Telecentre Programme For Orang Asli

change image here

Replication of the e-Bario

In view of eBario’s success and international acclaim for the innovative application of ICT to sustain social and economic development in rural communities, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (under the Demonstrators Application Grant Scheme) also awarded a RM4 million grant to the UNIMAS eBario team for them to replicate the eBario project in five remote sites in Malaysia. This is largely due to the impact of e-Bario, which is a pilot project that explores and demonstrates a process of providing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to Bario, an isolated rural community in Sarawak, East Malaysia. A community-centered approach was employed to engage the community prior, during, and after the introduction of ICTs. Today, the school and community have access to telephones and the Internet, and members of the community are using these technologies to communicate with outside world. In addition, the community is applying ICTs in order to enhance their livelihood. This e-Bario DAGs Rollout plan thus, will replicate the e-Bario model to provide ICT access in five (5) sites throughout Malaysia.



Kampung Buayan sits in the district of Penampang, Sabah, on the outskirts of the Crocker Range Park and is a decentralized village divided into several zones: Marantai, Moninimbar and Kionop Baru. In 2006, there was no road access to the village and it was only connected through the “salt trails” that were once the only transportation route across the Crocker Range between Sabah’s interior and west coast. All the necessary supplies for the village and surrounding areas, including fuel for generators, were carried in by porters through steep, forested terrain for a difficult six hour (ten kilometer) hike. Today, you can reach Kampung Buayan via a logging road. There are seven nearby villages namely: Terian, Timpayasa, Tiku, Kionop, Pongobonon, Longkogungan and Kalangan.

The village is home to about 500 Dusuns (of the largest ethnic group in Sabah). Nearly half of the population is in Buayan depending on the season, with youth seeking secondary education and adults seeking employment in nearby Donggongon, Kota Kinabalu and even Klang Valley, Peninsular Malaysia.

The people of Kampung Buayan are subsistence farmers. Some tourism activities are also carried out, where some villagers work as guides and porters.

Kampung Buayan is far off the electricity grid and there are no fixed or mobile phone lines/ networks available in the village. ISITI’s work with Kampung Buayan began with the establishment of the telecentre in 2010. Members of the community were exposed to various trainings on knowledge fair, management skills and leadership conducted by the ISITI team. Usage of the telecentre is mostly by the youth of Buayan as well as the visitors to the village.



Located close to the border between Indonesian Kalimantan and Sarawak, Long Lamai is one of the biggest and oldest settlements of the Eastern Penans in Sarawak with 450 inhabitants. Its remote location makes traveling to Long Lamai somewhat of an adventure, as there is no direct road access to the village, and visitors have to fly to Miri to Long Banga (or drive 8 hours over logging roads) and take a 1.5 hours boat ride (or an hour of hiking through dense rainforest) before they can reach Long Lamai. Although the Penan community at Long Lamai lives on farming today, they are still dependent on the forest for hunting and collection of various forest products. The people of Long Lamai are subsistence farmers, growing paddy, fruits and vegetables for their own consumption and for sale. The selling and buying activities occur both in the villages of Long Lamai and Long Banga.

The village is home to about 500 Dusuns (of the largest ethnic group in Sabah). Nearly half of the population is in Buayan depending on the season, with youth seeking secondary education and adults seeking employment in nearby Donggongon, Kota Kinabalu and even Klang Valley, Peninsular Malaysia. The establishment of the telecentre, Ngerabit eLamai, in 2009 has allowed the community to partake in various activities such as e-commerce and e-tourism. Other projects that have taken off at Long Lamai include the Indigenous Knowledge Governance Framework (Toro), Grassroots Grant Assistance for Human Security Project from the Government of Japan under Official Development Assistant (ODA) for Long Lamai electrification using Micro Hydro, Energy Optimization for Rural ICTs Telecentre, Initiative for e-Commerce Capacity Building of Penans in Long Lamai, Sarawak, Ngerabit eLamai: ICTs Supporting Socio-economic Transformation and Constructing a Competitive Rural Tourism Competency Index for Rural Tourism Destinations in East Malaysia.

Ngerabit eLamai has received the following recognition:



Located at approximately 3000 feet above sea level, situated 4 km from the international border between Sarawak and East Kalimantan and 170 km from Lawas (the closest town), lies ‘the wet lands along the Kelalan river’ or Ba’ Kelalan. The Ba’Kelalan Highlands is hailed as the home of the Lun Bawang people. The area is surrounded by some of the highest peaks and mountain ranges found in Sarawak, and has a cool climate with daily temperatures ranging between 15 to 32 degree Celsius. There are 12 villages located within the valley: Puneng Kelalan, Long Muda, Long Kumap, Long Langai, Long Lemutut, Long Ritan, Long Rusu, Telal Buda’ (Buduk Bui), Long Nawi (Buduk Bui), Long Rangat, Buduk Aru’, Long Ubau, Pa’ Pala and Pa’ Tawing.

The main economic activity in the area is the production of adan rice (also known as Bario Rice). Villagers also rear buffaloes and other domesticated animals as source of income. The community is also known for the production of salt as well as the Ba’Kelalan apple.

Ba’Kelalan’s remote location has resulted in the area lying outside the national grid with unstable communication and information infrastructures. There had been situations in whereby villagers had to track for about 2 hours over to East Kalimantan to make phone calls especially if there is an emergency. The community also relies on radio for news and information.Due to this fact, the Lun Bawang people have shown great interest in accepting and exploring the ways in which ICT, particularly the internet, can support rural development in the villages.

The Tutum Bala eBa’Kelalan telecentre was established in 2010, and is a double story building which serves as both a computer centre on the upper level as well as a café and gallery showcasing community products on the lower level. The eBa’ KelalanCafe was built mainly with the objective of getting the community to come together as a meeting point when having discussions, meetings and also for fellowship. The gallery room is use as an exhibition hall for the community to showcase their handicrafts, drawings and also local crafting.

Tutum Bala eBa’Kelalan has received the following recognition:



Home to the Bajau community, Larapan is one of the forty-nine islands in the picturesque Semporna, and has two villages within the island- Kampung Larapan Hujung and Kampung Larapan Tengah. The former is much bigger than the latter in terms of its population size with about 1,065 and 300 residents respectively.

The main economic activity of the villagers is fishing, while a small number of them work at pearl farms, not far away from the island. The women of Larapan are actively involved in small-scale farming (tapioca) while others operate small sundry shops. Despite being blessed by natural beauty and the richness of its sea, Larapan is glaringly marginalized from mainstream development, hence making it one of the poorest islands in Semporna.

The people of Larapan are still mainly dependent on individually owned generators to light up their houses, and face problems in terms of fulfilling basic needs such as getting fresh water supply, primary school education and health services.

With the establishment of the Paglatunan eLarapan telecentre in 2010, it is hoped that the telecentre will be able to offer services that are specially catered to the needs of the community so that its sustainability would be ensured. With this strategy, the full potential of the telecentre could be tapped, hence leaving a positive socio-economic and political impact on the community.