Singapore Embraces AI with Open Source Libraries and Talent Development
Driven by Singapore’s Smart Nation vision, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been identified as one of four frontier technologies which is essential to growing Singapore’s economy, alongside Cybersecurity, Immersive Media and the Internet of Things. To facilitate the economy’s digital transformation, the Information Media Development Authority (IMDA) has been collaborating with AI Singapore to review relevant regulations that would enable AI solutions, build a vibrant core of AI developers, grow industry capabilities and drive its adoption of AI.
One such initiative is the National Speech Corpus (NSC) V1.0, introduced in November 2018 as part of IMDA’s efforts to help AI companies develop Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) solutions that can understand the Singaporean accent. This is in recognition of the growing global speech and voice recognition market, which is slated to be worth US$18.3 billion (S$25 billion) by 2023. The NSC is made available via the Singapore Open Data Licence. It consists of 2,000 hours of locally accented audio and their corresponding text transcriptions. There are more than 40,000 unique words within the text transcriptions, including local words such as “Tanjong Pagar”, “ice kachang”, and “nasi lemak”. This open library of audio and text files saves speech engine developers the hassle of individually collating data, which is both costly and time-consuming. Moreover, the centralized amalgamation of multiple corpus collections (collectively called corpora) enhances the accuracy of transcriptions from spoken words. The availability of data encourages innovation and experimentation by global and local developers as well, therefore driving the growth of an AI-centric ecosystem in Singapore. According to IMDA, since the release of NSC, businesses involved in developing speech engines have downloaded the NSC to conduct trials on their engines. IMDA is optimistic that once models specifically for Singapore-accented English are developed and made available to the industry, “industry-specific speech use cases can begin to proliferate”.
In addition to the NSC, IMDA has introduced the Intelligent Sensing Toolbox (IST), which is a set of open source AI tools and technologies. This sense-making AI algorithm will offer businesses a plug-and-play, open source code which can be quickly adapted and layered on top of its existing data analytics system to help it make better decisions. The IST is open sourced on the Apache 2.0 Licence and more functionality could be added progressively, in collaboration with industry partners. The toolbox’s algorithms are available at https://gitlab.com/IMDA-DSL/Intelligent-Sensing-Toolbox.
Under the broad umbrella of the AI Singapore (AISG) national programme, IMDA has rolled out several development programmes to prepare the workforce for the use of AI. This includes AI for Everyone (A14E), AI for Industry (AI4I) and AI Singapore Apprenticeship Programme (AIAP), which specifically aims to increase the pool of AI experts in Singapore over the next three years. Moreover, IMDA has implemented the 100 AI Experiments (100E) programme which seeks to help companies solve their AI problems by matching them with AI professors and the AISG’s engineering team. Given IMDA’s vision to create a pervasive AI ecosystem in Singapore, it is without a doubt that organisations’ effective adoption of AI will provide them with a competitive edge to thrive in the future digital economy.
Thailand Launches Huawei 5G Test Bed in Eastern Economic Corridor
On Friday, February 8 Thai authorities launched a Huawei Technologies 5G test bed in Chonburi, one of the three provinces comprising the Eastern Economic Corridor (ECC). The deployment comes amid U.S. and international fears that Huawei—a Chinese firm—may engage in mass surveillance and espionage on its mobile networks. Thailand’s Minister of Digital Economy, Pichet Durongkaveroj, affirmed that Thai cooperation with Huawei on the test bed did not mean Thailand did not have concerns regarding security issues. The Minister indicated that setting up Huawei test beds in the EEC would afford Thailand a trial period, allowing the Thai government to evaluate the legitimacy of the allegations before moving forward with broader deployment. The Minister also gave no confirmation that the U.S. had reached out to Thailand specifically regarding barring Huawei technologies.
