ICT Update: December 7, 2018

ICT Update | December 7, 2018
Authors: Kim Yaeger and Monica Chritton
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

December 10, 2018: Myanmar SME Workshop

December 12, 2018: U.S. Commerce Dept Roundtable Discussion on Commercial Opportunities in the Indo-Pacific

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Philippines Formally Appoints Gregorio Honasan as New Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) Chief

Senator Gregorio Honasan has formally been appointed Chief of the Philippines’ Department of Information and Communication Technology, assuming the leadership role from Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. The official appointment papers confirming Senator Honasan’s appointment as DICT Chief were released on November 22 and signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on November 19. For more information on Senator Honasan’s political background, see our previous Philippines Update here. Senator Honasan is on good terms with President Duterte and will be seen as an ally in the President’s Cabinet.

Some media outlets have raised questions regarding Senator Honasan’s qualifications in assuming the leadership position; Section 11 of the DICT Act of 2015 requires “at least seven (7) years of competence and expertise in any of the following: information and communications technology, information security management, cybersecurity, data privacy, e-Commerce, or human capital development in the ICT sector” for anyone appointed DICT Secretary, Undersecretary, or Assistant Undersecretary. Senator Honasan’s qualifications will be vetted by the Commission on Appointments (CA), according to Chief Presidential Counsel and Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo.

The DICT has seen three leaders in three years, and with a third telco player recently set to enter the Philippines’ existing telecommunications market duopoly, new leadership comes at a time needing careful management of this substantial change to public telecommunications services. Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto said in a statement that he recommended Senator Honasan to retain Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. as Acting Undersecretary to see the transition through, stating that Acting Secretary Rio “is good for one last tour of duty, at a crucial point in our nation’s life when important developments in the ICT sector are happening, including the authorization of a third telco-which must, like any public utility, be subjected to oversight and held to its promised deliverable.” For more information on the third telco player, see our previous ICT Analytical Update here.

SingHealth Hack Investigation Committee of Inquiry (COI) Wraps Up

On November 30, the Committee of Inquiry (COI) on Singapore’s most serious cyber-attack drew to a close. The sophisticated cyber-attack on SingHealth’s database took place in June and resulted in unauthorized access and duplication of non-personal information of 1.5 million people and dispensed medicines’ records of 160,000 people, including that of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long. The COI has investigated the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS), which oversees SingHealth. The COI will submit findings and recommendations to Minister-in-Charge of Cybersecurity and Minister for Communications and Information, S Iswaran by December 31. For more information on the SingHealth cyber-attack, see our previous update here.

Solicitor-General Kwek Mean Luck identified seven points where malicious activities should have been reported to the Cybersecurity Agency (CSA) and put forth 16 recommendations before the COI to enhance security and guide responses to any future incidents. The recommendations’ top priority areas stress tighter controls and a proactive defense strategy, such as managing closer control of privileged administrator accounts, using passphrases for users and testing staff for cybersecurity awareness and ability to recognize vulnerabilities. COI Chair, former chief district judge and Public Service Commission member, Richard Magnus, emphasized the importance of developing solutions to address human error in addition to improving technical defenses and responses going forward. Earlier in the COI hearings, CSA Chief David Koh said IHiS security oversight was at a “relatively low level” at the time of the attack, but recognized that the agency was learning from the incident and was heading in the “right direction”. Koh made several recommendations for measures that the IHiS take, which include reviewing its organizational and reporting structure, creating additional layers of protection around SingHealth electronic medical records (the “crown jewels” of the database), and adopting a “defense-in-depth” approach when working with networks and systems.

Because it is a matter of “when” and not “if” cyber-attacks will occur, Singapore is working to enhance its national cyber security defenses from technical and human capacity-building dimensions and to lead regional cooperation in these areas. This regional leadership effort is reflected in Singapore’s ASEAN 2018 Chairmanship theme of “Resilience and Innovation”. With the growth of ASEAN’s digital economy set to be worth $240 billion by 2025—a figure revised up $40 billion from previous estimates—developing cyber security to keep up with growth continues to be a challenge for the ASEAN. Singapore has taken steps to manage these concerns, and plans to open an ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Center of Excellence to boost regional cyber security capabilities. At the September ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (AMCC), Minister S Iswaran spoke of the SingHealth attack and emphasized the need for a vibrant regional ecosystem to keep pace with evolving threats. Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean also stressed regional cyber resilience at the Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW), outlining the importance of cyber defense, innovation, partnerships to build a resilient and innovative digital community.

