A joint task force has been formed by the federal and Johor governments to find solutions to communication service issues in the state, says Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil.
Among the issues it aims to resolve are poor Internet coverage, regular dropping of calls and the general quality of services.
Fahmi said a joint meeting was held recently with representatives from the state government, service providers and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as well as Communications and Digital Ministry chief secretary Datuk Seri Mohammad Mentek.
“During a recent meeting with Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, a few issues were brought up, including Internet coverage, dropped calls, and service quality that is not up to par.
“As such we have set up a task force and it has held its first meeting to oversee the issues involving our communication towers, the National Digital Network Plan (Jendela) and the fibre optic network hub point of presence (PoP) in the state.
“This issue usually involves local councils and land offices,” he said after attending an aid programme for flood victims in Tiram at Dewanraya Kampung Sungai Tiram in Ulu Tiram, Johor.
Fahmi added that a meeting would be held regularly and it was not a one-off effort.
“If we can solve all the communication problems in Johor, this task force will then be emulated in other states,” he said, adding that close cooperation between the state and federal governments would ensure smooth government operations.
He also said 186 new Keluarga Malaysia Digital Economic Centres (PEDi) would be introduced nationwide this year to increase Internet literacy, especially in rural areas.
The ministry would also be expanding its target audience to include housewives and youths to expose them to the benefits that PEDi could offer, especially in the digital economy, he said.
“We will also work together with Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia and the National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional) so that those who have participated in these programmes can get access to grants and other services,” he added.
On March 13, MCMC chairman Datuk Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek was reported as saying that there would be 1,083 PEDi in operation throughout the country by the end of this year.
Fahmi also shared that students from flood-affected schools would be allowed to conduct their teaching and learning (PdPR) at the PEDi in the districts.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, during his visit to Johor on March 12, said students from flood-affected schools in the state would be placed at temporary premises to ensure that their PdPR was not interrupted.
He added that currently, there were 17 schools in Johor that had been affected by the floods, with Segamat being the worst-hit with 14 schools affected, while there were three more schools affected in other districts.
Meanwhile, on the programme, Fahmi said 390 flood victims in Tiram had been given food aid boxes and RM500 cash aid.