As digital technology and connectivity evolve, Indonesia, which is well known for having the world’s fastest growth in internet users, faces both huge opportunities and major risks. The nation has been on a digital transformation journey for some time and has made major strides in policy, infrastructure and programmes.
The pandemic has accelerated these plans and forced a rethink of strategies. Nonetheless, the public sector has done a credible job in going digital to continue citizen services and operation in a VUCA environment and in the face of ever-changing citizen expectations.
Part of the digital transformation that the Indonesian public sector has successfully implemented is the modern and remote workplace. Access to the latest technology and collaborative tools has helped public sector officials maintain their work productivity while ensuring optimal resource utilisation.
While the government has quickly adapted and come to terms with the new reality of remote working, there are numerous challenges that governments across the world face. Paradigm shifts in culture and thinking, policy, safety, infrastructure and skillsets are a few areas that need attention.
Additionally, the government must build a solid cyber security system to ensure that its digital infrastructure is secure, especially as machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing advancement continue to make these agencies more vulnerable to a range of cyber-attacks. The mounting security concerns require the implementation of an appropriate security plan that is both realistic and cost-effective eventually.
The focus of OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight on 17 November 2021 was on how a secure infrastructure within the public sector can be built for a digital and remote workforce. The was a closed-door, invitation-only, interactive session with senior digital executives from the Indonesian public sector.
Remote working as the mainstay of businesses, agencies, and organisations
Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia, kicked off the session with his opening address.
Remote working is here to stay and there is no escaping it, Mohit asserts. “The world has been forced to adapt to the new reality.”
Virtual culture has taken centre stage in the past two years of living with a pandemic and there is no turning back. What is pertinent for both the private and public sector is how they view technology. “Will technology be seen as an enabler or as a hindrance?”
As organisations find their footing in this new normal, the benefits of remote working should be acknowledged and harnessed. Working remotely can increase productivity, engagement and collaboration more effectively than in typical offices. However, with employees working from home on their devices, how can the security risks be mitigated?
For Mohit, that is a problem that can be resolved but should not be the reason to prevent the embracing of remote working. Security, like all other endeavours, is a risk. Risks come with every decision that is made because nothing is 100% certain, there is always an element of the unknown.
He urged delegates to not “hide behind security” as the reason not to modernise. Precisely because it is inevitable, organisations need to “understand it and plan for it.”
Developing a virtual culture is no longer an option but a necessity that entails intentional thought in several key areas:
- Building team communication and working relationships
- Emphasising the importance of employee contribution to a strong team culture to business success
- Encouraging collaboration
- Scheduling regular catchups and informal meetings
- Asking people to create meeting content with a clear agenda and context
Governments around the world are adopting quickly to a remote working model. The aspects to consider include strategising ways to increase productivity, improve employee satisfaction and culture, harnessing more possibilities for continuous learning, fostering better collaboration and work relationships and improved mental health.
Hybrid is the future, Mohit believes, and the focus should be on what plans and technology are needed for the secure development of a hybrid workplace. To be effective strategy and platforms must have constructive synergy.
Mohit advises delegates to work with partners and is firmly convinced that the transformation need not be done alone. Partners bring a wealth of expertise and experience that will make the journey far easier to manage and navigate.
Staying secure in the “new normal” of remote working
Garry Ng, Asia-Pacific Director, Lenovo, elaborated on Lenovo’s secure solutions for remote workforces.
“Cybersecurity is harder than ever,” Garry opines. “With a wide cyber surface and more access points, the exposure is magnified. Attacks have been on the rise year on year.”
Government institutions are common targets because of the sheer amount of data they collect and store, the vast and diverse networks they maintain and the massive employee base.
By the very nature of the service they offer and the history they need to have of citizens, they have complex, linked personal data sets – a goldmine for cybercriminals. Further, the distributed workforce and the variety of devices that end-users utilise to access services and digital offerings, make security even more difficult to manage.
Attacks are so fast, so often and so sophisticated that most are never even noticed by IT departments until they are long done.
Garry feels that a distributed and remote workforce is fast becoming the norm. Since 2020, many people started working from home and it seems unlikely that returning to the office full-time will happen. With a VUCA future, many businesses will retain the current status quo, having only necessary employees in the office or using some version of a rotating workforce.
With this remote working situation, organisations have to (and had to) provide devices for their staff. However, each of these devices could be vulnerable to attacks. That is the single most difficult thing to trace, he says.