The United States, which has banned the use of Huawei equipment for 5G infrastructure, has repeatedly warned its allies of the cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities associated with Huawei while encouraging them to be vigilant in maintaining safe and secure networks. In response, Huawei has continually rebutted U.S. allegations of espionage. Most recently, Huawei Thailand released a statement to Reuters claiming, “[t]here is no evidence indicating that our equipment posed a security threat, no matter in Thailand or globally.” Countries that the U.S. has been in dedicated talks with regarding this issue include Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Germany, Italy, India and Great Britain. Of these countries, only Australia, New Zealand and Japan have taken action to ban Huawei from providing future 5G infrastructure.
While a number of foreign and domestic telecommunications companies have established 5G labs in Chonburi, Huawei’s entry will constitute its 5G debut in Southeast Asia. Huawei is currently negotiating with Thai telecommunications operators to secure a foothold in the market before national deployment of 5G—scheduled for 2020. Among other Chinese tech firms, Huawei has already invested heavily in Thailand’s EEC and is looking to expand throughout Southeast Asia. In September 2018, Huawei launched a cloud data center in Thailand’s EEC worth THB 700 million (about 22.3 million USD). Thailand and China have welcomed this move as it supports advancement of the Thailand 4.0 economic strategy and is consistent with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Though Thailand has acknowledged the potential risks involved in Huawei’s deployment of 5G, Thai industry appears to believe that the affordability of Huawei products and services outweigh cybersecurity concerns. Statements from Thai industry leaders appear to underestimate the seriousness of the potential risks posed. For example, Pranontha Titavunno, Chairman of the Information Technology Industry Club of the Federation of Thai Industries, told Reuters, “[t]here are always surveillance concerns when it comes to China… But Thailand doesn’t really have anything exciting that might be of interest to Beijing.” If Huawei deploys 5G throughout the country, it is likely that many foreign and domestic firms will depend on its networks, putting them at potential risk of corporate espionage and intellectual property theft. Furthermore, Thailand’s adoption may also encourage adoption in other ASEAN countries, particularly as Thailand is the ASEAN Chair this year and is the second largest economy in the region. In the global race to deploy 5G first, the spread of Huawei’s 5G network in Thailand, and potentially across the region, will privilege China in setting standards and steering technological innovation for the next decade, which may place U.S. firms at a disadvantage in this area.
Digital trade to be biggest support for Indonesian economy by 2030 The Jakarta Post 13th Feb 2019
Indonesia’s digital trade is expected to be the biggest support for the country’s economy by 2030, by helping commodities and manufacturing goods as well as services gain greater online market access. The research shows that digital trade could create opportunity worth Rp 2.3 quadrillion (US$172 billion) for the domestic economy alone by 2030, equivalent to 9 percent of Indonesia’s projected gross domestic product, from only Rp 125 trillion by 2017. The sectors that can benefit from digital trade include agriculture and food, education and training, consumer and retail, infrastructure, resources, financial services, manufacturing and health.
Indonesia opens satellite image data to public The Jakarta Post 13th Feb 2019
North Nias Marine and Fisheries Agency head Sabar Jaya Telaumbanua in North Sumatra province could not hide his excitement when witnessing local fishermen in the regency return with a big catch --much bigger than usual. In a short video shown during a national coordination meeting held by the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) recently, the agency head revealed that LAPAN’s satellite image data had played a significant role in the big harvest. “We thank LAPAN for providing us with the data as it helps us in identifying which areas contain large number of fish. It saves our time and [operational] money,” Sabar said. LAPAN, which acquires imagery from remote sensing satellites such as the German Terrasar-X and French SPOT for research and operational applications, allows the public to now access data freely through a mobile app called Sipandora.
Indonesia looks to e-commerce firms and cloud giants DCD 12th Feb 2019
With a thriving digital economy that at least one study says will dominate Southeast Asia by 2025, Indonesia is a land of opportunities. Its middle class has also burgeoned, making the country an even more attractive destination for businesses, says Nick Parfitt, senior global analyst at DCD. While data centers are booming and large cloud players are arriving in the country, in-house premises are still strong, and the country's regulators may need to do more to safeguard and encourage cloud business.
