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Undersea stations to turn Sabah into telecom hub
Published on: Friday, November 27, 2015

Kota Kinabalu: The building of two undersea cable stations in the city and Tawau is expected to turn Sabah into a telecommunication hub.

Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Siringan Gubat said this during question and answer time at the State Assembly sitting here, Thursday.

The 1Malaysia Cable System Project (SKR1M) involving the connection of undersea cable from the city to Pahang, which was provided for by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak under Budget 2015, is expected to be completed at the end of the second quarter of 2017, he said.

"Another project related to the telecommunication infrastructure development is currently being implemented by the private sector. The project involves the building of fibre optic undersea cable in the region of Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga)," he said, adding that the private sector involved are Sedco Communications Sdn Bhd, Brunei International Gateway, EA-Trilink, Philippines and Rentang Telekom Asia, Indonesia.

The building of the cable can reduce the dependency on the peninsula broadband capacity besides increasing job opportunities, business and the growth of small and medium industries in addition to improving the people's lives. He said the project will also help improve direct links between the involved nations and United States, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Europe.


Bingkor Assemblyman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan later questioned the main reason for the slow Internet service in Malaysia reaching up to only 5mb/sec compared to Vietnam 17mb/sec, Singapore 20mb/sec and Hong Kong 50mb/sec.

He also enquired on the government's initiative to widen the Internet coverage in the State and whether the level of penetration for broadband Internet has occurred in other rural districts besides in the city.

"In fact, Malaysia is not that far behind even if we compare ourselves to Vietnam and Singapore," replied Siringan.

"Vietnam is categorised to have the widest broadband coverage in the world and for Singapore, the geography is far different from ours. There are no hills or rivers in Singapore…it is only a small island."


Also, he said the penetration rate for Internet broadband in Sabah is 72.4 per cent compared to the nation's household penetration rate which is 72.2 per cent.

"I also believe that with the building of the two undersea cables, Sabah's Internet coverage will be much better compared to other neighbouring countries," he said, adding that the price for Internet subscription is also much cheaper.

"Datuk Siringan has not replied to my question. My question is why is the Internet speed in Malaysia too slow…I don't mean the Internet coverage. It has nothing to do with the hills or rivers…what is the government's action in upgrading the Internet speed in the country?" questioned Jeffrey.

However, Deputy Speaker Datuk Johnny Mositun advised Jeffrey to get a written reply from Siringan.


Earlier, Siringan announced that a total of 1,200 WiFi Community have been implemented in Sabah.

He said the project was aimed to create interest and awareness on the importance of IT among the people, especially those from the interior.

He also replied to Luyang Assemblyman Hiew King Cheu on the unsatisfactory Internet service in Kingfisher and Foh Sang, saying it was due to the infra fibre and copper installation.

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