IT departments are losing control of the devices because there is no clarity on where devices are actually being deployed or used. They have no idea if data is being downloaded from devices. Do organisations know if /when devices are lost, attacked or compromised?
“Against that backdrop, how can organisations protect their employees outside of a safe (office) infrastructure? How can organisations manage devices and networks, patch them and make sure they are secure?” he asks.
For Garry, a robust plan to manage and secure devices outside the office is the key. This includes:
- Endpoint security
- Device and application control
- Device management
- Data protection in case of theft/loss
- Mobile threat detection – across both mobile and PC devices
With the fundamental shifts in IT structure from perimeter-based network to perimeter-less network, the attack surface has also changed from having every in-network device that links with the outside world to having every endpoint at unknown networks and devices. Consequently, the security focus has changed from filtering, monitoring and restricting network inflow and outflow, to protecting, managing and servicing every endpoint.
The problem has changed, especially for the government, he believes. Cybercriminals know that both risk and reward are high when it comes to governmental institutions. They will attack the most well-known, hard to protect vulnerabilities in the system – parts and pieces that have not even entered the system yet – and inject themselves as “amicable” parts of the system (such as firmware, BIOS, HW, OS, common applications, etc.).
What is clear is that this shift from a closed-protect network to an open-distributed network has happened and is expected to only accelerate in the future. As such, cybersecurity solution needs to be applied to the entire lifecycle of every piece of the system.
Garry acknowledges remote work is here to stay and that organisations need to be committed to tackling the challenges of security in this new model. He reiterated that the solution is not one-size-fits-all because every organisation is different. There is, therefore, a need to tailor-make or, at the very least, tweak solutions for each organisation.
Lenovo’s end-to-end security offers OS-to-Cloud security, below-the-OS security and supply chain security that can provide safety for organisations pivoting to the new reality of work.
Pivoting to remote working as the “new normal”
Setiaji, Chief of Digital Transformation Officer, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, spoke next on strategies Indonesia’s public sector have taken when implementing remote working.
“We are faced with the new normal,” Setiaji concedes. “With employees working away from the office, the nature of activities that employees engage in has also changed – remote Access, Video Conference, Digital Signature, Office Online Tools, Emails, Voice Calls.”
Work-from-home or remote working means managing the accompanying issues of data security, connectivity, digital literacy and deploying effective working tools. The trend towards greater digital dependency will only rise, he contends. As it stands, there are more than 170M internet users currently and they are only set to grow.
What is concerning, is that the more than 811 million cyber-attacks that took place between January to August this year alone – the most being malware, trojans and information leaks.
He acknowledged that these challenges in security ought to be confronted, not swept away or trivialised. Against that backdrop, what should organisations be doing?
For Setiaji, the key is to adopt collaborative tools so that employees will be able to work from home anytime, anywhere, from any device over a web browser. They must also be more efficiently supported and better secured.
In the end, in an increasingly digital landscape, technology is here to stay and will be foundational to any strategy. Organisations need to embrace technology to survive, thrive and stay relevant.
After the informative presentations, delegates participated in interactive discussions facilitated by polling questions. This activity is designed to provide live-audience interaction, promote engagement, hear real-life experiences, and facilitate discussions that impart professional learning and development for participants.
In the first poll, delegates were asked about challenges they face when the remote work concept was initiated in their ministry or department. Most delegates (40%) expressed that a lack of focus and productivity was an issue followed by security (30%) and poor communication (20%).
Delegates expressed concern about work culture and productivity as it is difficult to know what employees are doing.
Mohit agrees that this was an initial challenge but, for the most part, has been overcome using the tools available in the market. Combined with solid SOPs, appropriate accountability measures and performance metrics, these early setbacks were laid to rest.
“The rest of the world is using the pandemic as a catalyst for change,” Mohit observes. “The private sector has pivoted and government institutions need to follow; if not, their employees will begin to work for people who will give them what they want.”
When asked which virtual working method their ministry is planning to implement after this pandemic to embrace digital transformation in remote working, an overwhelming majority of the delegates voted in favour of a hybrid working model (74%). The rest of the delegates indicated a physical working model (26%).
Mohit believes that the minority who want to move back to a physical space may well get what they want because that is the easier, more familiar model. Organisations may want to hide behind the excuse of “security”’ to bring back the old, but that is not forward-thinking, he contends.
“Moving backwards is easy, but the future is not behind us; the future is ahead.”
