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Singapore-Malaysia Strengthening Telecommunications Security

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Singapore and Malaysia have joined forces to boost telecommunications security, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation in tackling this pervasive issue. The agreement, inked by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), underscores the shared commitment of both nations to combat scams that transcend borders.

Chief Executive of IMDA, Mr Lew Chuen Hong (left) and Chairman of MCMC, Tan Sri Mohamad Salim bin Fateh Din (right), Image credits: IMDA

Recognising scams as a cross-border challenge, Singapore and Malaysia, as close neighbours, have pledged to work together to address this issue effectively. The partnership builds upon existing collaborations between the two countries, including joint enforcement actions against scammers, positioning Malaysia as a pivotal ally for Singapore in fostering regional cooperation.

Mr Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive of IMDA, and Tan Sri Mohamad Salim bin Fateh Din, Chairman of MCMC, formalised the MoU, which focuses on bolstering the exchange of strategic intelligence to combat scams across telecommunications channels. This coordinated effort aims to better safeguard citizens from falling victim to fraudulent activities. Key areas of cooperation outlined in the MoU include providing regulatory assistance, facilitating research and education, and promoting the exchange of knowledge and expertise through training programmes and staff exchanges.

The MoU with MCMC represents another significant milestone in strengthening international partnerships to combat telecommunications scams. By leveraging collective expertise and resources, Singapore and Malaysia are poised to mitigate the threat posed by fraudulent activities, ensuring the security and well-being of their citizens in an increasingly interconnected world.

IMDA’s proactive approach to addressing scams on a global scale is evident through its previous collaborations with other countries such as New Zealand, the United States and Australia.

In October 2023, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore and the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) entered into a MoU aimed at bolstering collaborative efforts to combat unsolicited and unlawful communications, particularly scams.

This strategic partnership seeks to enhance regulatory enforcement activities and facilitate the exchange of vital information on regulatory frameworks and technological solutions to effectively address the growing threat of scams. Led by Mr Lew Chuen Hong and Ms Jessica Rosenworcel, Chairwoman of the FCC, the MoU underscores the importance of international cooperation in preserving trust in the digital realm and reaffirms the commitment of both nations to safeguarding their citizens and businesses from fraudulent activities.

Earlier in September 2023, IMDA and the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) established a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to enhance cooperation in combating scams and spam. The MOA underscores the shared commitment of both nations to combatting global challenges posed by scam and spam communications.

Signed by Ms Aileen Chia, Deputy Chief Executive of IMDA and Mr Paul James, Chief Executive of DIA, the MoA aims to facilitate information exchanges on scam trends, regulatory solutions, public education, and joint projects to strengthen anti-scam measures.

Mr Paul James emphasised the MoA’s role in fostering research, knowledge exchange, and understanding of legal approaches between the two countries, highlighting Singapore’s significance as a digital economy partner for New Zealand.

Ms. Aileen Chia echoed the sentiment, underlining the importance of international collaboration in tackling scams and spam as global threats, while acknowledging the MoA’s role in enhancing Singapore’s capabilities and promoting unity among regulators with shared objectives.

Such collaborations, which acknowledge the global scope of scams and spam, empower the countries to enhance the protection of their citizens. It reflects their proactive stance in safeguarding their populace and its overarching strategy of bolstering global alliances to effectively tackle emerging digital risk


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