BPOM promotes online service for food and drug control Antara News 10th Feb 2019
The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has promoted online services for food and pharmaceutical product control in Jakarta's car free day area on Sunday. "With a two-dimension barcode, people could play an active role in the process of food and drug control," the agency's head Penny Kusumastuti Lukito said, citing one feature in its online services. The 2D barcode would allow people to identify and authenticate certain products by scanning the barcode with their gadgets. The feature that could be downloaded in Play Store could help people identify legality of the product's distribution license number. Penny said the agency also has a special sub-site for micro small and medium-scale enterprises (UMKM) at http://clearinghouse.pom.go.id/IstanaUMKM/id. The sub-site was established to build collaboration and synergy among ministries, institutions, and food industries.
Data management puts stakeholders at crossroads The Jakarta Post 9th Feb 2019
A government plan to revise a regulation on data management has caused concern, with policymakers and business players raising contrasting opinions about the issue. The proposed revision would replace Government Regulation No. 82/2012 on the management of electronic transactions and system. It will ease the requirement to set up data centers in Indonesia, especially for foreign entities operating in the country. Ombudsman member Alamsyah Saragih, who mediates with stakeholders on the matter, said the current requirement to establish a local data center was a concern for foreign investors as they would have to invest more money to manage their data domestically.
2019 Presidential Election Shrouded by Cyber Attack Threats Tempo 8th Feb 2019
The issue of elections security taking the form of tampered cast votes is predicted to be one of the cyber attacks that will heat up Indonesia’s political year nearing the 2019 presidential election (Pilpres). “Incidents in the past pointing to data manipulation,” said SEA Kaspersky Lab territory channel manager Dony Koesmandarin in a meeting with journalists on Thursday, February 7. An election cyber-attack would either take the form of physical or technical attacks that boils down to data tampering. This threat would hit its hardest for activities related to data collection such as ‘quick counts’.
Imparsial Suggests Cyber Defense for TNI Rankless Generals Tempo 7th Feb 2019
Imparsial Director Al Araf suggests the National Armed Forces (TNI) form a special cyber defense division as a means to anticipate future threats and reduce the ample amount of ‘rankless‘ military generals with no official structural positions within the institution. This step, said Araf, would be a proper way to improve TNI’s combat and war support rather than tasking the generals to occupy civilian positions in State Ministries. Al Araf’s cyber defense concept for the TNI focuses on outward looking rather than domestic threats. “They indeed function for combat or war situations, who are allowed to improve their strength and capacity,” said Al Araf at Imparsial's office on Wednesday, February 6. The TNI is currently faced with a situation that sees a large number of ‘unemployed’ generals forming, initially caused by the extended retirement age of high-ranking officers. There are at least hundreds of these field and high-ranking officers with no official structural position within the TNI institution.
Laos' Online Connectivity Lagging Behind Peers As World Bank Research Reveals Extent Laotian Times 6th Feb 2019
“Lao PDR is lagging significantly in terms of accessibility, quality, and affordability of internet services compared to other comparable regional economies,” a new report on digital connectivity states. The grim assessment comes via The World Bank’s latest report on the country’s online connectivity entitled Digital Connectivity in Lao PDR: Lagging Behind Peers. “Digital connectivity—access to affordable and reliable internet services—has become a key driver of economic and social development.”
Horangi Cyber Security: Southeast Asia is still vulnerable to cybercrime e27 13th Feb 2019
The report is brought by Horangi Cyber Security from Singapore, these are the state of cybersecurity in Southeast Asia. As the third largest internet market, Southeast Asia leads in its e-commerce sector, as told by a report issued by Horangi Cyber Security. In its cybersecurity outlook, Horangi stated that 90 per cent of users in Southeast Asia has internet access via mobile, led by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. A dominant share is held by online travel business as it totaled 41.7 per cent of the internet economy, as recorded by Google & Temasek e-Conomy SEA 2018. Singapore and Vietnam emerged on top as the countries with GDP-contributing internet economy. Given the overall statistics, Horangi concluded in its findings that cost of cybercrime is increasing as it is persistent, and Asia is a lucrative target even with the lagging of cybersecurity maturity in the region because of low awareness and historical exposure.