Some organisations are at a crossroads, looking to make a hybrid work sustainable – and this is an inevitable journey, Mohit assures the delegates. If there is good productivity in the current model of hybrid work, it is important to leverage that. If safety is an issue, then work with partners that can help to keep data secure.
Concerning nervousness around security, Garry points out that it is a fine balance between the security organisations want to have and productivity. The moment it frustrates and affects productivity, it becomes a problem, he firmly believes.
The world is in the thick of the digital revolution, says Mohit. People can work from anywhere anytime. We only need to change the culture and the perspective. It is much the same as cloud adoption; people eventually overcame their initial nervousness and is now a preferred option.
“Like there are the options of private cloud, public cloud and multi-hybrid cloud, organisations need to move into a ‘multi-hybrid work capability’,” Mohit is convinced.
The next poll asked delegates to indicate challenges they face in managing the data on the cloud in the context of employees working remotely. A huge majority indicated that control or governance is the main challenge (73%). The rest of the votes were split between lack of expertise (11%), multiple cloud management (11%) and cost management (5%).
When asked about the importance of cybersecurity practices in remote workspaces, most delegates indicated that it is extremely important (81%) followed by important (19%).
Mohit emphasised that cybersecurity is an outside defence perimeter that is a “must-have,” just as “cloud is a must-have.” The key to managing this inevitable future is to pre-empt it with good policy and governance.
On whether delegates have a solid cyber security system to ensure that the digital infrastructure is secure, most delegates indicated that their ministry has a moderate security system (53%), followed by delegates who felt that their ministry has a solid cybersecurity system (43%).
A delegate pointed out that cyber threat is always evolving. The question of security is a conversation that never ends. The best thing to do is to constantly monitor, test fresh solutions, review and employ innovative technologies.
The final poll inquired what delegates thought is the step to be taken to keep the focus on cybersecurity while working remotely. Most delegates (42%) felt installing and updating anti-virus was key, followed by avoiding clicking on suspicious links (36%). The remaining delegates were split between others (11%) and keeping work and home devices separate (11%).
Mohit opined that cybersecurity is about doing all the above; it is much bigger than can be imagined – people have to do everything.
Wrapping up the session, Garry emphasised the importance of recognising the new challenges in remote working. The drive towards the next digital wave must be done securely and cost-effectively in a flexible digital environment.
He encouraged delegates to consider the cost of compromise when it came to adopting technologies to cope with the future of work.
Before bringing the session to an end, Garry thanked everyone for their participation and the robust discussions. He encouraged the delegates to keep the conversations about data security alive and to connect with him and the team if they would like to explore how Lenovo could help in their journey.
The implementation of a National Digital Identity (Digital ID) system in Malaysia is poised to revolutionise the verification and distribution of aid during crises or natural disasters, ensuring swift and precise assistance to those in need.
According to the Chairman of the Malaysian Cyber Consumer Association (MCCA), Digital ID has the potential to streamline processes, reducing bureaucratic hurdles and optimising the impact of government subsidies by facilitating the efficient distribution of assistance to targeted groups with greater accuracy and effectiveness.
Digital ID, in this context, serves as a digital means of self-identification and authentication for individuals, designed for use in both public and private sectors to verify user identities during online transactions. The nation’s Prime Minister has conveyed that while the government will not mandate registration for Digital ID presently, civil servants are encouraged to do so, especially as the Rahmah Cash Aid (STR) and other targeted subsidies will be channelled through this system. MIMOS Berhad, Malaysia’s national Applied Research and Development Centre, has been appointed as the implementing agency for Digital ID, with an initial allocation of RM80 million.
The Former Principal Assistant Director at Bukit Aman emphasised the significance of Digital ID in enhancing cybersecurity. The technology relies on digital certificates to bolster security in online transactions, verifying identities by linking cryptographic keys with their owners through cryptography.
Despite its potential benefits, the Former Principal Ass
istant Director pointed out a critical concern: the possibility of Digital ID being exploited as a ‘mule ID’ by third parties for fraudulent or illegal activities. He stressed the need for the government to establish robust security measures to prevent misuse, safeguard the system’s integrity, and maintain public trust in the initiative.
Addressing potential concerns about the misuse of Digital ID, the Former Principal Assistant Director called for a thorough examination of security measures. The government’s commitment to preventing fraudulent activities and illegal exploitation is crucial for the success of Digital ID. The Former Principal Assistant Director’s experience in cybercrime and multimedia investigations underscored the importance of maintaining the integrity of the system.
