Malaysian internet centre a hit with kids
Centre also organises tutorials and lends laptops to villagers
By TN Alagesh
On the outskirts of the capital of the Malaysian state of Pahang there is an Internet cafe that has never been short of patrons.
Judging by the bicycles parked outside the premises at Kampung Kempadang here, it was easy to see who the loyal customers were: children who come to the Internet centre after school and on weekends.
Inside, the children, mostly primary school pupils, were occupied with surfing the Internet and social media, as well as listening to music on their headphones.
There is never a dull moment at Pusat Internet 1Malaysia (PI1M), or 1Malaysia Internet Centre, since its establishment three years ago.
Year Four pupil Mohd Aiman Fikri, a regular visitor, said his daily routine had changed since PI1M began its operations as he dropped by three and four times a week.
The SK Kempadang pupil said his parents did not mind him going to the centre and would drop by to check on him.
“I come here to revise for the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination, watch football videos on YouTube and listen to songs. I usually come with my classmates, who live nearby. The centre’s supervisors teach us to use computer software and let us listen to music.
“My classmates and I search for materials for our homework and print them out at the centre.”
Pusat Internet 1Malaysia manager Mohd Shamsul Mohd Shamsuddin said the centre received about 30 patrons daily and had 526 registered members.
He said patrons were charged RM2 (US0.47) per hour, while registered members paid only RM1 (US$0.23).
Lifetime members paid a one-off fee of RM5 (US$1.17).
“Besides Internet services, the centre also organises special tutorials on Sundays, where we focus on UPSR subjects.
“We use online revision modules for pupils, who are mostly in Years Five and Four.
“We teach the children to use the Internet and social media.
“We also have adults and youths using our facilities, especially when they need to prepare important documents that have to be printed out immediately.”
Shamsul said apart from the Internet centre, some villagers, especially women, used Internet facilities, such as the hotspot, to venture into online business. He said some had become successful entrepreneurs.
“We lend laptops to villagers in Kampung Kempadang and nearby areas. They have to be members and renew their application on a monthly basis (to borrow a laptop) to ensure they do not misuse the laptop.
“This is to help the villagers venture into online business and use the free Internet facilities in the vicinity.”
PI1M is an initiative to provide collective broadband access in rural and suburban areas.
The centre aims to be a local transformation platform for the community to learn information and communications technology.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said the National Key Economic Areas had not only created a financial impact, but also sizeable social benefits.