Ministry of Digital Economy and Society to Prepare Plan Supplementing Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship Theme

Supporting Thailand’s recently announced 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship theme, “Advancing Partnership and Sustainability”, Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) is preparing a plan that aims to support continued cooperation among ASEAN nations and catalyze Thailand’s digital transformation.

Minister of Digital Economy Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj said that the 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship theme will boost the country’s digital transformation through further collaboration in the region, . The ASEAN digital economy is on track to reach US$240 billion by 2025, according to a Temasek and Google report. The latest projection is $40 billion more than the 2016 estimate of ASEAN’s digital economy. Regional cooperation and collaboration will be key to MDES’s plan to foster a digital ecosystem that helps meet the goals set forth in Thailand’s 20-year digital roadmap.

Although specifics of MDES’s plan are still being developed, Minister Pichet said achieving the five targets of the 20-year digital roadmap, which are “the development of infrastructure, governance, cyber security, technological development, and manpower”, would help the government achieve three critical objectives by 2020 – of modernizing rural areas, reducing income disparity and increasing capacity to thrive in the digital age. Minister Pichet also said that in the coming year Thailand will continue enhancing the Bangkok-based ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity-Building Center and is proposing a 2019 ASEAN Digital Agility Leaders’ Meeting. For more information on the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity-Building Center, please see our update here.

The potential for growth and innovation in Thailand’s cyber capabilities is clear. Currently, Thailand has the second largest internet economy in ASEAN, valued at US$12 billion in 2018 and with a 27% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2015-2018, according to the Google and Temasek report. Thailand also spends more time than any other country on the internet and recently claimed the title for the world’s first blockchain-supported elections, which were held by the Democrat party primary election earlier this month. Thailand’s technology startup ecosystem is also growing as evidenced by ASEAN unicorn startup GrabTaxi’s $50 million payments joint venture with Thailand’s KBank and Bangkok based startup Eko, a B2B messaging platform, successfully securing a $20 million investment from an Indonesian VC firm SMDV.

Although Thailand has placed an emphasis on building capacity with its ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity-Building Center and other initiatives intended to bolster its digital economy, its regulatory environment must also be conducive to achieving its digital economy goals. Most recently, Thailand’s latest Cybersecurity Bill has drawn concerns from foreign and domestic businesses and state agencies for its creation of a powerful National Cybersecurity Committee and for its potential to jeopardize confidential data and limit data flows. For more information, read our previous update here.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 
  • Vietnam Law on Cybersecurity
    On November 3, Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) published the official draft decree for the Law on Cybersecurity (LOCS) and opened the draft for public comments until January 2, 2019. The Council has been gathering member inputs, which have been developed into a finalized industry submission. The final submission is in the process of being translated and will be sent to MPS on December 10. Please contact Vu Tu Thanh (tvu@usasean.org) and Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) with any questions.
 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Cambodia
In Cambodia, fintech development is slowly gathering pace
Cambodia’s tour guides face tech disruption

Indonesia
Indonesia's E-Commerce Industry Projected to Be Worth $53b by 2025
The rise of e-commerce in Indonesia
Indonesia's digital economy to dominate Southeast Asia by 2025
Indonesia's new 'heresy app' draws fire
Indonesia Crunch | What the blockchain wants

Malaysia
Malaysia government sets 20% annual growth target for e-commerce sector
National Cybersecurity policy for online threats being discussed
Malaysia Influences SEA To Introduce The Digital Tax
Leveling the broadband playing field
Malaysia's ride-hailing drivers must register for PSV licence from January
MCMC: Putrajaya looking to boost country’s digital infrastructure
Malaysian media group hit by ransomware attack: Report
Malaysia must become tech producer, says Dr Mahathir
Tech-driving growth in Sarawak’s agriculture

Myanmar
Parliament to Debate $95-Million S. Korean Loan for Gov’t Data Center

Philippines
Answer plea vs 3rd telco bidding, SC orders government
Intellectual Property policy for e-commerce mulled
It’s official: Gregorio Honasan is DICT chief
Mislatel officially declared 3rd telco
[ANALYSIS] Disturbing red flags in the 3rd telco selection
Telcos gear up for competition
Senators oppose China Telecom
Mobile number portability bill clears bicam
Disqualified telco bidders lose appeal
Failing cyber security test to cost Mislatel P26B