Data privacy laws: Malaysia has a long way to go New Straits Times 12th Feb 2019
THE promise of the Internet — as an accelerator of education, knowledge and growth — is being deliberately exploited by certain quarters through the inappropriate use of data. In an explosive exposé last March, political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) had harvested personal data from about 50 million Facebook users for micro-targeting political campaigns. This event, among many others, had led to governments debating the premise of the Internet itself, and whether it is flawed. Finding themselves in the United States Congressional hearing “firing line” are Facebook superstar Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Across the North Atlantic, the United Kingdom’s Parliamentary Committee had also inquired on CA’s alleged dubious operations, with a similar process occurring closer to home in Singapore, specifically by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods. This raises an important question: should governments develop and devise national information privacy laws?
Boosting transparency, accountability through information technology New Straits Times 10th Feb 2019
OF late there have been several accountability studies involving private and public delivery services. For the government, public services delivery is the ultimate concern. The adoption of information technology (IT) by the public sector is one of the means to improve services. IT promotes public services provided and disseminates information on websites to improve the government’s transparency and accountability. Accountability is closely related to openness and transparency. To achieve this, disclosures are necessary for all materials regarding the organisation, financial situation, performance, ownership and in particular, governance of the organisation. The desire for openness, transparency and accountability has prompted the government to use open data to improve public delivery services.
Malaysia has fastest mobile network in South East Asia: Tutela ZDNet 4th Feb 2019
Malaysia has faster and more consistently available mobile networks than Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia, a report by mobile quality measurement company Tutela has said. According to the report, Malaysia had the fastest average download speeds including both 3G and 4G, at 11.1Mbps, with its score dragged down by U Mobile's 4.3Mbps average in comparison to Celcom's 14.8Mbps, Maxis' 13.3Mbps, and DiGi's 9.6Mbps. Indonesia had the second-fastest average speeds, at 8.3Mbps; the Philippines third, at 8.1Mbps; and Thailand slowest, at 6Mbps. For consistency, Tutela tested for how often mobile networks reached the benchmarks of speeds of 4Mbps down and 2Mbps up, 0 percent packet loss, and less than 50 milliseconds of latency.
Malaysia's e-commerce still going gangbusters Digital News Asia 1st Feb 2019
THE latest Malaysian e-commerce insights from leading Asean online and retail payment solution provider, iPay88 Holding Sdn Bhd (iPay88) lends more proof to the fact that Malaysians are increasingly taking to e-commerce and that brick & mortar merchants have no choice but to embrace the channel or accept that they are fighting for a smaller share of the consumer wallet – and that it is getting smaller. The iPay88 data is unique from other e-commerce data from the point that, as the leading online payment provider in Malaysia, it is able to provide a more granular view of the flow of e-commerce across its platform. Hence it is able to reveal that a total of 52.45 million successful payment transactions worth US$1.7 billion (RM7 billion) were carried out in 2018 as compared to 28.7 million transactions in 2017 worth US$1.1 billion (RM4.8 billion). 2016 saw 16.7 million transactions valued at US$681 million (RM2.8 billion). [US$1 = RM0.24] Interestingly, iPay88 also had data that revealed RM3 billion worth of transactions failed to go through. While on its own a large number, there is nothing alarming here says iPay88 as the failure of the transactions could come from one of a number of factors, such as customers simply not have enough money for the purchase, internet disruption, bank connectivity problem, or sometimes customers changing their minds about a purchase and banks declining a purchase due to suspicious activity.
Business, civil society groups call for passage of Open Access bill Manila Bulletin 6th Feb 2019
Business and civil society groups in the country have banded together to throw their full support behind the Open Access in Data Transmission bill citing this piece of legislation as a game changer that will catapult the country’s telecommunication and data services into the 21st century. These groups include the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce, which is composed of businessmen from seven countries, the Philippine Chambers of Commerce and Industry, IT Business Process Association of the Philippines, Contact Center Association of the Philippines, Internet Society, Philippine Exporters Confederation, Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, US-ASEAN Business Council, Animation Council of the Philippines, Foundation of Economic Freedom, Federation of International Cable TV and Telecommunications Association, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, and Management Association of the Philippines. In their joint position paper, the groups cited the importance of the bill. They said the bill aims to promote competition, innovation, and a level-playing field that will catapult the country’s telecommunications and data services into the 21st Century.
