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Digital economy goes with roads — Masing
Posted on : 17 Nov 2017  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Digital economy goes with roads — Masing

November 17, 2017, Friday


Masing (third right) shows his ministerial winding-up speech booklet while (from left) Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Public Works Department state director Datu Zuraimi Sabki, Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan and Masing’s ministry permanent secretary Datu Safri Zainuddin give the thumbs-up.

KUCHING: The development of any digital economy without efficient road network will not go very far.

Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportion Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing said he and the ministry are pleased that about one third of RM3.06 billion development fund is allocated for the building of infrastructure like roads, ports, public utilities, schools and internet, allowing digital economy to grow.

“You cannot, for instance, advertise fruits and handicrafts for sale through any e-platform and not being able to deliver these products to buyers. Delivery is just the basics.

“In this era of competition, we need to think about fast, efficient delivery network in the most cost-effective way,” he said in his winding-up speech yesterday.

Masing said that it’s therefore imperative that the construction of Information Technology (IT) infrastructure and roads be developed in tandem.

“While road construction is underway, the laying of IT infrastructure such as fibre optics should have already begun. Thus, digging of roads resulting in wastage of money, time and man-power, could be reduced.

Masing said a holistic approach is required to achieve the best of results in building roads as planning and construction of roads take time.

“We plan and build, what, how and where based on objectives and purposes. Is the road built for the sake of connectivity or to enable more land to be developed through which these roads pass through? Once these critical basics are structured, only then the engineers and road designers can come to play.

“Thus, building of roads and other infrastructure takes time. After planning, the implementation is often bogged down by obstacles both man-made and natural hindrances.”

He cited the construction of the Sibu-Kanowit-Song-Kapit road.

“It was targeted for completion by 2018. However, due to unforeseen man-made and natural obstacles, we had no choice but to extend the date of completion to 2020.

“To us, some obstacles are factors beyond our control. What is important is the fund for the construction is already parked with us. Hence, it is just a question of time although there are some who are unhappy about this.

“However, I urge members of this august House and the public in general to work with us and be patient with us as we are doing the best we can,” he said.