Singapore
Improve staff awareness of cybersecurity, better incident response proposed as SingHealth COI ends
High Court orders Internet service providers to block access to TV box apps
Machine learning being used to detect fraud
Industry group here working on code for digital token sector
Scam cases involving fraudulent subscription of mobile lines up 7 times
Singapore shares rise as banks, tech stocks climb
COI on SingHealth cyber attack: Change the way security incidents are reported, says CSA chief
Collective cooperation needed against cyber threats, says US expert
MAS, SGX leverage blockchain tech to settle tokenised assets
Singapore central bank chief warns of risks to data localisation measures

Thailand
NBTC begins relaxing auction payment process
IoT regulations due next year
E-tax update on the cards
NBTC nudges MCOT for spectrum return
Govt reveals digital transformation master plan
Role of 5G put under scrutiny
Big tech firms pledge training for workers in Southeast Asia
World’s First Blockchain Voting Held in Thailand
Thailand Govt Eyes Blockchain To Track Taxes
Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Calls for More Cryptocurrency Regulations

Vietnam
MicroDragon satellite set for 2019 lift-off
Smart tourism: an inevitable trend
Cybersecurity risks increase in Vietnam
MIC urges on customer information protection
Global value chains a mixed bag for IT firms
Developing new technology industries in 4.0 era
Vietnam’s internet economy a “dragon being unleashed”: Google-Temasek
Time to digitise land management
Open-sourced data considerably benefit Vietnam
Vietnam to pilot 5G service next year
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 

Cambodia
In Cambodia, fintech development is slowly gathering pace ASEAN Today 4th Dec 2018
As Singapore strides ahead of other ASEAN nations in the arena of fintech development, Cambodia lags some way behind. Its fintech infrastructure is one of the least developed in Southeast Asia. At the same time, in some areas – notably fintech regulation and growth potential – Cambodia has made strong progress. As investors target the fintech sector for 2019, few are rushing to invest in Cambodia. But could that change in the near future?

Cambodia’s tour guides face tech disruption The ASEAN Post 29th Nov 2018
A van arrives at Angkor Wat Temple and deposits its load of foreigners who make their way to the World Heritage Site. Noticeably absent among them is a local guide. The tourists brought their own guide, a handheld device that can speak up to 14 languages.

Indonesia

Indonesia's E-Commerce Industry Projected to Be Worth $53b by 2025 Jakarta Globe 3rd Dec 2018
Last week United States-based technology giant Google and Singapore's wealth fund Temasek Holdings released a joint report showing that Indonesia's e-commerce industry is projected to be worth $53 billion by 2025, largely due to first-time buyers in second- and third-tier cities across the archipelago. This figure is 31 times higher than in 2015, when a similar study was carried out for the first time. According to last week's report, e-commerce is experiencing healthy growth in Southeast Asia, with Indonesia leading the pack at $12 billion this year.

The rise of e-commerce in Indonesia The ASEAN Post 29th Nov 2018
Indonesia is one of the region’s best success stories. Despite having faced economic turmoil in the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis under the authoritarian Suharto regime, Indonesia is today one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The main focus of its economy has been the export of goods such as textiles, automobiles, electrical appliances, and oil and gas.

Indonesia's new 'heresy app' draws fire Rappler 27th Nov 2018
A new Indonesian government app that lets the public report suspected cases of religious heresy is drawing fire as rights groups warn it could aggravate persecution of minorities in the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation.

Indonesia Crunch | What the blockchain wants DealStreetAsia 11th Nov 2018
In What Technology Wants Kevin Kelly argues that technology isn’t separate from nature, but an extension of it. He views the collective mass of contraptions, structures, and even social organization humans and animals use to manipulate their surroundings as part of the same force, the technium. As such, technology isn’t something made by us — the technium is expressing itself through us.