National Privacy Commission Extends Registration Validity to 8 March 2020; Issues Revised Registration Guidelines Lexology 4th Feb 2019
Personal information controllers and processors who have successfully registered their respective Data Protection Officers (DPO) with the National Privacy Commission (NPC) need not renew the registration when it is set to expire on 8 March 2019. The NPC, through its official website and Facebook page, announced that the validity of existing DPO registrations is extended until 8 March 2020. DPO registrants may also now secure from the NPC a digital certificate of registration by sending an email request to DPO Registration using the DPO’s email address, as registered with the NPC. The NPC’s requirement for the registration of data processing systems (DPS), or "Phase 2" registration, is currently suspended. Companies which previously completed their DPS registration are presently not required to update the registration information in their respective NPC online accounts. The Commission announced that a personal information controller or processor whose DPO registration has been validated by the NPC is already deemed compliant with the registration requirement. The NPC requires all organizations, which are covered by the registration requirement, to register their respective DPOs with the NPC. Failure to comply with the registration requirement will be considered as an "aggravating circumstance" by the NPC in the conduct of compliance checks or in case of an investigation of a security incident. Registration of a DPO is initiated by submitting electronic copies of a notarized DPO form and supporting documents to the NPC. Upon the NPC’s finding of sufficiency of the submitted documents, the registered DPO may then request for a digital registration certificate.
Biz groups seek OK of open access bill philstar.com 4th Feb 2019
Foreign and Philippine business and civil society groups are pushing for the approval of the Open Access in Data Transmission Act to promote competition and level the playing field for telco and data services in the country. The Open Access in Data Transmission Act aims to have better access, more affordable, as well as quality data transmission services by promoting the sharing of infrastructure and resources among service providers.
Philippines tops world internet usage index with an average 10 hours a day the Guardian 1st Feb 2019
The Philippines topped the global list with an average 10 hours and 2 minutes of screen time every day. The report reveals 57% of the global population is now connected to the internet, spending an average 6.5 hours online each day, leading its author, Simon Kemp, to calculate that the “world’s digital community will spend a combined total of more than 1.2bn years using the internet in 2019”. Philippines saw the number of internet users jump by almost 100 million last year, nearly doubling the same growth in China, with internet penetration in India now at 41%.
DA to launch IT-based record for farmers The Manila Times 1st Feb 2019
USING information technology (IT), the Department of Agriculture (DA) is launching a program in the first quarter of 2019 to identify all farmers and fishers in the Philippines, determine whether they have been a recipient of government assistance, and monitor their improvements. According to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, the National Farmers and Fisherman’s Database (NFFD) would start storing information about farmers and fishers, and their homes would be geo-tagged. Piñol said NFFD IT-based program would also include information on what interventions the farmers and fishers received from the government such as loans, seeds, boats, farm inputs and others. It would also indicate results of the interventions. He said the economic profile of the family of the farmer or fisher at the start of the interventions would also be included in the program, specifically their poverty level.
Govt held to high standards on data protection: Iswaran The Straits Times 13th Feb 2019
The Government is held to the same, if not higher, standard of responsibility as the private sector in terms of personal data protection, said Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran yesterday. He said this to Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC), who had asked if public agencies could be included in the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) in the light of recent public data breaches like the one affecting SingHealth. Mr Iswaran pointed to the Public Sector (Governance) Act (PSGA), which he said has safeguards for personal data in the public sector, including criminalising the misuse of data by public servants.
