Zahidi: Ministry working with TM to resolve PdPR connectivity issues

GEORGE TOWN: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry has set up a committee together with Telekom Malaysia (TM) to identify areas with no or poor internet connectivity to resolve issues during home-based learning (PdPR).

Deputy Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said, through the committee, they would go to the ground to see and monitor for themselves these areas and take the necessary action to address the issue.

“Since the implementation of PdPR, we have received information regarding students having issues with internet connectivity, to the extent some students needed to walk far away from their homes to get access.

“Through this committee, we hope that we can find a solution to the issue, not only in the rural areas or far into the outskirts, but also in security areas such as police stations or army camps,” he told newsmen after a visit to the Klinik Kesihatan Bandar Baru Air Itam here this morning to monitor the vaccination programme for the media.

He was asked to comment on reports in the media, on issues of poor internet connectivity faced by students during PdPR.

Besides TM, Zahidi said they would also ask other telecommunication providers to help in ensuring that rural areas are well equipped with good internet connection, which is very important to everyone now.

“Many places, especially rural areas, have no or poor internet connectivity. This is why we want a report on why this is happening and possible solutions.

“We have also chanelled RM15 million to the Education Ministry to be given to needy students to purchase gadgets needed for PdPR,” he added.

On a separate note, Zahidi said the ministry was in talks with various quarters to help media practitioners who have lost their jobs to ensure they could continue in other fields.

“From the information I received, about 5,000 media practitioners have lost their jobs, and we are looking at providing a one-off assistance to them,” he added.

Meanwhile, Zahidi also urged the state Health Departments to expedite vaccination for media proactitioners since many have yet to be vaccinated.

He said they too were frontliners which needed to be given priority due to the nature of their work and the exposure to Covid-19.

“I was told we are getting more and more vaccines and there is greater opportunity for the frontliners, including media practitioners, to be vaccinated,” he added.

This morning, some 117 media practitioners in Penang received their first vaccination jab.

They were part of some 192 media practitioners who have been waiting to receive their Covid-19 vaccination.

Among those vaccinated were a team of journalists and photopraphers from the New Straits Times Press bureau in Penang. – NST Online

by Audrey Dermawan

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