Use it wisely. Abit second (left) presenting a laptop to a recipient as Kapit District Officer Simon Japut (left) and Dahim Nadot look on.

The Government is serious about narrowing the ICT gap between rural and urban areas in the state.

Hulu Rejang MP Datuk Billy Abit Joo said through the national broadband initiatives and 1Malaysia Laptop programmes alone, the Government was working hard to link thousands of rural longhouses to cyberspace.

He said despite the remoteness of the Hulu Rejang constituency, which is almost the size of the state of Pahang, it now had three rural ICT centres – one each in Sungai Asap, Belaga and Kapit town.

The centres were not inclusive of those made available in schools and linked to the Education Ministry, he said.

In addition, the Government had so far provided more than 1,000 students from SMK Bakun, SMK Belaga and SMK Kapit with Internet-ready laptops under the 1Malaysia Laptop programme.

According to Abit, after officiating a ceremony to present 239 laptops to poor families from Baleh at the Kapit Resident Office recently, this was just the beginning.

He said hundred more would continue to benefit from the ICT adoption programme, implemented in stages under the national broadband initiatives.

Abit advised the recipients to use the laptops wisely to help enhance their knowledge.

He also urged community leaders to take the initiative to learn how to use technology to enable them to better communicate with government agencies in discharging their respective duties.

Earlier, Kapti Resident Dahim Nadot said his office would conduct an ICT learning and awareness programme soon to help community leaders and longhouse folks to fully utilize the technology.

Meanwhile, in a separate meet-the-people session at Rumah Jugah, Nanga Sut in Baleh, Abit was humbled by the strong support accorded to him.

Upon arriving at the longhouse, he was greeted by a huge banner expressing support for him to continue serving the Hulu Rejang constituency, put up by 26 headmen from the Nanga Sut areas.

Accompanying Abit during the visit were 10 Orang Ulu community leaders from Belaga, who had also made a similar pledge for the four-term MP to be re-nominated to contest the seat in the next general election.