Singapore health ministry refutes suggestions of HIV data leak coverup ZDNet 12th Feb 2019
The Singapore government has dismissed suggestions it tried to cover up a security incident that led to the personal data of 14,200 individuals diagnosed with HIV to be leaked online. In rationalising the time lapse between the discovery of the breach and its public announcement, the country's health minister says it had a "responsibility to balance" what would be in the best interest of the affected individuals and general public. The ministry last month said personal information of 5,400 Singaporeans and 8,800 foreigners who had been diagnosed with HIV were leaked online by an American living in Singapore and who had illegally accessed the data through his partner, a Singaporean doctor. The data of another 2,400 people listed as part of a contact tracing process also had been exposed online. While the American was investigated by the police and health ministry between 2014 and 2016 for possibly submitting fake blood tests, it was only in late-April 2016 that authorities uncovered evidence he had illegally accessed HIV-related data of 75 individuals. A police report was lodged the following month and he was sentenced to 28 months in prison for various offences, including drugs-related offences.
Cyberattacks can cost APAC healthcare firms $23.3M ZDNet 12th Feb 2019
Cyberattacks can cost Asia-Pacific healthcare organisations up to US$23.3 million in estimated economic losses, with 45 percent either experiencing or are not even sure if they have experienced a cybersecurity incident. In addition, just 18 percent amongst those that have experienced such threats looked at establishing a cybersecurity strategy before rolling out a digital transformation project. In comparison, 33 percent of their peers that have not encountered such incidents considered a cybersecurity component before doing so. The remaining 49 percent either looked at cybersecurity only after they had embarked on their digital transformation initiatives or did not even consider security at all, according to a study conducted by Frost & Sullivan and commissioned by Microsoft. The survey polled 1,300 respondents from 13 Asia-Pacific markets, including China, India, Singapore, and Australia, of which 11 percent were from the healthcare sector. It found that 42 percent of healthcare organisations adopted "a tactical view" of cybersecurity to safeguard the company against attacks, with 19 percent turning to cybersecurity as a business differentiator and digital transformation enabler. The lack of emphasis on security as an enabler resulted in their application of such tools as a "bolt-on", the study noted, adding that this could lead to cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities as well as impede efforts to build a "secure-by-design" digital project.
Deciphering Singapore Budget 2019 for founders and business owners e27 11th Feb 2019
Having grown by 3.3 per cent in 2018, and clinching the top spot when it comes to digital economy competitiveness in Asia according to Asia News Network (ANN) and DataLEADS, Singapore is now confronted by the need to inspect: what more can we do to support our digital economy? Ushering into 2019, we find SMEs and startups at the forefronts of this race to bolster and embolden Singapore’s digital economy, which is why the predominant sentiment being echoed across the startup ecosystem is for new government measures to support tech adoption. Regionally, conversations that peg Asia as a promising region for business opportunities are not new. However, there is a renewed focus on the region today because, in the words of United Overseas Bank economist Francis Tan, “Asia is the rising star right now.” In an opening address at imbX 2017, Minister for Communication and Information, Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, highlighted that in order to move forward with Singapore’s digital economy, efforts have to be anchored primarily on four key areas: artificial intelligence, immersive media, internet of things, and cybersecurity.
Singapore embraces AI with open source libraries and talent development Digital News Asia 6th Feb 2019
THE economy of Singapore thrives on the back of the nation’s efficient services industry, especially since the industry makes up 72% of the country’s gross domestic product and 74% of national employment. With the benefits of automation embraced widely, Singapore has identified artificial intelligence (AI) as one of the frontier technologies to power its digital economy. The Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore has announced several initiatives to spearhead the development of AI areas while the AI Singapore agenda focuses on talent development in the area. The National Speech Corpus V1.0 and Intelligent Sensing Toolbox The National Speech Corpus (NSC) was released on Nov 22, 2018 after it was first announced a year prior. The corpus contains 2,000 hours of locally accented audio along with its corresponding text transcriptions, and over 40,000 unique words which include local words such as “Tanjong Pagar”, “ice kacang” and “nasi lemak”.
