the relevant parties will address this urgently for the sake of children in that area to follow their online classes without hindrance.

To support or donate to Hanafundme, please visit their site https://www.hanafundme.com/product/plight-of-sabahs-students-with-studying-online/