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Ensuring cyber resilience in ASEAN’s growing digital economy

In today’s interconnected world, the rapidly evolving digital landscape influences nearly every aspect of our lives. Ensuring cyber resilience is paramount to safeguarding our economy, society, and way of life, emphasised Speaker of the Legislative Council Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Dato Setia Haji Mohamed Taib.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 15th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) Caucus at the Empire on Tuesday, the Speaker highlighted ASEAN’s status as the world’s fastest-growing internet market. He noted that ASEAN’s digital economy is projected to grow exponentially, potentially contributing approximately USD300 billion to USD1 trillion by 2030.

“The continued growth of ASEAN’s digital economy will create significant opportunities, spur innovation, enhance connectivity, and foster economic growth,” said the Speaker.

Speaker of the Legislative Council Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Dato Setia Haji Mohamed Taib in his speech. PHOTOS: MUIZ MATDANI

Recognising the immense economic potential of the digital economy, Brunei Darussalam has formulated its own Digital Economy Masterplan 2025. This plan identifies strategies, enablers, and key success measures to develop the digital economy, aiming to harness the opportunities of the digital age.

“However, we must also recognise the inherent risks that come with digital advancement. The digital economy, with its reliance on technology and interconnected systems, is vulnerable to threats such as cyber-attacks,” he cautioned. “A single disruption can have far-reaching consequences, causing financial losses, damaging reputations, and eroding trust.”

The Speaker stressed the importance of collaboration in combating cyber threats to unlock the potential of ASEAN’s digital economy. Through parliamentary cooperation, AIPA parliamentarians can work together across sectors and borders to share best practices, experiences, and resources, thereby enhancing collective cyber resilience.

“Initiatives such as the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) and the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap are crucial steps to strengthen cybersecurity and cyber resilience,” he added. “By working together, we can address common challenges and ensure a safe and secure digital economy for all.”

Adding to the discussion, Member of the Legislative Council Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mohammad Yusof highlighted that the digital age offers ASEAN unprecedented opportunities, from job creation to digital innovation. However, these opportunities come with increasing cyber threats that undermine economic stability and societal well-being.

“The immediate and sustained attention to address these challenges and the need for robust cybersecurity measures have never been more pressing,” he further said. – Azlan Othman

More details on Wednesday’s Borneo Bulletin