Technology to empower Bruneians

James Kon

As the ICT sector moves forward in the country, it is understandable that there might be some fears and tension about technology destabilising livelihoods and increasing vulnerabilities.

However, by identifying the challenges and tackling them head on, technology can result in better jobs and opportunities, more security and improvement of livelihoods. It is also critical to ensure that no Bruneian will be left behind. This is a promise that has been made at the onset of the ICT Sector Transformation Initiative. The existing DST, TelBru and Progresif entities are transforming themselves into development companies, which will be launched over the coming weeks.

These words of reassurance were delivered by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah in his address as the Chairman of Datastream Digital (DST) and guest of honour at the launching ceremony of DST and its products at The Empire Brunei yesterday morning.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew explained, “There is an ongoing digital revolution where the advancements in digital technology are transforming the way we live, work and play.

Fundamentally, the ICT transformation will empower Bruneians by providing them with the infrastructure to collectively create possibilities for ourselves beyond what we can see now.

It is to enable Bruneians to live meaningful and fulfilled lives, enabled by technology. This paves the way for Brunei to become a Smart Nation and progress.”

The minister recalled, “A year ago we announced the Brunei ICT Sector Initiative to accelerate the nation’s digital agenda. The transformation to the sector was necessary for Brunei to keep pace with the rest of the world as they move ahead with the digital revolution.”

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah as the Chairman of Datastream Digital (DST) at the launching ceremony of DST. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Since then, he said, “We have witnessed colleagues from across DST, Progresif, TelBru and United National Networks (UNN) learning from one another and collaborating to shape a sustainable future for the industry and country. We are constantly drawing on the best of the organisations to collectively drive the transformation forward and find new ways of working and improving. We can already see real tangible benefits and progress happening.”

The minister outlined the progress in the implementation of the Brunei ICT Sector Initiative.

Firstly, the minister said, “UNN as the infrastructure provider, has commenced work on consolidating and modernising Brunei’s network. The 4G network is being presently upgraded, bringing users the 4G+ experience where 98 sites have been activated. On the fixed side, UNN continues to roll out fibre in areas across Brunei, moving towards nationwide coverage.”

Secondly, he mentioned that over the past few weeks we have seen the teasers and launch campaigns from the three retail entities – Datastream Digital, imagine and Progresif. These are already early indications of a new and more competitive environment as the transformation levels the playing field to encourage fair and healthy competition.”

DST, he said, “has been connecting Bruneians to each other and the rest of the world. It has been the first mover and pioneer of Brunei’s ICT industry, with a rich and remarkable history of 24 years.” Following the commencement of the ICT Sector Initiative, he expressed, “DST has bravely taken on the task of transforming itself into an agile and dynamic organisation of the digital age, with a strong focus on catering to customers’ needs. This embodies the culture of the organisation that I have always been proud to be part of and serve as Chairman. With this, I am confident that Datastream Digital will thrive.”

In his congratulatory message to DST, the minister highlighted, “A transformation this large doesn’t come without its challenges and the way in which you have embraced it has been both exceptional and admirable.

“This is all towards building the platform and setting the stage for the new digital era of Brunei. I am excited to see what Datastream Digital rolls out in the coming months and how it builds on its legacy and transforms itself to be a successful company in this new ecosystem.”