Furthermore, the Former Principal Assistant Director highlighted the need for comprehensive digital education to ensure that all segments of society benefit fully from Digital ID. A focus on digital education can prevent digital divides and contribute to the long-term success of Malaysia’s digitalisation initiatives. By promoting digital literacy, the government can empower citizens to use Digital ID responsibly and stay informed about potential risks.
In conclusion, the implementation of Digital ID in Malaysia represents a significant step toward modernising and securing online transactions. While the technology holds great potential for enhancing the distribution of aid during crises, it is imperative for the government to address security concerns and invest in digital education to ensure the successful adoption of Digital ID across all segments of society.
The advent of Digital ID in Malaysia represents a pivotal moment in the nation’s journey toward a more efficient and secure identity verification system. The Malaysian Cyber Consumer Association’s unwavering support underscores the potential benefits of this technological advancement for the wellbeing of Malaysians. However, as the implementation progresses, the emphasis on system integrity, cybersecurity, and public trust becomes paramount.
The call for robust security measures and consistency resonates as a crucial safeguard against potential misuse, ensuring that Digital ID serves as a reliable tool for streamlined aid distribution and government subsidies. As the nation navigates this transformative phase, it is imperative to strike a balance between technological innovation and the preservation of public confidence to fully realise the positive impact of Digital ID on the Malaysian society.
Based on a study conducted in 2018, the Head of the Satellite Division of the Accessibility to Communication and Information Agency (BAKTI) of the Ministry of Communication and Information, Sri Sanggrama Aradea, stated that based, there is a need for internet access to 1Mbps for 150,000 public service points in the fields of education, healthcare, and government in remote, frontier, and outermost (3T) areas.
The Ministry of Communication and Information continues to uphold its commitment to implementing the agenda of equalising the progress of digital transformation across the entire archipelago of Indonesia. This commitment is realised by continuing the contract for Base Transceiver Station (BTS) 4G services, especially for Remote, Frontier, and Outermost (3T) regions.
This action signifies the seriousness of the Ministry in ensuring that the benefits of digital transformation progress are not only felt in major cities but also extend to remote and outermost areas of Indonesia. Continuing the BTS 4G contract for 3T focuses on equalising access and strengthening communication networks, ensuring that communities in previously connectivity-limited areas can enjoy the benefits of the digital revolution.
Minister of Communication and Information Budi Arie Setiadi emphasised, “Strengthening communication networks is the main focus, ensuring that communities in areas that may have been previously limited in connectivity can benefit from the digital revolution.”
Minister Budi Arie Setiadi stated that this aligns with President Joko Widodo’s directive during the handover of the Ministry’s Budget Execution Plan for the Fiscal Year 2024, emphasising that the utilisation of government budget allocations must be focused on results. Minister Budi Arie explained that the signed Operation & Maintenance Contract is intended to continue the operation of the already-built BTS 4G, which has become an asset of the Telecommunication and Information Accessibility Agency (BAKTI).
Arwoto Atmosutarno, Chairman of the Task Force of the BAKTI at the Ministry of Communication and Information, admits that completing the BTS 4G Project is challenging. The diverse topography of Indonesia and its often remote geographical locations create complexities that increase the difficulty in executing this project.
In overcoming these challenges, Atmosutarno highlighted the importance of collaborative and synergistic coordination among Task Force members, involving entities such as the Attorney General’s Office, Ministry of Finance, Supreme Audit Agency (BPKP), Procurement Policy Agency (LKPP), Ministry of Communication and Information, and various related industry stakeholders. This joint effort aims to overcome various obstacles and challenges from complicated geographical conditions.
This indicates that project completion requires technical expertise and active involvement from various sectors contributing to addressing Indonesia’s unique and complex landscapes. Although the task is not easy, the determination and good cooperation among Task Force members ensure the efficiency of the project, even in challenging geographical conditions.
Indonesia is indeed known as an archipelagic country with quite extreme topography. This poses significant challenges for communication networks, especially telecommunication infrastructure projects such as BTS 4G. With widely scattered islands, high mountains, and remote areas that are difficult to access, establishing a network that can cover the entire Indonesian territory requires meticulous planning and execution.
Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the number of internet users in Indonesia reached 292.3 million in 2022, equivalent to 77.02% of the total population. This figure increased by 2.6% from the previous year.
