Usukan State Assemblyman Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak has urged the Sabah government to find ways of tackling “the prevailing Digital poverty” in the state.
Describing digital poverty as a shortcoming, especially in terms of information and communication technology (ICT) among the community, he said it needs to be addressed for the good of the state and the people.
“Digital poverty is not necessarily related to one’s economic position. One may already have ICT equipment such as computers, smartphones and faster Internet speed, but still considered a new class of poverty – the Digital Poor.
“This is because there are people who are still not competent in using ICT, for their day to day online activities such as business transactions,” he said.
Salleh said this when delivering his debate speech of Motion of Appreciation on Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin’s policy speech at the Sabah State Legislative Assembly in Kota Kinabalu, today.
According to him, the people are used to face-to-face communication and have not been able to embrace the concept of ‘Work-From-Home’ and “Online Business”.
He opined that the issue should not be allowed to linger, as it would have a real economic impact, thus causing Sabah to lag far behind in the development process.
In this regard, Salleh urged the state Government to come up with appropriate plans or provide incentives to help address Digital Poverty in the state.
Salleh also suggested that the e-Kasih name list be reviewed/updated immediately to ensure that the poverty assistance programmes cover all who are eligible.
He said this could be done by displaying all the lists of e-Kasih registered names at Community Halls or other suitable locations.
He said there was a need to update e-Kasih to enable the government to assess the transparency and integrity of the villagers to play the role of check and balance as well as improve any weaknesses in delivering the service, thus making it more efficient and effective.
“We need to make sure that only the e-Kasih target group, who are really in need of the assistance to be listed in E-Kasih system. Assistance should be channeled on a humanitarian basis without being influenced by differences in race, religion and even politics, “he said.