Data economy part 1: what's your data identity? Lexology 4th Feb 2019
Reportedly the world's first set of principles for the use of AI and data analytics in finance, the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS") guidelines promote "FEAT" - fairness, ethics, accountability and transparency. Self-evident, perhaps, but as data becomes more commoditised, data governance needs to strike an increasingly delicate balance between promoting the data economy and protecting the individual subjects of that data. Data as a global commodity MAS managing director Ravi Menon claimed that such guidelines pave the way for global data transfer "in an environment of trust and security", predicting that "data connectivity agreements [...] will become as important as today's free trade agreements". In today's data-driven world, this prediction is less remarkable than it might once have been. Indeed, the EU has approved new rules to enable free movement of non-personal data as part of its ongoing digital single market strategy, while the UK and EU have agreed to "facilitate cross-border data flows".
Iswaran urges businesses - big or small - to go digital The Straits Times 2nd Feb 2019
Going digital is an endeavour that all businesses must undertake, no matter how big or small they are, Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran said yesterday. The question for businesses today is no longer one of whether they should go digital, but "when and how", he added. "It's not just about the tech industries, it's not just about manufacturing. It's also about our heritage districts... and also our heartland areas because all these sectors have to (go digital). "Digitalisation has a way of democratising the economy, making every business... go well beyond its physical scale to reach distant markets and tap diverse resources," he said. Mr Iswaran was speaking at the signing of a memorandum of intent that aims to digitise shops in Little India. Signatories include the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), Enterprise Singapore and the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association.
Thailand now has six digital bills welcoming Thailand 4.0 e27 13th Feb 2019
The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) reportedly passed the bills to fulfill the mission of digital government. A total of six bills in the digital sector were passed in Thailand during the National Legislative Assembly’s second round, as reported by OpenGov Asia. The Minister of Digital Economy and Society confirms the news. The bills are The Electronics Transaction Organisation Restructuring bill, the Data Protection bill, the Cybersecurity bill, the Digital Economy and Society Council bill, the Digital ID bill, and Electronics Transaction Officer bill.
Thailand launches Huawei 5G test bed, even as urges allies to... Reuters 8th Feb 2019
Thailand launched a Huawei Technologies 5G test bed on Friday, even as the United States urges its allies to bar the Chinese telecoms giant from building next-generation mobile networks. Huawei, the world’s top producer of telecoms equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones, has been facing mounting international scrutiny amid fears China could use its equipment for espionage, a concern the company says is unfounded. The 5G test bed in Thailand, the United States’ oldest ally in Asia, will be Huawei’s first in Southeast Asia. Thailand’s cooperation with Huawei on the test bed does not mean it is not concerned about security issues, Minister of Digital Economy Pichet Durongkaveroj told Reuters at the launch.
NBTC targets violations by US sites Bangkok Post 6th Feb 2019
The telecom regulator has asked the US embassy for help with 788 encrypted web pages or URLs in America that violate intellectual property rights (IPR) in Thailand. The move comes after numerous complaints received by the newly established Center of Operational Policing for Thailand Against Intellectual Property Violations and Crimes on the Internet Suppression (Coptics). Many illicit URLs are unable to be processed because of technical complications. Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, said the NBTC sent a letter on Jan 28 to charge d'affaires Peter Haymond asking for assistance from the embassy. Details of the URLs were attached with the letter. Mr Takorn said the NBTC is operating in line with government policy to tackle and suppress online infringement of IPR.
Culture Ministry gears up for Thailand 4.0 with ‘M-Culture Big Data’ The Nation 5th Feb 2019
“The ministry is developing our new big data from all departments, for helping our officials and the general public gain easy access. Moreover, our big data is also integrating cultural information from the private sector and the ministry’s cultural networks,” he said. The Kingdom is moving toward an innovation-driven economy, under the Thailand 4.0 policy, through “Pracharat” – the “Public-Private-People Partnership” mechanism. The Culture Ministry, for its part, is aiming to turn the country’s cultural diversity into a competitive creative economy, Kitsayapong said. The big data in the new campaign features national heritage sites, museums, art galleries, cultural centres, cultural activities and a record of the national Silpathorn (for mid-career) artists.
