In the wake of the pandemic, industries have had to reconsider their functioning as almost all activities and operations were disrupted. To increase ensure business continuity and organisational coherence and embrace digitalisation, businesses have significantly accelerated their digital transformation process.
With this, organisations are now increasingly seeing the value of 5G with its increased reliability and cellular reach. Additionally, current technology’s high latency could be prohibitive for companies that depend on technology for their operations.
Such lags are eliminated by 5G networks, which can transfer huge volumes of data continuously without buffering and perform effectively across all organisations. This new networking standard puts data-intensive operations such as AI and data analytics closer to real-time processing and analysis.
While IoT is not new to most, a new technology known as IoB is on the rise because of huge gains in data analytics. Internet of Behaviour (IoB) enables businesses to provide clients with services based on their preferences, interests, and decisions. Using data analytics, a behavioural trend analysis produces recommendations depending on the tastes of the consumers.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight on 23 August 2022 offered the most recent information on 5G capabilities and how it supports IoB and Metaverse innovations in the public sector.
Connecting the World Through 5G and Metaverse
Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, began the session by acknowledging that 5G and the Metaverse are inextricably linked. IoB, for example, aids in the response to specific emergencies by utilising real-time transmission and residence information.
“To translate big data analytics into actionable insights at the appropriate time, a reliable connection, such as 5G, is required,” says Mohit. “Moreover, future technologies could significantly improve the operation and delivery of existing services.”
The data and traffic growth of Metaverse-essential content such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is primarily driving this rate of new telecom technologies. Self-driving cars and the concept of highways beyond VR were not viable until recent advances in 4G and 5G, and certainly not during the 3G period.
The Metaverse allows enhanced government-to-citizen communication and transparent collaboration. With the implementation of 5G, the new Metaverse era can support the government in expanding its trade and commerce in this new normal.
It might also be used to address problems like how to cover a city with a 5G network capable of sustaining a public Metaverse infrastructure, preferably through virtualisation.
With 5G, traffic controllers, who play a big role in roadside safety and AI-powered cars, can stay connected. This is done by using 5G to send information in real-time so that traffic flow can be tracked, managed and improved. This makes transportation more efficient and safer in smart cities.
Improving people’s lives in a smart city involves large data and analytics in conjunction with an awareness of individual preference. IoB’s user information data can be utilised by government agencies to provide solutions to challenging problems.
Mohit highlighted that to make better decisions and enhance the quality of life, smart cities use data and digital technologies. “With more complete, real-time data, agencies can track events as they happen, understand how demand patterns are changing, and come up with faster, cheaper solutions.”
Around the world, well-known cities have already invested in technological revolutions to improve their quality of life. It is better to stay abreast of the latest trends than play catch-up later.
StarHub, according to Nikhil Eapen, Chief Executive and Executive Director, is a one-of-a-kind Singapore digital platform with two million customers across the region.
StarHub is a worldwide communications, entertainment and digital services provider. They offer superior mobile and fixed services, premium content and communication solutions to people, homes and businesses through its vast fibre and wireless infrastructure and global connections.
“We want to collaborate with you as partners, whether you are a government agency, enterprise or consumer,” says Nikhil. “Metaverse is the only thing that can bring us all together in the same way.”
He is convinced that the Metaverse offers more incredible opportunities for businesses or even the government to act as a point of interest and attract people.
Recent developments, too, play their part. Micro cloud – a new type of infrastructure for on-demand computing at the edge – comes to mind. Micro cloud assembles custom edge computing solutions from the best open-source components, anywhere and in large quantities. It enables ecosystems rather than single-vendor solutions, bringing apps closer to users.
StarHub plans to bring its expertise not just to the edge but also to the micro edge, like holding a hologram meeting. He adds that they are committed to doing their business responsibly and sustainably.
StarHub is transitioning from a telco to a full-service provider of digital life and digital services, providing customers with the most enriching connectivity, entertainment, and other lifestyle experiences, as well as innovative business solutions, with frictionless digital engagement at the core.
“We design and deliver solutions embracing artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data analytics, the Internet of Things, and robots to corporate and government clients.”
Nikhil invites customers, partners and communities to join them on their digital journey as they radically simplify everything they offer, double down on digital for maximum agility, cement the network superiority, and drive long-term growth across all segments, “Without the will, there will be no change together.”
In Conversation With: Transitioning to a New Metaverse Era: The Needs for Cutting-Edge Government Technology
The Metaverse is being seen as the next step in the growth of the internet. People will work together using a digital copy or avatar of themselves in places like business meetings, online communities and games.
“A networked virtual environment called the Metaverse allows users to create, work, play, socialise, and conduct business in a fully working economy that can rival the actual one,” says Darren Ho, Managing Director of DataFi Future and Head of Business Development of Metaviva A MM2 Entertainment Company. “The Metaverse is conceptually like Web 3.0 and thus benefits from blockchain technology like NFTs and Cryptos.”
The Metaverse is essentially an additional dimension in which people live virtual lives, according to Nicole Nguyen, CMO & Co-Founder, Duelist King, “in which technology acts as more than a mere instrument. Avatars or digital representations of people, digital items, and operating economies are all features in the Metaverse.”
