Face up to Urban-Rural Resource Disparities Urged To Promote Fair Telecommunications Competition

Joint Statement Released by Dong Zong and Jiao Zong

September 9, 2020

Face up to Urban-Rural Resource Disparities Urged

To Promote Fair Telecommunications Competition


Dong Jiao Zong urges the government to face up to the extant regional development disparities and believes that government servants need to improve the disparities between urban and rural education resources as well as stopping to bully Sabah undergraduate Ms Veveonah and hold strategic discussion on the issues instead. Besides, the government is further urged to promote fair telecommunications competition, develop public network to shorten the digital gap between urban and rural areas in the country.


The said bullying took place immediate after Sabah undergraduate Ms Veveonah Mosibin had uploaded her footage of spending 24 hours on top of a tree for better web accessibility for online examination, she was later reprimanded by two cabinet ministers successively. Zahidi Zainul Abidin, in the capacity of the Deputy Communication and Multimedia Minister, seems to overlook the needs of internet infrastructure in rural areas as a reality. Datuk Abdul Rahim Bin Bakri as the Finance Minister cum the Member of the Parliament of Malaysia for the Kudat constituency in Sabah, likewise needs to understand the importance of fair resource distribution and his contemptuous defiance of public opinion is a dereliction of duty. These two ministers are arrogant in attitude and have been casting personal attacks on Ms Veveonah Mosibin since then. We reckon, if an elected minister feels not truly for the sufferings of the general public, but alternatively voices spurious comments for immediate victory, a pressing self-criticism is needed or otherwise the impression of incompetence stays.


Of late, the right of internet access has gradually been accorded as yet another human right; that said, the government bears the responsibility to provide basic internet access to the people. Unfortunately, the accessibility of the internet in Malaysia has long been denounced in terms of quality such as coverage, speed and price comparing to similar provision in countries like Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, etc. It is thought that the poor internet accessibility correlates with the tolerance of monopoly given to a handful of consortiums. We suggest that the government should nationalise the key structure of broadband internet and retender service providers thus to break away from consortium monopoly as the promotion of fair telecommunications competition is beneficial to the public at large.


We understand that Ms Veveonah Mosibin comes from the underprivileged group in an education resource wanting region. The priority of the government is expected to address structural problems like resource disparities and the like. The said incident reveals the long existing unfair gap and distribution of education resource, in particular internet accessibility and digital provision for underprivileged students in the society. The covid-19 ravage has changed the country’s education ecology as it makes online teaching even more necessary. As such, the Ministry of education and the Ministry of Higher Education are urged to attend immediately to problems such as online teaching confronted by all types of schools as well as urban and rural telecommunications disparities.