The increase in Internet access is driven by various factors, including economic growth, increased smartphone penetration, and government programmes to equalise Internet access.
Regarding telecommunication infrastructure development, the government aims to achieve 100% 4G network coverage by 2024. This target seems achievable, as in 2023, 4G network coverage in Indonesia has reached 98%.
The progress of telecommunication network development in Indonesia has brought various benefits to the community, including: Improving accessibility to information and communication, Facilitating economic transactions, Enhancing the quality of education and healthcare and Increasing the nation’s competitiveness.
Chengdu has placed its sights on catalysing digital transformation to connect with the dynamic landscape of scientific and technological innovation. With this, the Municipal Development and Reform Commission recently organised a major scheduling meeting for the Digital Transformation Promotion Centre, bringing together key participants in the province’s digital progress.
The recently held meeting convened influential figures from 19 provincial-level digital transformation promotion centres, district and county development and reform departments, and pivotal enterprises within the city. The goal was to enhance the city’s digital transformation promotion service capabilities and fast-track the realisation of a modern industrial system.
The proceedings unfolded with a comprehensive report from the High Technology Department of the Municipal Development and Reform Commission, shedding light on the progress of the city’s digital transformation promotion centre and unveiling the initial evaluation results.
The exchange of ideas extended beyond city borders, with experts from the Sichuan Provincial Digital Economy Development Centre offering insights, interpretation, and guidance on policies supporting the digital transformation initiative.
Highlighting the diverse facets of digital transformation, representatives from various sectors shared their experiences. These exchanges delved into the construction nuances of supporting, regional, and industry-specific digital transformation promotion centres, emphasising a multifaceted approach to catalysing change.
Concrete examples from food technology elucidated the transformative power of digitalisation in their respective industries, showcasing the tangible benefits accrued through embracing cutting-edge technologies. From enhanced processing efficiency in aviation equipment manufacturing to streamlined collaboration in biopharmaceutical production, the ripple effects of digital transformation were tangible.
Chengdu’s strategic position as a hub node in the computing power network has been pivotal in propelling the city’s digital drives. The initiative to construct a ‘smart Chengdu’ serves as the cornerstone for iterative upgrades and the demonstration of emerging technologies, products, business formats, and models. This concerted effort aims to foster innovative development within the digital economy.
The city’s proactive stance has yielded approval for 19 provincial-level digital transformation promotion centres. This includes 10 support centres, 2 regional centres, and 7 industry centres, collectively constituting over 50% of the total number in the province. The coverage extends across strategic areas like Tianfu New District and key industrial chains such as electronic information, equipment manufacturing, and medicine and health.
Success stories were brought to the forefront during the meeting, showcasing the tangible impact of digital transformation. For instance, the Chengdu Aircraft Digital Transformation Promotion Centre has significantly boosted the processing efficiency of the aviation equipment industry chain. Similarly, the Kelun Pharmaceutical Digital Transformation Promotion Centre has facilitated intelligent collaboration in biopharmaceutical production, reducing costs and optimising inventory turnover.
The initiatives underscored the imperative to align with national, provincial, and municipal mandates for deepening the integration of the digital economy with the real economy. A call to action resonated, urging a focus on the high-level construction of Sichuan Provincial Digital Transformation Promotion Centres.
Likewise, the emphasis on harnessing the transformative potential of computing power, algorithms, and data highlights Chengdu’s unwavering commitment to catalysing industry-wide development. The city recognises the pivotal role that advanced computing capabilities, sophisticated algorithms, and insightful data analytics play in propelling industries forward.
By leveraging robust computing power, industries in Chengdu can not only streamline their operations but also enhance their overall efficiency. This translates into faster processing times, heightened accuracy, and the ability to handle complex tasks with unprecedented precision.
The infusion of advanced algorithms further augments this initiative by introducing intelligent decision-making processes that adapt and evolve, ensuring that industries remain agile in dynamic market landscapes.
In an era where technology increasingly shapes the way we manage daily life, its impact on crucial legal matters is often neglected. A commonly overlooked concern revolves around decision-making in unique situations.
If an individual becomes incapable of making decisions, it’s important to note that their next of kin doesn’t automatically assume legal authority to oversee their affairs. Instead, they’re required to undergo a lengthy and cumbersome court process to gain access to bank accounts or manage insurance payouts.