Malaysia

Malaysia government sets 20% annual growth target for e-commerce sector Investvine 3rd Dec 2018
The Malaysian government has set an annual growth rate target of 20 per cent for the e-commerce sector in the country, from 14.3 per cent growth posted in 2017, via various initiatives. International trade and industry minister Darrell Leiking said e-commerce contribution to GDP in Malaysia continuously improved over a period of seven years to 85.8 billion ringgit ($20.7 billion) in 2017 from 37.7 billion ringgit ($9.1 billion) in 2010, with an average annual growth rate of 12.5 per cent.

National Cybersecurity policy for online threats being discussed The Star 3rd Dec 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: The Government plans to establish a National Cybersecurity policy to better secure the nation against threats, says Gobind Singh Deo. The Communications and Multimedia Minister said his ministry will be spearheading the policy in collaboration with the National Cybersecurity Agency and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

Malaysia Influences SEA To Introduce The Digital Tax ValueWalk 2nd Dec 2018
Malaysia is officially the second country in Southeast Asia (SEA) to introduce a Digital Tax which could apply to both local and international players. Slated to be implemented by 1 January 2020, the tax is aimed to level the playing field and spark better competition in its e-commerce sector. This landmark announcement for the digital sector is highly significant as it was announced at the first federal budget tabled by a new government since the country’s independence in 1957.

Leveling the broadband playing field BorneoPost Online 1st Dec 2018
As the backbone of the digital economy, internet connectivity – or high speed internet connectivity in particular – is vital to ensure a nation’s continued digital growth at optimum speed. For the nation to develop its digital economy, high speed internet connectivity needs to be easily accessible by the mass market.

Malaysia's ride-hailing drivers must register for PSV licence from January Channel NewsAsia 27th Nov 2018
Drivers for ride-hailing services such as Grab in Malaysia will be required to register for a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence - similar to taxi drivers - from January next year.

MCMC: Putrajaya looking to boost country’s digital infrastructure Malay Mail 23rd Nov 2018
The government is developing a plan to invest and further improve the country’s digital infrastructure to ensure greater availability of broadband services by promoting competition.

Malaysian media group hit by ransomware attack: Report The Straits Times 14th Nov 2018
Media Prima's computer systems have been locked out by cyber attackers who are demanding millions of ringgit in ransom. The media company, which runs a stable of television and radio channels, newspapers, and advertising and digital media companies, was hit by a ransomware attack last Thursday.

Malaysia must become tech producer, says Dr Mahathir The Malaysian Insight 11th Nov 2018
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants Malaysia to explore and embrace new technologies so it can have its own drone and artificial intelligence industry. He said to achieve the status of a fully developed country, it was important for Malaysia to become a producer.

Tech-driving growth in Sarawak’s agriculture BorneoPost Online 10th Nov 2018
Agriculture remains a key frontier industry for Sarawak, as examplified by two major events — the Sarawak Agrofest 2018 and International Conference on Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Sarawak 2018 (ICAAS 2018), which are related to the development of agriculture in the state — being held last month. The Sarawak Agrofest 2018 wase held from Oct 20 to 28, while the ICAAS 2018 was held from Oct 23 and 24 at Penview Convention Centre (PCC) in Demak.

Myanmar

Parliament to Debate $95-Million S. Korean Loan for Gov’t Data Center The Irrawaddy 3rd Dec 2018
The government has sought Parliament’s approval for a nearly US$95-million (150.7 billion kyats) loan from South Korea to build a centralized e-governance data center. Minister of Transportation and Communications U Thant Sin Maung explained to the Union Parliament on Monday the government’s plan to establish the e-Government Integrated Data Center (eGIDC) in Naypyitaw and a backup center in Thanlyin Township near Yangon.

Philippines

Answer plea vs 3rd telco bidding, SC orders government philstar.com 3rd Dec 2018
The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the government to answer the petition of a disqualified bidder that could stop the awarding of the third telecommunications slot to Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. (Mislatel). In a resolution received by the parties last week, the SC required the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to file its comment on the petition filed by the Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (PT&T) assailing its disqualification from the bidding for the third telco slot.

Intellectual Property policy for e-commerce mulled Manila Bulletin Business 2nd Dec 2018
The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) would like to require online shopping platforms to implement an intellectual property policy so they are accountable for the genuineness of the merchandize sold in their sites. IPOPHL Director-General Josephine Rima Santiago said this as she expressed apprehension the e-commerce would bring on their operation. Santiago noted that the direction now is e-commerce and enterprises are encouraged to go online for facility. “While this is a big opportunity for others, this is a big threat to IPOPHL,” she stressed. 

