Call to strengthen efforts to secure data

James Kon

The current challenges in the law includes the confidentiality of data gathered and owned by government and quasi-governmental bodies, said Attorney General of Brunei Darussalam Dato Seri Paduka Haji Hairol Arni bin Haji Abdul Majid yesterday.

He was addressing the 9th Event of the Attorney General’s Chambers of Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Singapore (TriAGC), being hosted at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, by the Attorney General’s Chambers of Brunei Darussalam.

Along with the Attorney General of Brunei Darussalam, Attorney General of Malaysia Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, and Attorney General of Singapore Lucien Wong officiated the opening ceremony.

This year’s 9thTriAGC event, from October 8-10, is themed ‘Law in the 21st Century: Challenges ahead and the way forward’.

With platforms such as Wikileaks, Dato Seri Paduka Haji Hairol Arni said, “The exposure of sensitive government data can compromise the work of public security agencies and the safety of their employees.

“The law is the first and last line of defence in securing government data, by first providing the levels of access possible and the legal undertakings by those granted access, complete with penalties and safeguard measures.”

However he also acknowledged that this is a very complex issue, where the entire government will eventually be involved to ensure that data-gathering is done securely.

ABOVE & BELOW: Attorney General of Brunei Darussalam Dato Seri Paduka Haji Hairol Arni bin Haji Abdul Majid, Attorney General of Malaysia Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, and Attorney General of Singapore Lucien Wong speak at the event. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Participants during the event

In such a critical area of work, the Attorney General of Brunei Darussalam said that there is much to learn from the exchange of experiences between the three chambers.

Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, meanwhile, thanked the Singapore Attorney General’s Chambers for their assistance in the ongoing 1MBD case.

He also cited interest in learning more about Singapore’s Transboundary Haze Pollution Act 2014, Protection From Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act 2019, and Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act.

“The greatest challenge of the world is the millions of lies that are spread minutes by minutes on social media,” he said. “This is a global problem. Nobody has been able to solve it yet.”

He continued, “The challenge for modern society is how does today’s society compare such widespread lies with the given fantastic technologies and scientific advances, which allow these lies to be promoted online with the demand for free speech and truth. Unfortunately, truth is always the casualty.”

The event is attended by over 120 officers from the three chambers, who heard presentations on topics in various legal fields including issues on the international affairs, legislative drafting, public service and confidentiality, and criminal justice.

In addition, their delegations will also take part in team-building activities, with the aim of strengthening close relationships between officers of the three chambers.

The TriaAGC Event first began in 2006, as a forum of exchange of knowledge in laws and experiences among the Attorney General’s Chambers of the three countries which share the common law system.

Held biennially, the TriaAGC event provides opportunities and platforms which build upon existing partnership links, as well as fostering friendships and closer rapport among the officers of the three chambers, including attachment programmes, workshops and in-house training.