MEASAT and Parcel365 launch initiative to drive rural digital economy

Powered by CONNECTme NOW high-speed satellite broadband, the initiative enables rural communities to participate in the digital economy

MEASAT Global Berhad, Malaysia’s Rural Broadband Service Provider has partnered with Parcel365 Sdn Bhd and M2B Services Sdn Bhd (collectively “Parcel365”) to launch the initiative to uplift rural communities through digital economy activities.

The launch was held at Pos Sinderut in Kuala Lipis, which encompasses approximately 14 Orang Asli villages with a total population of over 4,000 residents, was officiated by YAB Dato’ Sri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, Menteri Besar of Pahang.

The event was witnessed by Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker YB Dato’ Ramli Mohd Nor,
who is the Member of Parliament for Cameron Highlands; YB Fadzli Mohamad Kamal,
Pahang State Executive Councillor for Communications and Multimedia, Youth, Sports
& Non-Governmental Organization; YB Ho Chi Yang, State Assemblyman for Tanah
Rata; and Sapiah Mohd Nor, Director General of the Department of Orang Asli
Development (JAKOA).

“I congratulate MEASAT and Parcel365 on the launch of This
effort to improve rural community access to the digital economy is commendable and
aligns well with government policies like the Pahang Digital Plan 2021-20251
that aim to create a more inclusive socioeconomic landscape. The Pahang State Government is pleased to facilitate initiatives that can support the state’s digital transformation roadmap.

This effort by MEASAT and Parcel365 is a good example of how we can assist rural
villagers in adopting digitalisation by optimising satellite broadband, logistics support and
community training. With improved digital economy access, our rural residents can have
new sources of income, education and entertainment. I encourage more communities to
embrace the model,” said YAB Dato’ Sri Wan Rosdy Wan
Ismail, Menteri Besar of Pahang.

During the launch, the showcase explained how the initiative
could improve life for approximately 7 million Malaysians2 living in rural areas – a majority
who are from B40, low-income households, by enhancing access to the digital economy.
By enabling eCommerce capabilities, new income streams and job opportunities are
made available for the villagers through the connectivity and logistics services supported
by MEASAT and Parcel365.

To complement the eCommerce business solutions and platform support, Parcel365 provides entrepreneurship training and online product marketing assistance through its sister platform Shopla365, to help villages optimise their digital economy potential. The programme also offers a service centre equipped with computers, printers and other ICT equipment, with in-person assistance from the operator when required. Refrigerators are offered to keep perishable goods fresh, while solar charging stations and portable batteries are available for rent to the villagers, to keep electrical devices and appliances working in locations with limited access to the national power grid.

In the longer term, the initiative promotes the development of
rural industries and value-added supply chains, channelling high quality local and
agricultural products to consumers, opening access to new markets and expanding
digital presence for local brands. Also in the works is a digital payment platform for participants, which will enable them to utilise ePayment
technology and record keeping that offer convenience, security, speed and accessibility.

Keeping connected.

The initiative is powered by MEASAT’s CONNECTme NOW
high-speed satellite broadband WiFi Hotspot service, which supports all digital
applications and online services including transactions, communications, training and
other use cases. The collaboration between MEASAT and Parcel365 enhances digital
inclusivity among rural communities with the CONNECTme NOW agent serving as the
local programme operator. With CONNECTme NOW currently
covering nearly 4,000 rural and remote sites serving 500,000 Rakyat nationwide,
including 426 sites in Kampung Orang Asli3 , many Malaysians in rural areas are poised
to benefit from more efficient access to the digital economy.

“At MEASAT, in our position as Malaysia’s Rural Broadband Service Provider, we are
committed to enabling residents in rural and remote areas to access all the benefits of
reliable high-speed internet connectivity. In this age of the fast-growing digital economy,
connectivity is key in empowering and uplifting communities, especially for those outside
well-served urban population centres. Through, MEASAT is
reaffirming our commitment to bridge the digital divide, helping to nurture
entrepreneurship and productivity potential among our CONNECTme NOW users,
supported by Parcel365’s specialised logistics and business solutions,” said Yau Chyong
Lim, Chief Operating Officer, MEASAT.

Eddie Mok Yew Keong, Co-Founder and Director of Parcel365 added, “We are pleased
to partner with MEASAT to realise the full potential of the
initiative. At Parcel365, we believe that a nation’s holistic progress and modernisation
must be built on uplifting the rural community, which contains vast unrealised potential,
especially in terms of the digital economy. Through this partnership with MEASAT, we
aim to optimise CONNECTme NOW infrastructure to facilitate access to wider markets
nationwide or even regionally for rural residents, tapping on the full suite of services
offered by Parcel365 and our sister platforms.”

By 2027, the initiative targets to have 3,000 participating
villages, generating 25 million eCommerce transactions annually. This aim reflects
Malaysia’s projected eCommerce compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13%
reaching a value of USD14 billion by 20274

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