Centre to boost biotechnology


  • Nation
  • Friday, 17 Jan 2003

BY JACK WONG

KUCHING: Sarawak will set up a “technopreneur” centre here soon to help develop biotechnology, said Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud. 

He said the state wanted to exploit its rich biological resources through the project. 

The centre would have incubator facilities to produce Information and Communication Technology (ICT) talents, he said when opening a nationwide Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) conference here yesterday. 

His speech was read by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam. 

More than 300 participants attended the event jointly organised by the Chief Minister’s Department ICT Unit and Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn Bhd. 

CONFERENCE PARTNERS: Chan (left) presenting a souvenir to Multimedia Development Corporation senior vice-president Narayanan Kanan in Kuching Thursday.

Taib said the centre would provide ICT services to users in the city and surrounding areas, like the Sama Jaya Free Trade Zone and institutions of higher learning. 

He said the state had set up Internet resource centres to provide free Internet access to the people as well as electronic resource centres in rural district offices. 

“In promoting ICT, the state has introduced many collaboration projects, like website design competitions and web-hosting facilities in schools. 

“We have also donated personal computers and ICT software to schools,” he added. 

Taib said state assemblymen had asked for bigger development funds to enable them to buy computers and promote ICT literacy for rural communities. 

Earlier, state secretary Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain said the state would embark on a rural ICT technical entrepreneur training programme for youths and secondary school leavers on the use, repair and maintenance of computers. 

“The programme will not only train computer owners in rural areas but also provide technical support for personal computer owners in smaller towns,” he said. 

Aziz said in smaller towns, the cost of sending computers for minor repairs was higher than the repair costs. 

He said the state had embarked on extensive ICT development as seen by the large yearly allocations. 

The state is expected to spend RM64mil this year on ICT development against RM60mil last year and RM52mil in 2001. 

Aziz said a pilot project to boost Internet connection speed using broadband wireless technology would be implemented by the middle of this year. 

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