Phase 1 5G rollout by year-end

The govt also accelerates the development and growth of high speed, affordable, and reliable 5G connectivity and coverage for all Malaysians 

By ASILA JALIL / Pic by TMR FILE PIX

THE 5G network rollout will kick start its Phase 1 with 10% coverage in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya by year-end. 

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said Phase 1B will follow, covering nearly 40% of the population in major cities in Selangor, Johor, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak by the end-2022 while the rollout for the rest of the country will be done in stages with 80% national coverage targeted by 2024. 

“In terms of our 5G aspirations, we are also accelerating the development and growth of high speed, affordable, and reliable 5G connectivity and coverage for the socio-economic benefit of all Malaysians,” Tengku Zafrul said at the virtual National Recovery Summit yesterday. 

Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint is among the critical components to drive the business sector to compete in the global arena by addressing both digital infrastructure and digital ecosystem. 

The minister said the economic outlook hinges on the situation brought on by the virus and recent indicators suggest near-term challenges coming from elevated infections and public health concerns. 

He also said the government has reviewed the ceiling price for Covid-19 self-test kits to make them more accessible nationwide, among the efforts to contain the spread of the virus. 

“In making the self-test kits accessible to everyone, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and the Ministry of Health has set the price ceiling for these kits below RM20. Both ministries are looking at further revising down the prices by the end of this year,” he said. 

He also said the government is enhancing contact tracing by expanding the use of technology and mobility data. 

The initiative would enable potential close contacts to be identified and notified of the need to quarantine themselves while asymptomatic and cases with minor symptoms are now subject to a home surveillance order. 

On the National Recovery Plan (NRP), Tengku Zafrul said it remains a dynamic, flexible and agile roadmap that holistically tackles the pandemic, rather than just anchoring on a single metric that determines the easing of restrictions. 

The NRP focuses on effective execution, which is adapted based on current local scenarios. 

At the same time, updates are based on current needs that are supported by the most recent and scientifically backed data.

“The NRP is also inclusive, based on a whole-of-nation approach. The National Recovery Council (NRC), a coordinating body under the NRP, has representatives comprising the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak as well as industry experts and NGOs to share their expertise on various aspects.

“All in, the NRP provides not just a light at the end of the tunnel but a data-driven, dynamic and inclusive way to navigate it. “Just as it is critical for us to exit this pandemic safely and systematically, it is equally critical that we build back better,” Tengku Zafrul said.

NRC chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin urged Malaysians to unite with a common purpose to end the nation’s war with the virus. 

He concurred with the finance minister that the nation can only win the Covid-19 war by continuously prioritising a whole-of-nation approach, which encompasses all sectors and groups in the country. 

“As a leader who spent more than 18 months dealing with the response to the spread of this virus, I must caution that this invisible enemy is never to be underestimated. 

“Although we now know more about the virus than at the start of 2020, the speed of its mutations can outpace our ability to comprehend its nature and how to deal with infections,” Muhyiddin said in his closing address yesterday. 

 

Editor’s note: The article has been updated for better clarity