Banks to assess viability of setting up ATMs in Bario, Mulu National Park


Dato Gerawat Gala

KUCHING (Oct 12): An assessment wil be conducted in Bario soon to determine the viability of setting up an automated teller machine (ATM) there, and another at Mulu National Park.

According to Deputy Minister in Sarawak Premier’s Department (Labour, Immigration and Project Monitoring) Datuk Gerawat Gala, who is Mulu assemblyman, the Sarawak branch representatives of Bank Negara Malaysia and those from RHB Bank would carry out the visits soon.

In his remarks, he described the proposed setting-up of ATMs in Bario and Mulu National Park as ‘timely’, in that should the plan go through, it could help spur local economic activities.

“I have been notified that Bank Negara and RHB Bank representatives would go and see how a bank could operate both in Bario and Mulu National Park for this initial stage,” he said this at the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA)’s ‘Komuniti Jalinan’ outreach programme held at the Bario Immigration Border Post community hall on Monday.

On telecommunication coverage over Bario, Gerawat assured all that he would do his best to assist the federal civil service based in Bario such as the Immigration Border Post and Bario Health Clinic.

Adding on, he said his Mulu constituency would have 54 telecommunication towers to be erected in phases.

“Currently, more than 30 towers have been built. With better Internet coverage, we should be able to participate in digital economy, selling our products online.

“But like other major infrastructure developments, this will take time as it requires a large allocation. Nonetheless, the aspiration of the state government is to ensure that all Sarawakians would have good access to the internet, as this is part of the state government’s digital economy blueprint towards the goal of having a developed status by 2030,” he said.

On a related matter, Gerawat said any telecommunication site in Mulu constituency would be acquired by the state government, whereby the land titles would be issued to the SMA – the state’s regulatory body for telecommunications.

He said this was crucial so that these telecommunication sites would be properly gazetted and the landowners would be compensated accordingly.

“Once the land is acquired for the telecommunicationsites, then proper compensation would be made to the rightful owners. And if the sites are located on any communal land, then the compensation would be made to the village holding the jurisdiction,” he said.

Also present at the event were SMA general manager Dr Zaidi Razak, its deputy chief scientist and deputy digital economy advisor Prof Al-Khalid Othman, as well as representativesofMalaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC) and telecommunication service providers.