SEMOP: After spending two nights at Belawai, the Borneo Post Adventure Team (BAT) journalists decided to visit Kampung Semop here to hear from the local residents about the development at the village.
During the visit to the village, the team managed to talk to Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Semop Women Wing secretary, Rusita Jahari.
The villagers of Kampung Semop, with a population of about 2,000, are mainly engaged in fishing, farming and also boat building.
Rusita shared with journalists that the village is now equipped with basic facilities such as reliable water and electricity supply besides satisfactory mobile phone coverage.
When asked on new development projects at the village, she pointed out that the construction of new roads and a new mosque are in the pipeline for the village.
BAT journalists also visited the Internet Centre at the village, an initiative by the government through the Malaysia Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) with the aim of providing internet coverage to the communities in rural areas and narrow the digital gap between urban and rural areas.
Semop Internet Centre manager Mohd Nejatullah Husin welcomed the BAT journalists to the centre while explaining how the centre had transformed into a hub for the villagers to carry out their personal affairs.
The Internet Centre provides services such as printing, photocopying and internet access. So far, about 1,300 villagers have registered with the centre as members.
When the centre first came into operation in 2015, Mohd Nejatullah shared that only the younger generation would visit the centre but now, the older generation are showing up at the centre as well.
“Activities and programmes are also held at the centre like organising information and communications technology (ICT) classes and assisting villagers with updating of their particulars for the 2019 Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH).
During the visit to the centre, it was observed that a large number of senior residents of the village indeed visited the centre to have their particulars for 2019 BSH updated.
The centre is open daily from 8am to 5pm except during public holidays.
After the visit to Semop Internet Centre, BAT journalists headed to a local boat builder named Basmi Jabah at Kampung Semop after being informed of his talent.
Basmi, who is a former fisherman, told journalists that most of his customers are fishermen from nearby villages.
“The costs of the boats range from as low as RM3,000 to more than RM10,000, depending on the request from customers.”
Basmi’s boats are made from fibre glass and he started his boat-building venture in 2011 after learning the ropes from his former employer.
“I can build two boats in about a month and my workshop also provides boat repair services to the fishermen here,” he told BAT journalists on their fifth day of adventure into the rural areas of Sarawak.