Sabah to speed up digital economy in rural areas


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is focused on broadening its digital base to reach out to rural areas to boost economic and financial transformation, says Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

The government's digital economy, he said, targets cashless financial transactions and initiatives aimed at accelerating the implementation of digital technology and driving economic and financial transformation in the country.

He said the state-owned Sabah Credit Corporation (PPS) has taken measures and initiatives to redraft the policy on existing financing to create suitable products for various groups that build on expanding the digital base.

"I am very satisfied with the measures undertaken by PPS to create the products for various groups with more customer service centres and mobile service centres," he said at the opening of the PPS's "Cashless Tuaran" Programme and its centre about 40km from here on Wednesday (June 12).

"I hope that with the customer service centres, the service and the PPS financial facilities can facilitate business and benefit residents, including those in the Tuaran district and nearby districts," said Hajiji.

The initiatives, he said, were in line with the direction of Sabah Maju Jaya in the creation of financial ease and efficiency and effective delivery services to the people.

Cashless transactions offer many benefits that will ensure easier, faster and safer payments, he said.

"This initiative does not only facilitate daily transactions but also solves the issue of the lack of ATM machines in rural areas.

"This programme will also improve financial management for traders, provide new business development opportunities, and improve inventory management," said Hajiji.

In ensuring that cashless payments benefit everyone - whether in urban or rural areas - both the state and federal governments, he said, are intensifying efforts to immediately complete 398 telecommunication towers in Sabah through the National Digital Interconnection Plan (Jendela).

He said the state-owned Sabah Net is also working with Bank Negara as well as other banks as part of Sabah's digital financial initiative to bridge the digital gap with rural communities.

He hoped that the "Cashless Tuaran" Programme between PPS and United Overseas Bank (UOB) will help declare Tuaran District as a cashless region by educating the public about the use of online payments and the QR code.

Hajiji noted that the PPS's performance has been consistent, with the company making a RM10mil dividend payment this year to the state from its 2023 profits.

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