As with the rise of any technology and its use for industrial development, there are bound to be misapplications and misuse, said Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof.
“The utilisation of big data presents cybersecurity threats and invasion of privacy, as well as the rise of Deep Fakes, posing great threats to society in general. From policy and regulatory perspectives, we are now working on the necessary legal frameworks to address these concerns. This includes the Cyber Security Order to ensure the protection of our Critical Information Infrastructures (CII), as well as the Personal Data Protection Order to prevent unauthorised and unconsented sharing of personal data and information,” he added.
The minister made these comments while delivering a keynote speech as the guest of honour at the 13th edition of the Brunei Chevening Youth Forum (BCYF) yesterday.
The forum held at The Core, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), was hosted by Chevening Alumni Brunei, the Brunei Youth Council and the Young Professionals Network Brunei.
Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib said the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) is paving the way for digitalisation and smart automation through the increased use of cyber-physical technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).
The minister said, “The impacts of each industrial revolution cannot be understated. The improvement in information technology has dramatically changed how we work, live and play. “Globally, the transition to the IR 4.0 has driven innovation with the increasing adoption of AI and IoTs, such as smart devices (mobile phones, smart watches, online transactions), the rise of collaborative robots and 5G networks, to name a few.
“Digital transformation is also making its mark regionally, where during the recent first ASEAN Digital Ministers meeting last month, saw the launch of the ASEAN Digital masterplan 2025. This masterplan serves as the roadmap towards secure and transformative digital services, technologies and ecosystem in ASEAN.”
The minister noted that at the national level, Brunei Darussalam recently launched its first national Digital Economy Masterplan 2025 with the vision of ‘Smart Nation through Digital Transformation’.
“This has always been a priority for Brunei, with the steer, guidance and wisdom from 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. Throughout 2018 and 2019, His Majesty had on several occasions shared his wisdom and encouragement on the need to explore the benefits of digital economy, which befits and supports our aspirations of Vision 2035.”
“Encouraged by the development in digital transformation towards elevating Brunei as a Smart Nation, His Majesty in a 2021 New Year’s Eve titah emphasised on continuous strategic collaboration among all stakeholders in providing skilled resources to realise the progress towards a Smart Nation and a Smart City,” the minister said.
He noted that under the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025, three flagship projects have been identified for immediate implementation: Digital Identity or Digital ID; Digital Payment Hub – to support interoperable mobile payments; and National Information Hub – to support data sharing among government agencies in a more secured manner.
“While all three are critical to enabling the Smart Nation, the Digital ID is truly at the core of delivering our vision, Insya Allah. Your identity is the key that will enable each and every one of us to access all the services that we are entitled to.
“When you interact with the government, for example, you need to prove who you are. The same goes for the opening of a bank account or signing up for a mobile subscription. Your identity is key. To implement this solution, we are looking at the feasibility of a blockchain-based solution that will increase the resilience of our systems, as well as creating new opportunities for innovation,” added the minister.
Taking these into account, His Majesty’s Government has implemented and is actively pursuing key policy directions to further support the country’s digital transformation journey.
The minister noted the information and communications technology (ICT) industry restructuring in the country, which started on January 24, 2020 with the formation of Unified National Networks (UNN) as the sole network infrastructure provider, as well as the emergence and rebranding of retail service providers.
“As a result of this industry restructuring, Alhamdulillah, we have recorded very positive growth,” said the minister. “To sustain such positive growth and momentum, current works have started to trial and study into the development of 5G technologies in Brunei Darussalam. Insya Allah, by April 2021, a series of pilot projects showcasing the 5G experience will be deployed at several strategic locations in the country. With this initiative, it is certainly hoped that we will be able to stimulate interests among our youth to come up with innovative new ideas leveraging on 5G technologies.”