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Salang shocked over netbook poser

LUBOK ANTU: Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang is flabbergasted that some rural schools in Sarawak have prohibited students from bringing their 1Malaysia netbooks to school. He said he was informed that the schools did not want the students to recharge their netbooks at school because this would increase the power supply bill. "This is news to me but, unfortunately, it is not a pleasant one," he said when officiating at a Gawai Dayak celebration programme-recording session by Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) at the 57-door longhouse, Rh Jubang anak Bin, in Sebangki Panjai here last night. "The netbooks are given to students to help them in their studies. But, if they are not allowed to bring them to school, it defeats the purpose," he said. Also present at the event were Lubok Antu MP William Nyalau Badak and Telekom Malaysia chairman Datuk Dr Halim Shafie. "If such a ruling is the norm or going to be one, it is a great loss to the government as well. On my part I will bring up the matter with the Education Ministry to find out and to seek an amicable solution for the sake of the students," Salang said. He said the government would distribute more netbooks to rural students and community leaders statewide by this month in its effort to narrow the rural-urban digital gap. On a request forwarded by Nyalau on behalf of the people who wanted RTM to consider increasing the duration of its TVi broadcast from the current 15 minutes to 30 minutes or more, Salang said he had brought up the matter with Director-General of Broadcasting Datuk Norhyati Ismail. "I have been told the broadcast is very popular especially with the rural Iban viewers who subscribe to the Astro service. Norhyati told me RTM is still looking for a slot to do so. When the RTM broadcast is fully digitalised soon, there will be more slots," he said. Salang also advised the people to support only Barisan Nasional candidates in the next general election, saying only the BN government had the vision, strategies and plans to improve their lives.

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