BAHDigital aims for technological revolution

Brunei Darussalam is set to welcome a technological revolution through the creation of BAHDigital, an online platform that centralises content such as case studies, stories and tools for users in Brunei Darussalam to tackle the digital future successfully.

An initiative led by the Digital Economy Council, Brunei Darussalam, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE), Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC), Authority for Infocommunications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) and Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd (DA), BAHDigital campaign will be key in showcasing the possibilities of information and communications technology (ICT) capabilities across all sectors and industries in the nation, a press release stated.

The name BAHDigital was chosen to illustrate the amalgamation of Brunei’s authenticity as a culture and the integration with modern digital technology into Brunei’s new reality. Today marks the launch of the BAHDigital through its website and social media pages on Instagram and on Facebook.

The resources shared through the BAHDigital platform will empower the country to capitalise on the 4th Industrial Revolution, especially in an age where technologies and trends such as robotics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) mould a new way of life and a new way of working. These technologies are set to enrich life as illustrated through the various initiatives implemented in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The completion of the ICT sector transformation, which is a milestone in Brunei’s journey towards a digital future, paved the way to new and refreshed plans by Datastream Digital Sdn Bhd, imagine Sdn Bhd and Progresif Sdn Bhd, with infrastructure powered by Unified National Networks Sdn Bhd (UNN).

BAHDigital aims to explore the ways these technologies and trends can be applied in our nation, and encompasses the aspiration of transforming Brunei into a Smart Nation that is forward-thinking while still keeping its culture and heritage alive. The content of BAHDigital will be channelled through six main areas of focus that are integral in progressing our national economy: Health, Tourism, Gig Economy, Education, e-Commerce and e-Government.

A significant objective for the creation of this platform is to help achieve the goals of Brunei Vision 2035. Immediate goals for BAHDigital include instilling new technologies in sectors that have employed more traditional methods in carrying out services. This can be seen with the actions taken in light of COVID-19 whereby digitised services have become more necessary to carry out basic everyday activities, such as in purchasing necessities, paying bills and being able to continue working as normal.

The Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam began initiatives such as the expansion of e-government services including online bill payment, licence renewals, business and job applications. The new Big Data and AI-powered COVID-19 platform is an example of how digitisation is helping users gain a deeper understanding of the virus, enabling hotspot-tracing through information gained with contact-tracing while being able to conduct self-assessment through its online self-screening tool.

In the educational sector, online learning is becoming more widely adopted, such as the case where schools are implementing studying from home and utilising the identified e-learning platforms.

To facilitate this initiative further, UNN has been working with MoFE, the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the MTIC to ensure that online learning is not disrupted by increasing the capacity on fixed broadband and enabling students’ access to online education platforms.

Other notable changes include the increase in online platforms dedicated to grocery shopping, following fitness routines online, as well as implementing work from home (WFH) initiatives in order to adhere to the social distancing guidelines in place.

The gig economy industry has also seen a rise, as the circumstances have increased the demand for freelancing work or carrying out delivery services.

It is hoped that users will become adapted to the ever-evolving technology that has brought with it changes in infrastructure and an open attitude towards embracing digital changes and trends.