Sarawak will set up information kiosks using information communication technology (ICT) to counter the lack of information and the friction arising from development issues.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said this was part of the fresh approaches to reach out to the people and engage them in development discourses by disseminating correct information on the need to build hydro dams and develop native customary right (NCR) land, among others.

“In the old days, people listened to you (government). Today they no longer want to be the recipients because they want to interact with the government. This is a new phenomenon,” he said at the Angkatan Zaman Mansang’s (Azam) 25th anniversary dinner here Monday night.

In facilitating change through communication, he said, Azam, which was established to assist the government to bridge the communication and information divide in Sarawak, particularly among the rural communities, could gear itself for such increasing engagement in the society.

In the case of the civil service, public counter services were being set up to enable the people to obtain the relevant information, including ways to get assistance to participate in development schemes, he said.

Earlier, Azam chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain said Azam proposed to undertake a study on social issues as it was aware that the present-day reality had presented different sets of challenges to the stakeholders due to the rapid changes in the political, economic and social environments.

Azam intended to maximise the utilisation of ICT to ensure that it kept pace with current trends in communication, he said.