It’s official: Gregorio Honasan is DICT chief MSN 27th Nov 2018
President Duterte formally appointed Sen. Gregorio Honasan as information and communications technology secretary a day after the government confirmed Filipino-Chinese consortium Mislatel as the country’s third telecommunications player. 

Mislatel officially declared 3rd telco Manila Bulletin Business 19th Nov 2018
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) -Selection Committee on Monday officially declared Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company (Mislatel) the New Major Player (NMP).

[ANALYSIS] Disturbing red flags in the 3rd telco selection Rappler 15th Nov 2018
Last week, on November 7, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) held a public bidding for the selection of the Philippines' 3rd telco provider. In this article, I discuss a number of red flags that attended the selection process last week – red flags which suggest the situation is less promising than it seems.

Telcos gear up for competition Malay Business Insight 15th Nov 2018
Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) plans to transform itself into a digital service provider as it forays into cyber security, smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT) in the future, and will be ready when mobile for 5G comes to the country.

Senators oppose China Telecom The Manila Times Online 13th Nov 2018
The Senate minority bloc on Monday questioned the selection process employed by the government in choosing the Mislatel consortium as the “provisional” new major player (NMP) in the telecommunications industry. Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon as well as Senators Risa Hontiveros, Leila de Lima, Francis Pangilinan and Antonio Trillanes 4th, in a joint statement, discredited both the selection process and the Mislatel consortium as the third telco (telecommunications company) to operate in the country.

Mobile number portability bill clears bicam Business World 13th Nov 2018
THE BICAMERAL conference committee approved on Tuesday the mobile number portability bill, permitting the retention of phone numbers by users that switch providers. Both House and Senate representatives on the committee agreed to include provisions of the Senate version which removes interconnection charges or the added fee imposed by mobile networks for calls and messages across various networks. They also set a deadline for the transfer process of 48 hours. — Camille A. Aguinaldo

Disqualified telco bidders lose appeal Business World 13th Nov 2018
THE SELECTION COMMITTEE for the country’s third major telecommunications service provider on Monday denied the motions for reconsideration (MRs) of groups disqualified from the auction last week for deficiencies in their submissions. A copy of the decision distributed by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to reporters on Tuesday showed the selection committee denied the request of Sear Telecommunications Consortium — formed by TierOne Communications International Inc. and LCS Group of Companies (Sear-LCS-TierOne) — and Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) for it to reconsider their disqualification from the auction.

Failing cyber security test to cost Mislatel P26B BusinessMirror 12th Nov 2018
PROVISIONAL third telco player Mislatel Consortium—an alliance between President Duterte’s ally Dennis A. Uy and Chinese state-owned China Telecom Corp. Ltd.—may lose P25.7 billion at the minimum should it fail to deliver on its commitments or if it is found to have caused cyber security breaches that infringe on national security or sovereignty, a Cabinet official said. Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said Mislatel, should it officially bag the third telco spot, will be wasting time and money if it breaches—in any way—its contract with the government.

Singapore

Improve staff awareness of cybersecurity, better incident response proposed as SingHealth COI ends Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
Five “top priority” recommendations were proposed by Solicitor-General Kwek Mean Luck for Singapore’s healthcare institutions to work on, as the 21-day Committee of Inquiry (COI) hearings on the SingHealth cyberattack came to a close on Friday (Nov 30).

High Court orders Internet service providers to block access to TV box apps Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
The High Court has ordered Internet service providers to block access to TV box applications that allow users to stream and download content like movies, TV shows and live sports channels.

Machine learning being used to detect fraud The New Paper 30th Nov 2018
SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), an agency that gives out grants and funding for lifelong training, announced yesterday it has implemented the use of machine learning to detect fraud. The move is one of SSG's new enhancements to its fraud risk management system. The media release outlining the enhancements follows several cases of fraud and cheating involving the schemes, including news of a man jailed on Tuesday for his role in a $40 million scam - the biggest fraud case involving a public institution in Singapore history.

