To meet the challenges of globalisation, it is inevitable, our society especially the rural communities should be provided with the knowledge and skills in ICT at all levels, from primary school children to university level, from a labourer to Chief Executive, housewives, farmers, fishermen, rubber tappers needs to understand and master the ICT field, able to communicate through electronic and computer technology.

We must start from now. With the establishment of the Medan Infodesa, I have great expectations for the community to take advantage and gain benefit from it. We should not wait for till we can afford it and have a computer at home, only then we are willing to learn and invest the money to pursue computer-related courses. Have a look at a simpler case, do we have to wait until there are no local rice stocks then only we cultivate rice or should we multiply the rice cultivation? Biotechnology progress rapidly from day to day and many developed countries even countries that are on par with Malaysia such as Thailand and Indonesia have already benefited from it. Let alone Singapore which is at the top of the ASEAN country list in having a fine quality of ICT access and facilities. Do we just depend on traditional method to grow crops, but hopes to get or yield not just more than enough to be eaten ourselves, but also enough to be market?

The mastery of the ICT today will benefit all parties in the days afterward when people ‘are forced’ or ‘forced themselves’ to work or use computers, particularly the Internet to perform daily activities. For example, payment of bills, bank transactions, flight tickets purchase, goods purchase and even food orders. The word ‘forced’ might become an aspect of basic knowledge and skills that the community should have in the days to come.

Therefore, the ministry urged all people to be a smart community, provide a ‘computer license’ for children, families and most importantly for you. Let Medan Infodesa be a cultural centre that can combine various cultures into one culture that is “ICT culture”.

Finally, all the best to those involved in the Infodesa programme especially the villagers who have succeeded in proving that basic relations of understanding, cooperation and collaboration have a big impact on the success of a rural development action plan that has been developed and practiced together.

It is the hope of the ministry that what happened on these days will be the springboard to success in times to come, especially in the management of resources and infrastructure to enlighten the community in an effort to produce competitive generations as well as a strong identity even though consumed by the infinite abilities of ICT facilities.

An excerpt of text speech from Medan Infodesa opening speech.