With this in mind, Singapore offers an option to deal with such circumstances. The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a crucial legal document allowing individuals to designate someone to act on their behalf if they become incapacitated. Recognising its pivotal role, the partnership between GovTech’s Services team and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) under the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) in Singapore has led to a remarkable digital transformation in the LPA application process.
The collaborative solution from the Office of the Public Guardian Online (OPGO) is a pioneering platform aimed at simplifying and automating the LPA application process. This digital overhaul not only slashes the processing time from three weeks to a mere 15 minutes but also revolutionises the user experience.
The development of OPGO was not a mere technological leap; it was a carefully curated process. The team embraced design thinking methodologies, engaging stakeholders, conducting usability workshops, and even pilot-testing with various demographics, including medical professionals and legal experts.
The integration of the National Digital Identity platform brought forth Secure Electronic Signatures, eliminating the need for physical signatures and ensuring a secure environment for document verification. Data security measures were rigorously implemented to safeguard sensitive information, offering citizens peace of mind when engaging with the platform.
The OPGO team is eager to explore more avenues to ease citizen’s lives. They’re on a mission to integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning into document processing, anticipating even faster processing times and improved user experiences. By employing predictive analysis, they aim to broaden coverage with reduced manpower.
The agile methodology adopted, coupled with technology like low-code platforms, continuous integration and delivery practices, automated testing, and cloud technology, ensured adaptability and quality assurance throughout the project lifecycle. These measures were instrumental in refining OPGO’s usability before its launch and continue to facilitate its evolution.
The journey from manual processing to digitalisation has not only simplified bureaucratic procedures but also empowered individuals to take charge of their future in a technologically advanced, efficient, and secure manner.
In essence, the evolution of LPAs through technology is not just about paperwork; it’s a testament to how innovation can transform legal processes, making them accessible, efficient, and reliable for the benefit of society.
Since its launch in November 2022, over 57,000 individuals have used the OPGO portal to submit their LPA applications. The platform’s success surpassed key benchmarks for customer satisfaction, e-payment integration, digital signatures, and data pre-fill, proving its intuitive interface and functionality were well-received by citizens.
Until March 2026, citizens have the opportunity to benefit from a waived $75 application fee for LPAs, enabling them to use the efficient and user-friendly OPGO platform to secure their future.
Singapore recognises that technology has the potential to better people’s lives. They also understand that all segments of society should be able to understand, access and participate in an increasingly digital world.
OpenGov reported on the government’s commitment to supporting Singaporeans in this quest for perpetual learning. Senior Minister of State Tan Kiat How underscored the pivotal role of continuous learning and skills acquisition in navigating the dynamic landscape of the modern world. He shared the Forward Singapore report, a comprehensive guide to the nation’s major developmental shifts, urging those unfamiliar with it to explore its insights.
Developing space sector innovation is Indonesia’s primary focus, diligently realised through various strategic partnerships. The successful launch of SATRIA, achieving connectivity milestones by delivering internet speeds of up to 150Gbps, marks a significant achievement for Indonesia in space exploration.
Furthermore, to sustain the progress and advancements in space technology, Indonesia continues its collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This collaboration, initiated in 1995, has evolved into a crucial milestone, enriching knowledge and exploring the latest innovations in the space sector, as highlighted by Mila Kencana, the Head of the Legal and Cooperation Bureau at the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN).
BRIN plays a central role in fostering this collaboration. Mila Kencana explained that the cooperation began with India’s initiative to establish the Tracking, Telemetry & Command (TT&C) ground station in Biak, Papua, supporting the efficient launch of the Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). The Indonesian government welcomed India’s desire to collaborate, marking the beginning of a productive collaborative relationship in the space sector.
Over time, the collaboration between Indonesia and India has continued to evolve. The pinnacle was reached in 2018 when both governments signed the Framework Agreement on Space Exploration and Utilisation for Peaceful Purposes. This agreement reflects a shared commitment to space exploration and utilisation for peaceful purposes, encompassing not only the development of space technology but also scientific research, knowledge exchange, and the utilisation of space-related outcomes for the benefit of both nations.
This collaboration strengthens Indonesia’s position in the global space arena and creates new opportunities for economic growth, technological capacity enhancement, and sustainable scientific collaboration between the two countries. With a strong determination and a solid foundation of collaboration, Indonesia and India continue to explore the potential of space for peaceful purposes and mutual progress.