Industry group here working on code for digital token sector The Straits Times 30th Nov 2018
An industry association that will oversee digital tokens such as bitcoin and devise efficient ways to regulate the sector officially started here yesterday. The Token Economy Association (TEA) is already working with the Association of Crypto-Currency Enterprises and Start-ups Singapore to launch a code that spells out best practices in a range of areas. These include anti-money laundering, ways to stop terrorism financing and due diligence procedures so customer identities can be authenticated.

Scam cases involving fraudulent subscription of mobile lines up 7 times The Straits Times 28th Nov 2018
Scam cases involving fraudulent subscription of mobile lines increased by more than seven times in the first half of 2018, compared with the same period last year. From January to June this year, 77 cases of fraudulent subscription of mobile lines were recorded with the police, with the amount cheated totalling more than $83,000. Such cases involve people who were cheated into signing up for handsets and mobile lines for others. This was usually done for a commission.

Singapore shares rise as banks, tech stocks climb Nikkei Asian Review 26th Nov 2018
Singapore shares rose Monday as finance and tech stocks climbed, while Malaysian stocks also edged higher thanks to gain in oil prices amid broader optimism ahead of the G20 summit later this week. The Straits Times Index ended 1.3% higher at 3093.38. In Singapore, Venture Corp. surged 5.2% and United Overseas Bank rose 2.5%. The FBM KLCI meanwhile closed 0.4% up at 1701.99. CIMB Group Holdings climbed 0.9% to lead banks higher in Malaysia. Trading in both markets remained thin.

COI on SingHealth cyber attack: Change the way security incidents are reported, says CSA chief The Straits Times 14th Nov 2018
The healthcare sector has been asked to change the way its IT security teams report incidents so that key decision makers can call the shots during a cyber attack. A thorough review of the sector's IT processes and cyber-security training for relevant staff should also be carried out, a high-level panel heard on Wednesday (Nov 14).

Collective cooperation needed against cyber threats, says US expert The Straits Times 13th Nov 2018
Cyber criminals can find vulnerabilities and breach any organisation's IT system, given enough time, and current protection measures are insufficient. To counter this, the Government and industry players need to work together on collective systems that share information to continually learn and prepare defences, former director of the United States' National Security Agency Keith Alex-ander said yesterday.

MAS, SGX leverage blockchain tech to settle tokenised assets The Business Times 12th Nov 2018
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Singapore Exchange (SGX) have developed Delivery versus Payment (DvP) capabilities to settle tokenised assets across different blockchain platforms. "This will help simplify post-trade processes and further shorten settlement cycles," MAS and SGX said in a joint release. DvP is a settlement procedure where securities and monies are exchanged at the same time, so that delivery of securities only takes place if payment is made.

Singapore central bank chief warns of risks to data localisation measures The Star Online 12th Nov 2018
Concerted moves by countries to force companies to store data locally poses a risk to the growth of the digital economy, Singapore's central bank chief said on Monday.

Thailand

NBTC begins relaxing auction payment process Bangkok Post 4th Dec 2018
The telecom regulator plans to extend the payment period for the 900- and 1800-megahertz licences, and redesign the auction conditions and spectrum evaluation to ease the financial burdens of mobile operators, all in an effort to draw 5G investment.

IoT regulations due next year Bangkok Post 26th Nov 2018
A series of regulatory conditions for the Internet of Things (IoT) and related device connectivity are scheduled to be implemented by 2019 to handle machine-to-machine connectivity in the industrial sector, with 5G wireless broadband set for worldwide commercial launch by 2020.

E-tax update on the cards Bangkok Post 24th Nov 2018
The Finance Ministry is planning to develop an integrated electronic tax system, aiming to facilitate swift tax payments and refunds. The Revenue Department is tasked with developing all tax systems to be compatible with an electronic platform, including a system to offset tax payments and refunds, said Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong.

NBTC nudges MCOT for spectrum return Bangkok Post 23rd Nov 2018
The telecom regulator is resuming discussions with MCOT Plc, calling on the state-owned public broadcaster to return unused 2600MHz broadcasting spectrum for later use in 5G network development. The move follows Thursday's resolution by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) board that officially passed the final draft and established a spectrum and compensation regime for recalling unused spectrum ranges for auction.

Govt reveals digital transformation master plan Bangkok Post 22nd Nov 2018
The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DE) is preparing a master plan for collaboration that echoes Asean's theme of "Advancing Partnership for Sustainability", which was chosen by Thailand as the theme of its chairmanship in 2019.

