Mohd Zharif (left) and Muliawadi show the AnakSarawak app in their smartphone. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Sarawakians can better connect with each other on the AnakSarawak community and marketplace mobile application which is now available on Android and Apple.

The community and marketplace mobile application platform was developed especially for the locals in Sarawak with various attractive features that focus on building a better community.

Apart from being a convenient and informative platform to share local news and latest updates on Sarawak, users can also browse through the marketplace for a variety of products offered by local businesses or put up advertisements to sell their products.

Mohd Zharif speaks at the press conference. Photo: Ramidi Subari

Taqwatech Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Mohd Zharif Draman revealed that the mobile application was developed in two months and the recent cancellation of Ramadan bazaar fast tracked its release.

The company is a startup under Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad in which the company uses digital infrastructure facilities provided by Serba Dinamik such as innovation hubs as well as access to data centres for product and service storage.

“We actually started developing the mobile application at the end of January this year and it took us two months to complete it.

“This mobile application is different from other social media platform because it brings and combines the local community together through common interest and lifestyle. One of the mobile application’s features is that you can select specific category for your post.

“From this, you can view other users’ posts in the specific category and it helps to discover as well as form a community based on common interests. So if they have this mobile application, they can find others who share the same interest,” he said.

He said this during the launch of the mobile application at D’Virtual Park today.

Mohd Zharif also said the mobile application’s marketplace feature will benefit local businesses.

“I found that marketplace on other platforms only allow up to 10 advertisements. If you want to post more, you would have to delete the previous posts.

“Our mobile application uses targeted advertisement based on your location. If you are in Kuching, the latest advertisements will go to you and you will only see the targeted advertisements for you.

In our next update, we want to include the function of being able to select the different division. Let’s say I am in Kuching and I want to buy something for my family in Bintulu, I can select the Bintulu marketplace and choose the sellers that I want,” he enthused.

The AnakSarawak mobile application requires users to sign up using the mobile phone number which provides assurance, Mohd Zharif explained.

“A mobile phone number is a very personal thing that one has which is why the mobile application uses this method for registration. If it was using email addresses, people can have up to 10 or 20 different addresses and it could be wrongly used for scams.

“The most a person would have for mobile phone number is one or two, no more than that. For this mobile application, we want to make sure that everyone plays their part in building a better community.

“It gives us confidence to not be afraid when we are using the mobile application because we know the others are our fellow Sarawakians,” he added.

On the mobile application’s name, Mohd Zharif said it was inspired by his encounter with the late Tok Nan (former chief minister the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem).

“I always get chills when I recall my encounter with Tok Non because I was so excited to meet him. I had the opportunity to meet him at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) when I was doing my Master’s degree at International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).

“I still remember how he asked me what I was studying so I told him, ‘I’m developing software and systems’. He then told me that I should do something for ‘Anak Sarawak’. That was the first and only time I met him in person but it was more than enough to have inspired me,” he said.

Mohd Zharif stated that the development of the mobile application was given full support from the group chief executive officer of Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad Datuk Dr Ir Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah.

“The first time I wanted to develop this mobile application was three years ago but I had to stop halfway. This is because I thought there was no point in developing it if I do not have the budget to buy big servers.

“When we talk about social media application, it requires big servers because the data that people store on it will keep on increasing. That is why when I was given a chance to become a part of the startup programme under Datuk Dr Ir Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah, I went for it.

“He asked me what is the thing that I wanted to do most and he remembers how I talked about wanting to develop a social media application so he told me to just for go for it. He is also Taqwatech’s company advisor and we look up to him,” he said.

Also present during the release was Serba Dinamik’s Group manager, head of Kuching Operations Muliawadi Imran.

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