Mila expressed optimism about this collaboration, emphasising that with BRIN’s consolidation, ample human resources, and substantial infrastructure, Indonesia should be able to take over responsibilities as planned since 1995. Mila mentioned that the Transfer Agreement and IA Further Use are currently in the internal approval stage by the Indian government through ISRO and are envisioned to be signed soon. She believed that Indonesia can prepare human resources capable of acquiring knowledge transfer from experts predominantly from India.
Mila explained that numerous benefits will be gained from this collaboration, including transferring ownership of the Biak ground station from ISRO to BRIN. This is considered fundamental and crucial, signifying the continuity of cooperation and Indonesia’s capability.
Additionally, ISRO will provide satellite launch services using its vehicles. “There are two BRIN-made satellites that are not charged, and, of course, equally important is the enhancement of research and researcher, engineer, or technician capabilities,” added Mila.
Salim Mustofa, Director of Strengthening and Infrastructure Partnership at the Research and Innovation Agency, mentions that the progress of this collaboration has reached the signing stage and is planned to be executed soon.
“Biak is considered strategic for India to facilitate and launch their rocket activities and track launched satellites,” Salim explained. “It is expected that through Biak, satellite data reception activities can cover 20% of the ASEAN region; this is already included in ISRO and India’s grand design for the future,” Salim further elaborated.
Salim emphasised that space development is a crucial step for a country. “The importance of utilising space data for various sectors, including agriculture, the environment, and disaster mitigation. By collectively exploring the potential of space data, Indonesia and ISRO can present innovative solutions to local and global challenges,” he concludes.
Salim expressed optimism that the collaboration between Indonesia and ISRO will continue and develop into a closer and sustainable partnership. He emphasises that this collaboration goes beyond satellite launches or space infrastructure, encompassing knowledge exchange, human resource capacity development, and shared innovation. With a mutual understanding of each country’s needs and potential, this collaboration can have broader and more profound impacts on the space sector and related technological developments.
The success of the social economy in this particular nation will experience an acceleration with the pervasive integration of digital technology. Infusing advanced technology into the social fabric fosters efficiency, connectivity, and innovation, creating an environment conducive to sustainable development.
Digital technology catalyses enhancing accessibility, transparency, and inclusivity within the social economy. From facilitating online transactions and fostering e-commerce to empowering local entrepreneurs, the positive impact of digitisation extends across diverse sectors. As citizens access essential digital skills and knowledge, they become active participants in the digital economy, contributing to the overall resilience and dynamism of the nation’s social and economic landscape.
Thailand has consistently championed the cause of fostering digital skill inclusivity, extending its efforts towards diverse segments of the population, including students, entrepreneurs, and individuals with disabilities. Recognising the transformative potential of digital literacy, the nation has embarked on comprehensive initiatives to bridge the gap and ensure that the benefits of the digital era are accessible to all.
In an effort towards fostering digital inclusivity and advancing economic and social development, Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, the Minister of Digital Economy and Society (Minister of DE), inaugurated the Pho Tak Subdistrict Community Digital Centre.
This centre, equipped with the latest technology, aims to bridge the digital divide and empower citizens with essential digital skills. Further, including Mr Phuchapong Nodthaisong, Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Committee, Mr Teerawut Thongphak, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Committee, and other figures in the field of policy management and information technology presided over the opening ceremony.
Accompanied by several governments from the provincial to the subdistrict, the government from the province welcomed the Pho Tak Subdistrict Administrative Organisation in Nong Khai Provincial to the subdistrict. Minister Prasert Chandraruangthong underscored the significance of the Community Digital Centre project, emphasising its alignment with the government’s commitment to leveraging digital technology for economic and societal progress. “Under the auspices of the National Digital Economy and Society Commission (NBTC) and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, this initiative is crucial in advancing the national economy and enhancing Thailand’s competitiveness globally,” he addressed. The government’s commitment is further underscored by establishing a robust digital infrastructure covering regions nationwide, ensuring widespread access to digital technology.
The Community Digital Centres are strategically placed in diverse locations, including temples, mosques, schools, and local government offices, catering to communities across all 77 provinces. With 500 locations already operational, the government plans to expand the network by establishing 1,722 community digital centres in 2023, bringing the total to 2,222 locations nationwide. The overarching goal is to create spaces that drive economic and social development, reducing disparities in access to digital technology.
Mr Phuchapong Nodthaisong, Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Committee, elaborated on the role of the community digital centre in empowering citizens, particularly the youth, with access to digital technology. These centres serve as dynamic learning spaces, fostering lifelong skills and knowledge.
