Community postmen - Residents in Sarawak's interiors await their arrival
By Muhammad Ammar Shafiq Hamzah
KUCHING, Aug 9 (Bernama) -- Just like the lyrics in the song “Please Mr. Postman” by the Carpenters, from the United States of America, in the 1970s, the arrival of the postman is much awaited.
For the Community Postmen in Sarawak, they carry a thousand pieces of news on their shoulder - some bring hope and good news from far away, and there’s also the bad news.
The responsibility of the Community Postmen may be more challenging and difficult because they have to face various obstacles to reach their destinations, especially in the rural areas in Sarawak that still do not have good road links.
However, these Community Postmen persevered for the sake of the country and the community in shouldering their responsibility to ensure the mail, with addresses on the Land of the Hornbills, reach their destinations, even in the remotest area.
The mission of 'steering' the geographical challenges and topography of Sarawak's interior is on the shoulders of the Community Postmen, established in 2010 to enable the delivery of postal items beyond the conventional post office delivery area.
"The challenge facing them is difficult, some of them have to cross rivers which have crocodiles to make the deliveries," said Sarawak Pos Malaysia manager Bong Tung Hui to Bernama recently.
He said poor road links and having to travel through dirt roads, logging path, oil palm plantations, rocky mountain terrain were among the challenges facing the Community Postmen in making the deliveries.
"The Community Postmen for the Siburan area even have to travel along the rocky mountain slopes and rough terrain," he said.
The Community Postmen was established under the Sabah and Sarawak Post Transformation Plan Programme (PTPSS) and is an initiative of the federal government under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia.
According to Bong, apart from providing basic postal services for the rural communities, implementation of PTPSS also provides employment opportunities and improves the socio-economic status of the rural residents.
He said the appointment of the Community Postmen is on a contract basis and they could serve until the age of 65.
“Unlike, conventional postmen, Community Postmen do not have be in the office ,but only to make deliveries and they work five days a week,” he added.
Bong said that since it was launched 12 years ago, the Community Postmen succeeded in increasing the coverage of handovers in the rural areas and is a manifestation of the theme for the 2022 National Day celebration which is "“Keluarga Malaysia Teguh Bersama” (Keluarga Malaysia - Standing Strong Together).
According to him, the federal government's commitment to develop a communication system and driving the development of postal services in Sarawak can also be seen with the increase in the number of Community Postmen, from 200 in 2010 to 265 currently.
"The amazing thing is, there are Pos Malaysia employees who want to continue to be Community Postmen after they retire.
“This shows their commitment and sense of responsibility to continue to serve the community,” he added.