Ecommerce in Thailand grew to Bt3.2 trillion last year: ETDA The Nation 4th Feb 2019
The number of internet users has grown four times over the past 10 years, and many Thaiinternational platforms have grown to support the number of online shoppers, along with increasing confidence in ePayment and faster logistics and delivery services, ETDA said. Service providers have chosen to use Big Data to analyse the behaviour and needs of consumers, while AI is being used to develop the quality of the product and services through uses of Chatbots. Trends show that growth will continue with the arrival of 5G, creating new innovations that will lift up the quality of life for consumers. Surangkana Wayuparp, president of Electronic Transactions Development Agency (Public Organisation) or ETDA, Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DE) said that the results of surveys show that the value of eCommerce in Thailand has grown consistently between 810 per cent per year.
PM calls for application of technology in agricultural production Voice of Vietnam 12th Feb 2019
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called for the strong application of technology in agricultural production while visiting the Dong Giao Foodstuff Export Joint Stock Company (DOVECO) in northern Ninh Binh province on February 11. Meeting with the company’s officials and workers, the Prime Minister highly valued their efforts in applying advanced science and technology in production and business, as well as boosting links with farmers in Ninh Binh and other localities. He said agriculture can serve as a steppingstone to make Vietnam an upper-middle-income country before 2035. He asked the sector as well as Dong Giao company to apply advanced technologies like sensor technology, automation, drone technology, big data, cloud computing, 3D printing and internet of things in order to develop Vietnam’s modern agriculture.
In 4.0 era, reform is a must for logistics industry Voice of Vietnam 6th Feb 2019
The increasing number of online transactions has led to high demand for logistics services. Giao Hang Nhanh, a delivery firm, estimates that the number of orders in Vietnam will increase by 45 percent in 2015-2020 and may reach 530 million by 2020, equal to $472 million worth of delivery services. Experts have begun talking about a ‘next-generation logistics’. “The shopping context has changed, which means that the firms in logistics industry also have to change or they will be eliminated,” said Bui Anh Tuan, CEO of the Singapore-based ManpleTree.
Reinforcing defenses for Industry 4.0 Voice of Vietnam 3rd Feb 2019
As Industry 4.0 is setting in, there is a pressing need to set up e-government, but there remains huge challenges in enhancing information security. According to Bkav Corporation’s latest summary on cybersecurity in Vietnam, in 2018 the country suffered VND14.9 trillion ($647 million) in damages from computer virus attacks, equal to 0.26 per cent of GDP and 21 per cent more than in 2017. In addition, the survey also showed that 60 per cent of local agencies and businesses were struck by ransomware. Specifically, malware seized control of an average of six out of every 10 enterprises and agencies. The figures show that even with the Law on Cybersecurity coming into effect, improving information security remains a major problem for the local government.
Vietnamese operators speed up with 5G Vietnam News 2nd Feb 2019
Viettel will trial 5G mobile technology around the country over the next 12 months. Minister of Information & Communications Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng signed a decision to licence the implementation of 5G for the military-run telecommunications company. This licence was granted to test and evaluate technical features and the ability to deploy telecommunications infrastructure using the fifth generation technology. Hà Nội and HCM City will be the first two cities to test Viettel’s 5G.
Central city launches new IT Park Vietnam News 2nd Feb 2019
The central city has launched the first stage of the Đà Nẵng Information Technology Park (DITP) in Hòa Vang district after one year of construction on 131ha with total investment of US$82 million. The DITP, which was invested and built by the Trung Nam Group, now offers infrastructure for hosting the first investors from the second quarter of 2019. It’s also the biggest IT Park in Đà Nẵng with the aim of creating more opportunities for IT investors flocking to the city by 2023. The park, which covers 341ha with total registered investment of $278 million, aims to become central Việt Nam’s ‘Silicon Valley’. It expects to create revenue of $3 billion each year with 25,000 jobs and a satellite city of 100,000 people.