A REAL LESSON FOR SABAHANS: SHORTCHANGED FOR DECADES, YET THEY VOTED UMNO-GRS – NOW, VILLAGERS FORCED TO RESORT TO BUILDING THEIR OWN ‘INTERNET TOWERS’ USING BAMBOO MASTS & MINERAL WATER BOTTLES – EVEN AS MOH WARNS THE STATE NOW AT ‘CRITICAL JUNCTURE’ IN BATTLE AGAINST COVID-19

KOTA KINABALU: Desperate for internet access, villagers in Sabah’s northernmost Pitas district have come up with an ingenious “flag raising” approach to get on the world wide web.

The village is dotted with bamboo masts, some 20m high, on which they hoist mineral bottles containing mobile telephones with their “hot spot” function switched on to capture scant cellular signals.

The hoisted telephone provides the wifi signals for a household to access the internet.

A visitor to an unidentified Pitas village recently recorded a video clip showing how the villagers set about it. The three-minute clip had been widely shared among social media users here.

The video also showed bamboo poles near other houses in the kampung with a villager saying that was the only way they could have internet access.

District chief Mohd Zinin Andong Ajak said some villagers had no choice but to resort to such tactics as cellular telephone services in Pitas were spotty at best.

A phone is placed in a bottle before it is hoisted up on a bamboo mast to get a better signal.

There are 124 kampungs in Pitas, which covers about twice the size of Penang island.

“There is no cellular telephone signal in some of them. So, in villages where the signals are weak, the kampung folks have hoisted up their phones to get signals. They are already considered lucky,” he said.

Zinin said cellular telephone services were considered so bad that at Kampung Tambiling, a village just five minute drive from Pitas town, villagers faced difficulties in making or receiving calls.

“And in some areas like Kampung Kasagaan, there are no telephone signals at all. And this is 2020. How much longer must we have to wait for decent phone services?” he said.

Pitas came into the limelight last June when Universiti Malaysia Sabah student Veveonah Mosibin, 18, recorded a clip of her climbing a tree near her house at Kampung Sabanalang to get a better cellular telephone signal so she could sit for her exam during the movement control order period. FREE MALAYSIA TODAY

Dr Noor Hisham: Sabah frontliners at critical juncture in battle against Covid-19

KUALA LUMPUR — Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the battle against Covid-19 for frontliners in Sabah is now at a critical moment.

He said several strategies and approaches would be taken to break the Covid-19 chain in the state.

The number of new Covid-19 infections in the country jumped to 561 cases yesterday, with Sabah recording the most number of cases, totaling 488.

— Bernama

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