MOIC Minister to promote free, fair and responsible media and work on pledges

The new Minister for Information and Communications (MoIC), Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi, is ready to take up the post. He will join the office on Monday.

Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi said, “I am looking forward to really giving 100 percent in making a difference in the socio-economic development of our country, and since the Ministry of Information and Communications is the one of the cross cutting sectors, all sectors require this ministry and I think it is very importantfor socio economic development. I will do my best to bring about development with support from the people.”

He said his appointment came as a surprise to him.  “I did not know that I would be appointed as MoIC Minister. I think this time, what our Lyonchhen and the party workers are trying to do is, that they have come up with different ways of facing the changes that is in front of us, and this is to encourage us to think out of the box.”

Regarding the free WiFi and the Suung Joen app that Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) pledged during the election campaign, he said, “ Basically, we were talking about providing WiFi in and around the Community Information Center and for that, I would like to meet with our in-house technical experts and discuss with them on how to go about providing services that we havepledged.”

The ministry will utilize the existing fiber optic cables that are already laid out and available in all the gewog centers. Lyonpo said, “So we will be utilizing this infrastructure to provide free WiFi in and around that area and we are thinking about covering 5 km radius.”

“The Suung Joen app will be designed by our in house experts and it will be very similar to the social media app called WeChat, but the only difference is that WeChat is owned by a Chinese company and our Suung Joen app is our own locally developed app. We can download this app with free WiFi and people can communicate free of cost, and we will be able to share data and information through the intranet. Certain locally demanded information, such as our daily news, can be broadcast using this intranet,” Lyonpo said.

As also pledged during the campaign, Lyonpo said, “We will ensure that we have all the policy, guidelines and Acts in place so that everybody is protected online, both the sellers and the buyers. We would like to provide a platform that will encourage online business and how our Bhutanese people react to it will depend on them.”

About strengthening media, Lyonpo said, “We would like to promote free and fair media and a responsible media. And what I would expect from the media is to report about the situation as it is, and not by trying to bend the opinion of the views and leave that to the viewers.”

Lyonpo said, “The aim and vision for our ministry is already there and it’s not something new that I would be doing. We truly feel that after every election, we are left with a divided population. I think like it has been for all the previous government, I think also, for us, the first step that we consider very important is to try and bridge the gap and unite the people.”

“We have to now make the people believe that it is not the DNT party’s government but the government of Bhutan for the Bhutanese people. We would like to invite every people, regardless of whichever party they belong, to unite and work towards the common interest of all Bhutanese,” he added.

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