Role of 5G put under scrutiny Bangkok Post 20th Nov 2018
The next generation of wireless technology, known as 5G, will enable Thai voters to directly exercise their democratic rights through the use of electronic voting systems (iVote), but such a shift will depend on the readiness of all players within the political system, a seminar was told on Monday.

World’s First Blockchain Voting Held in Thailand Cryptovest 14th Nov 2018
The Thai Democrat Party leveraged its primary election using Zcoin, making it the first political party in the world to conduct a blockchain-powered e-voting system.

Thailand Govt Eyes Blockchain To Track Taxes PYMNTS.com 14th Nov 2018
Last week, Thailand’s Revenue Department was reported to be bringing blockchain projects into the fold to track tax payments, aided by machine learning. As reported in Asia Times, blockchain technology will be used to help stanch tax avoidance and track refunds, among other activities.

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Calls for More Cryptocurrency Regulations CCN 10th Nov 2018
The Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Wissanu Krea-ngam, has called for the enhancement of cryptocurrency regulations in the country. Speaking during the fourth regional Counter-Terrorism Financing Summit which took place in Bangkok, Wissanu argued that there was a need for more domestic and international legal measures to be put in place to prevent the misuse of cryptocurrencies.

Vietnam

MicroDragon satellite set for 2019 lift-off Viet Nam News 4th Dec 2018
MicroDragon, a made-in-Việt Nam earth observation satellite, will be launched into space early next year. The Việt Nam National Space Centre (VNSC) under the Việt Nam Academy of Science and Technology said take-off had been planned for January 17 from Japan. MicroDragon and six Japanese satellites will be launched by an Epsilon-4 rocket from the Uchinoura Space Centre in Kagoshima Prefecture at 9:50:20-9:59:37 (local time). MicroDragon will be separated from the rocket at a height of 511 kilometres.

Smart tourism: an inevitable trend Vietnam News Agency 3rd Dec 2018
Vice President of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh said smart tourism would help people access information as quickly as possible. To fully integrate smart tourism, the city must have adequate technical infrastructure, he said. The city’s Tourism Department has cooperated with the Information and Communication Department to install 36 free Wi-Fi hotspots around Hoan Kiem Lake and in nearby areas.

Cybersecurity risks increase in Vietnam Vietnam Net Bridge 27th Nov 2018
Threats to information safety and cybersecurity are becoming more serious as the use of unsafe equipment such as internet protocol cameras, routers and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is increasing in Viet Nam, according to a source from the Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Saigon) newspaper.

MIC urges on customer information protection Vietnam News 24th Nov 2018
The Authority of Information Security under the Ministry of Information and Communications recently gave some recommendations to protect legal rights and interests of customers and enterprises following alleged data leaks from Thế Giới Di Động (Mobile World) Corporation and FPT Shop.

Global value chains a mixed bag for IT firms Vietnam News 23rd Nov 2018
Growth opportunities abound in the internet of things segment but problems like outdated technologies, poor management skills and low technical capacity are preventing Vietnamese firms from entering global value chains, a workshop heard in HCM City on Thursday.

Developing new technology industries in 4.0 era Vietnam News 22nd Nov 2018
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to create new technology industries which could drive Việt Nam’s economic growth, according to Nguyễn Thị Tuệ Anh, the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) deputy director.

Vietnam’s internet economy a “dragon being unleashed”: Google-Temasek Vietnam Net Bridge 21st Nov 2018
Vietnam’s internet economy has made a turnover of US$9 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) in 2018 across online travel, e-commerce, online media and ride hailing, which is akin to “a dragon being unleashed”, described the latest report jointly launched by Google and Singapore’s state investment firm Temasek.

Time to digitise land management Vietnam News 17th Nov 2018
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) has been working on a strategy for the development of land management for the 2020-30 period.

Open-sourced data considerably benefit Vietnam Vietnam Net Bridge 17th Nov 2018
Open-sourced data is increasingly considered a flexible resource which greatly benefits businesses, consumers, as well as the national economy in general. Therefore, Ho Chi Minh City is now running the project to build a common database for public use.

Vietnam to pilot 5G service next year Vietnam Net Bridge 17th Nov 2018
Vietnam will pilot a fifth-generation (5G) network next year and officially provide the service in 2020, said Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung.