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SLIARC delivers COVID-19, disaster information to rural communities

01/10/2021 05:43 PM

BEAUFORT, Oct 1 --  The Sabah Lower Interior Amateur Radio Club (SLIARC) plays a role in providing true and correct information especially regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and disasters happening in rural areas.

Its deputy chairman Abd Dini Anjin said as its members comprise those working in the front line, the club has the advantage in relaying precise and important information in relation to current developments and issues.

Abd Dini, a Health Ministry retiree, said apart from the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) Civil Defence Force (APM) and the Malaysia Volunteers Corps (RELA), members of the club also come from various educational background and vocation.

“As SLIARC members, it is our duty to explain and assist local communities in understanding the actual information especially related to the COVID-19 virus, vaccine and fake news,” he told Bernama.

He said the club’s standard operating procedure (SOP) dictates that every member should not pass any information that has not been confirmed by the related agency or authority.

Elaborating on SLIARC, Abd Dini said the club was formed in March  2013 and its purpose was to assist the authorities especially in the Beaufort area in times of disasters like flooding.

“Beaufort is a flood prone area. In such situations, SLIARC is always ready to assist if the Disaster Operations Control Centre (PKOB) needs communication assistance," he said.

He said the usage of gadgets like mobile communication tools or ‘walkie-talkies’ would enable information from risky areas to be channeled to the authorities immediately.

He said the communication tools are helpful because its radio waves can reach up to five kilometres and are beneficial in areas where access to the internet is limited.

Besides that, a mobile rig is also installed in vehicles or at the control centres and the radio waves are able to reach a communication distance of between 100 and 150 kilometres.

"The antenna is the most important tool in amateur radio because it determines the communication distance. The higher the antenna, the clearer the communication will be,” he said.

Apart from that, the repeater is also an important gadget to connect the audio between two points and is usually located in highland areas.

Recalling how the club, which is based in Beaufort was formed, Abd Dini said it was the result of amateur radio enthusiasts from nearby districts like Tenom, Sipitang, Kuala Penyu, Menumbok, Membakut including Labuan Federal Territory getting together one day.

SLIARC with a membership of 198, had participated in several competitions including World Wide WPX in September last year and last month, Japan International DX in November 2017 and the Padang DX in November 2020 as a show of support to international amateur radio clubs.





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