Sabahan Student's Viral Video Prompts Authorities To Build Telco Tower For Better Internet

A viral video by a student in Sabah sparked a debate on social media regarding the digital gap in this day and age.

Cover image via Veveonah M./YouTube & New Straits Times

Following a viral video of a university student who climbed a tree in order to sit for an online exam, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has decided to take action

In a press release, MCMC explained that officials have conducted an inspection at Kampung Sapatalang in Pitas, Sabah, on Monday, 15 June.

The statement read, "According to information obtained, there is a telecommunications tower providing 3G coverage within 1.4km from the student's village."

"The 3G coverage allows students to take the examination online while for streaming activities, it requires higher coverage."

To provide better Internet access, MCMC plans to erect a new telco tower in another village near Kampung Sapatalang.

The project is expected to be ready by the second quarter of 2021.

The telecommunications tower will be built under the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) 1.

MCMC explained that the telco tower can be optimised to increase coverage in Kampung Sapatalang once it is set up.

"To provide better coverage around the area, MCMC has also made plans to upgrade its coverage to 4G under the Universal Service Provision (USP) fund programme since early this year," they added.

Besides that, they also assured that complaints from the public are taken very seriously, especially regarding telecommunication facilities in rural areas.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via New Straits Times

The YouTube video by 18-year-old Veveonah Mosibin sparked a debate on social media regarding the digital gap in this day and age

A Twitter user wrote, "The story of the Sabahan university student breaks my heart. The hut she built on a hill for her online class collapsed when bad weather hit it. Maybe one thing we can take away from this pandemic is that there are so many Malaysians who have to struggle just for an education."

Another addressed MCMC and the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) and said, "It's a shame for a nation which embarked on the digital journey more than 20 years ago under the MSC agenda! How can we progress if basic infrastructure in some parts of the country are still in shambles?"

"A very embarrassing situation for Sabah and Malaysia. While we're trying to make flying electric cars, we could not even provide basic infrastructure. Who is the assemblyman? Why did it get as bad as this? Chief minister, what is up? However, kudos to Veve. All the best," said another netizen.

Read the full statement by MCMC here:


Posted by Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia on Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Veveonah's video revealed that she did not intend to sit for her exams on top of a tree but due to unforeseen circumstances, she had no choice:

Last month, the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) announced that all university lectures must be conducted online until 31 December:

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