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Larapan connects to the world

on 12 Mac 2010.

By ZORA CHAN

 

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KUCHING: The people of Larapan may live on one of the poorest islands in Semporna, Sabah, but they will soon be able to surf the Internet.

A telecentre, called eLarapan, will be implemented on the island by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s (Unimas) Centre of Excellence for Rural Informatics (CoERI).

The Japanese government is forking out RM172,190 under its Grassroots Grant Assistance for Human Security Project to finance the installation of a solar power system for eLarapan.

Unimas vice-chancellor Prof Dr Khairuddin Abdul Hamid said eLarapan was a replica of eBario – a community ICT project in the highlands of Bario.

“CoERI is replicating the eBario project in four other sites – Long Lamai (for the Penan community) and Bakelalan (Lun Bawang) in Sarawak as well as Buayan (KadazanDusun) and Larapan (Bajau) in Sabah.

“Larapan was picked as the fifth site in August 2009 due to its remoteness and strength of the community,” he said at the signing of the grant’s contract between the Japanese consulate-general and Unimas yesterday.

Dr Khairuddin said the telecentre would have three laptop computers, three desktop PCs and a VSAT satellite link.

It would enable villagers to stay connected with people on the mainland and the world, and be a tool for them to promote their island as a tourist destination, said eLarapan project leader Dr Mohd Faisal Syam Abdol Hazis.

He said tourism could be an alternative source of income for the villagers who largely depend on fishing and traditional farming.

Japan consul-general Masashi Kono said his government had given about RM3.8mil to 36 small but socially and economically im-portant projects in Sabah and Sarawak since 1996.

These grants showed the goodwill of the Japanese government towards the people in both states, he said.

Japan was also looking for proposals from non-governmental organisations and local governments to carry out Grassroots Human Security Projects, he added.

For information, contact Japan’s vice-consul in Kota Kinabalu Yuki Okada at 088-254169.

Extracted from The Star Online.

Arkib Berita

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia Telephone: +60 82581000/+60 82581388, Fax: +60 82 665 088, Email: corporate@unimas.my
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