Rep: Vital to have telco towers along Pan Borneo Highway

KUCHING: There is urgency in expediting the construction of telecommunications (telco) towers to ensure satisfactory broadband coverage over areas along the Pan Borneo Highway, particularly the routes connecting Sematan and Teluk Melano, with Tanjong Datu Lighthouse.

According to Tanjong Datu assemblywoman Datin Patinggi Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu, such satisfactory broadband coverage would benefit the locals aside from boosting the development of the eco-tourism in the area.

In this respect, she points out a survey on 120 countries categorised as ‘low and middle-income economies’ conducted by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and World Bank in 2009, which shows the correlation between broadband penetration rate and gross domestic product (GDP) growth — for every 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration rate, it can generate a GDP growth of 1.38 percentage points.

“I also suggest that the telecommunications facilities should be established in Pulau Talang-Talang Besar to facilitate the tourists, as well as the conservation of and research works on turtles and other marine life.

“Where else in Sarawak can we find crystal-clear waters, elegant green leatherback turtles laying eggs on white sandy beaches, (and) a lighthouse that welcomes seafarers and adventurers, smack at the borders of two countries?

“Well, this is the place where Borneo begins. Mother Nature has gifted Sarawak with these priceless natural treasures and as a fate has it, now Mother Nature also depends on another ‘mother’ to help fight for its future and conservation,” she said in her motion of thanks to the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak’s address.

Jamilah pointed out that Tanjong Datu Lighthouse has been immortalised as ‘Where Borneo Begins’ – the only lighthouse with a special 94111 postal code recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records during the launch of the Tanjong Datu Sovereignty Programme on Oct 9 last year.

She informed the august House that the Sematan Marine Department had applied for the upgrading of the lighthouse to facilitate fishermen or trading vessel operators in determining their position at any given time, and also to serve as the sign of entrance to the waterways.

She said the government must safeguard the dignity and prestige of the country by fully equipping the Tanjong Datu Lighthouse and upgrading its surroundings, in order to safeguard the sovereignty of Sarawak – and Malaysia in general.

“Should there be any doubt of what to do next, let Tanjong Datu Lighthouse show us the way, as it has done for many seafarers and adventurers for centuries past and with everyone’s help, for more centuries to come,” she said.

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