More attention should be placed to ensure no one is left behind in Brunei’s move towards becoming digital, said Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Shamhary bin Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mustapha.
He said this when technological inclusivity for the differently-abled as well as less privileged community was raised by participants at the seventh edition of the Youth Town Hall Brunei at the Prime Minister’s Office, co-organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) and the Young Professionals Network (YPN) Brunei and supported by the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC).
The future of cashless payment was also discussed, where the minister noted it to be the way forward with more work needing to be done to ensure it is inclusive.
The event began with a discussion on the strategic priorities of MTIC where Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Shamhary shared the six key strategic objectives in the MTIC Strategic Plan 2025. Among the priorities are driving digital transformation, ensuring the sustainability of transport and infocommunications sectors and organisational transformation.
A number of inquiries and views were shared by the participants, including cybersecurity, human capital development and the progress on the implementation of the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025.
On cybersecurity, the minister responded by emphasising the need for all to establish a standard and move faster in catching up to the global index, with cooperation from other countries.
On human capital development, the minister underlined the importance of niche opportunities for employment related to cybersecurity, infrastructure and communication sectors.
Meanwhile, on the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025, he shared that the initiatives focus on the consolidation of efforts, including maximising asset utilisation, digitalisation of government services, and addressing climate-related challenges in the transportation sector.
The event was themed ‘Transforming Brunei through Technology: Accelerating Growth, Bridging the Gaps’, was moderated by Assistant Head Officer (Youth) Dr Muhammad Nuriskandar bin Mohd Hasnan from the Youth and Sports Department.
Project Lead for the Youth Town Hall and core team of YPN Brunei Mohammad Ashmeer Imtiaz Ahmad said, “The minister covered a wide range of topics from the MTIC Strategic Plan to the inclusive growth of different communities such as the elderly population and people with special needs.
“He also covered how digitalisation is not just limited to transforming the normal manual work procedure to become digitised with the same work process, but instead transformation should allow both organisation as well as end-user less workload compared to the traditional way of approach.”
The Youth Town Hall Brunei is a platform set up in 2020 in conjunction with National Youth Day celebration to inculcate a solution-driven, forward-thinking mindset and a collaborative youth community passionate in contributing to national development by providing youth with an opportunity to interact with ministers and senior officials.
Over 350 youth members attended the event on Saturday.
The task of transforming the Sultanate into a digitally-conducive ecosystem depends on the ability to implement initiatives, develop policies and infrastructure, allocate resources and coordinate effectively with key stakeholders towards the goals, said the YPN Brunei.
“The youth’s role as a driver of a digital and future-ready society is instrumental in shaping the country to become a smart nation with a vibrant economy.
“Accelerating the nation’s digital growth requires bridging the gaps that are obstructing progress, including literacy, cybersecurity, robust infrastructure and regulatory framework,” it added.