MIRI, April 18 – The Communications and Multimedia Ministry will expand the Address For All (AFA) project in Sarawak with 1,000 villages in rural areas having been identified. Its deputy minister, Datuk Jailani Johari said the project would be expanded in view of the successfull implementation of the AFA pioneer project undertaken by Pos Malaysia Berhad in Lundu, Kuching that had benefited 6,000 houses there.
“Our main focus under AFA project are villagers in rural and scattered areas without addresses,” he told the reporters after chairing a meeting on the telecommunication projects in Miri and Sibuti with representatives from various communities here today.
Jailani said under the AFA project, Pos Malaysia Sdn Bhd and the Resident office in each major town and district in Sarawak would identify the selected areas without proper addresses. He said usually the normal practice would be the letter recipients would have to get their letters from the nearby shop or community hall (balai raya) but sadly sometimes it is quite troublesome for those staying far from these places.
He said that once implemented, AFA would enable a more effective postal service in rural areas especially for those waiting for an offer letter from educational institutions or parcel delivery service. For the record, the AFA project, in progress since 2015, aims to ensure all premises are equipped with complete addresses by 2020.
On telecommunication projects in Sarawak, Jailani said, from 2008 to this year a total of RM1.8 billion had been spent to bridge the digital gap in rural areas. He said at the moment, it had been a success story with 78.3 per cent of the area having broadband coverage in Sarawak compared to 13.6 per cent in 2008. For Miri, he said there were a total of RM130.2 million for telecommunication projects and programmes had been spent in the same period.