Additionally, they act as hubs for economic and social activities within the community. Various knowledge-building activities are organised, from initiatives to developing digital talent and enhancing youth knowledge to promote early childhood education.
The centre also serves as a platform for community-level meetings, event planning, and cultivating online trading careers. In a strategic partnership with the country’s postal service enterprise, the centre opens avenues for the community to showcase local products through an online platform, promoting local products and traditions on a broader scale.
Mr Phuchapong asserted that the Pho Tak Subdistrict Community Digital Centre is a testament to Thailand’s commitment to creating a digitally inclusive society where every citizen can harness the benefits of digital technology for personal and community development. “As the digital landscape continues to evolve, such initiatives play a pivotal role in ensuring that every community is included in the digital era,” said Mr Phuchapong.
In a meeting with the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC), President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. pledged support for pivotal legislative measures recommended by the PSAC Digital Infrastructure Group. These measures, aligned with the Philippine Digital Transformation Framework, aim to fortify cybersecurity efforts within the nation.
Expressing his commitment during a Palace gathering, the President affirmed his intention to prioritise and expedite the passage of three bills pending in the Senate. These bills, including the Cybersecurity Act, Anti-Mule Act, and the Online Site Blocking Act, are integral components of the nation’s strategy to bolster cybersecurity and safeguard digital assets.
“The structural requirements in legislation are evidently crucial. Let’s focus on the Cybersecurity Act, Anti-Mule Act, and the Online Site Blocking Act. Collaborating with the Legislature’s leadership, we aim to swiftly progress these bills,” explained the President to PSAC officials.
The bills, currently pending at the Senate, encompass vital aspects crucial for the country’s digital security and protection against cyber threats. The Cybersecurity Act, in particular, carries provisions designed to enhance the country’s cybersecurity resilience, fortify critical information infrastructures, and impose penalties for non-compliance with digital asset protection standards.
Recent cyber threats targeting government entities have underscored the urgency of passing the Cybersecurity Act, aligning with the administration’s commitment to securing public digital assets.
Citing statistics from a tech giant, a significant 85% of Philippine companies anticipate potential disruptions to their operations due to cybersecurity attacks within the next 24 months. Additionally, data from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) underscores the Philippines’ prominence as the fourth most targeted country globally, with approximately 3,000 cyber incidents reported between 2020 and 2022, half of which targeted government institutions.
Moreover, the proposed Anti-Mule Act aims to curb fraudulent activities related to bank accounts, e-wallets, and other financial platforms. The legislation seeks to criminalise activities like using fake identities to open accounts, unauthorised account transfers, and recruiting individuals for fraudulent account purposes. It will also enforce stricter penalties and delineate jurisdiction for law enforcement agencies.
Simultaneously, the Online Site Blocking Act, if passed, will combat online content piracy by instituting measures to block websites hosting pirated content. Advocates highlight the importance of safeguarding the creative industry and consumers from the perils of online piracy, emphasising the potential revenue loss and risks posed by pirate websites.
PSAC stressed the significance of fortifying laws to protect the creative economy, ensuring artists can create content without fear of theft. They underscored the necessity of empowering the Executive branch to implement these laws effectively.
The collective urgency to fortify cybersecurity measures and protect digital assets underscores the critical need for the prompt passage of these bills. President Marcos Jr.’s endorsement signifies a pivotal step toward reinforcing the country’s digital infrastructure and safeguarding its cyber landscape for the future.
Earlier this year the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) convened a pivotal training session focused on enhancing cybersecurity across its member countries. Intending to foster the adoption of robust cybersecurity practices among IT professionals, the event encompassed representatives from diverse nations. Notably, among the forty-four participants, fourteen were delegates from various Philippine National Government Agencies alongside active participation from the private sector.
The four-day intensive training facilitated addressed the pressing need to fortify defences against evolving cyber threats and shed light on the escalating complexity of cyber threats. With the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) in augmenting the capabilities of cyber assailants, the landscape has become more treacherous, amplifying the vulnerabilities of existing cybersecurity defence mechanisms.
Established in 1961, the APO stands as an intergovernmental organisation committed to fostering mutual cooperation and sustainable socio-economic development across the region. Serving as a think tank and offering policy advisory services, the APO has consistently spearheaded initiatives spanning diverse sectors. In its unwavering dedication, it plays a crucial role in enhancing the cybersecurity resilience of member countries.