Nicole explains that the internet connects billions of computers, millions of servers and other electronic devices. Once online, internet users can interact with websites, communicate with one another and purchase and exchange items and services.
Users can navigate a virtual world that mimics portions of the real world in the Metaverse by using technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), social media, and virtual currency. People “browse” the internet, but they can also “live” in the Metaverse in some ways.
Because of the internet’s growth, numerous services that are paving the way for the creation of the Metaverse have emerged. Among the technologies used in Metaverse include social networking, internet shopping, natural language processing, digital money, workplace automation, and infrastructure.
The tremendous potential that the Metaverse offers can be used by the government. The public can access a variety of services and apps offered by the Metaverse. Healthcare, agriculture, education, tourism, environment protection, smart cities, social and political engagement, defence, libraries, museums, media, and others are likely applications of the Metaverse.
Similarly, the epidemic has cruelly reduced people’s mobility, which directly jeopardises citizens’ access to services and applications.
The Metaverse might serve as a platform for users to easily access services and applications using software that simulates the three-dimensional world that inhabits. As a result, the Metaverse might be re-envisioned as a viable option for delivering services and applications to the public. It could allow for improved communication and involvement between the government and its citizens.
Thus, the Metaverse can help the government accelerate its efforts to resurrect trade and commerce that has been harmed by the outbreak.
While governments may need to realise the relevance of Metaverse and jumpstart it, it will need to be created and sustained with the support of 5G firms, the majority of which are in the private sector. This places a great deal of responsibility on both the government and the business sector; perhaps a public-private collaboration is a viable alternative.
Many aspects and requirements that go beyond simple connectivity must be addressed in the context of the Metaverse.
The networks needed for the Metaverse must be substantially more demanding than the best-effort mobile broadband services currently available. These networks must be highly dependable and have high throughput and limited latency.
However, there are still issues with network densification, spectrum availability, an increase in indoor and outdoor capacity, and the coexistence of XR services, mission-critical communications and mobile broadband in wide-area networks. On the other hand, 5G is prepared to deliver that.
Providing cutting-edge networks is insufficient. All ecosystem participants must collaborate and contribute strategically to a unified R&D and standardisation plan. Without such close collaboration, the Metaverse may not exist for many years.
Before implementing digital-led innovation in public services, cyber resilience and personal data protection should be required.
In the aftermath of the pandemic and consequent restrictions, work has shifted to cyberspace. This has had a deep impact on people’s lives, as in-person meetings are being replaced by virtual ones. Even though this is becoming more common, the transition to the Metaverse may have some negative consequences in terms of how people interact.
Not only would the Metaverse make it more difficult for people to communicate with one another, but it could also lead to more people preferring the virtual world over the real one. People are likely to have even fewer reasons to meet, such as fewer shared meals, parties, gatherings, public ceremonies, and so on.
In addition, the Metaverse will allow people to be and do anything they desire; there will be no monetary or physical limitations. The Metaverse may be the place where everyone feels pleased and valued, and it could become an increasingly safe and secure refuge when real life becomes a burden or is too difficult or harsh to handle.
It is feasible that virtual reality will radically alter the social and emotional needs of individuals throughout time. People may stop ‘needing’ or desiring authentic social contacts if they become unfamiliar with them.
Inequalities are also getting worse when it comes to the digital divide, and they are likely to get even worse in the Metaverse.
The Metaverse could be great for people who have the bandwidth, connectivity, and hardware to use it, but it could make it even harder for people who are already left out of the digital world, which would go against their plans to bring people together.
Privacy and security are two additional aspects of the Metaverse that may not receive adequate consideration. As an illustration, consider the regulations that permit third parties to gather information about users and their friends while ignoring material that might be detrimental to kids and teenagers.
Marketers and ad agencies will be able to monitor a person’s body movement, eye movement, brainwaves, and physiological reactions to an encounter in the Metaverse. They will also be able to track which virtual environments a person enters and how long they spend in there.
Immersive virtual business meetings or social events could appear harmless, but the Metaverse’s immense potential drawbacks include growing disconnection from reality and addiction to virtual reality. The Metaverse might be the most addictive thing ever made, or it might be a virtual paradise.
“We can only imagine how much more addicting a completely immersive Metaverse would be, where all of our senses will be even more fully engaged and real life will increasingly recede into the background,” says Nicole.
Most people are currently getting more and more reliant on their screens and technology. It is critical not to underestimate the power of escapism, which can exacerbate alienation and withdrawal from reality.
Even though technology has enabled individuals to connect with more people from more locations than they could have ever imagined, it is important to maintain a balance between connections in embodied and digital spaces and to maintain communication skills such as eye contact and voice-to-ear communication.
5G Transformation for New Generation
According to Sander Veraar, VP of Product Management, Enterprise Business Group, StarHub, the industry is expected to grow significantly with the launch of the 5G network. “There are significant aspects of tectonic shifts between 5G, Compute and Spatial.”
In the upcoming years, 5G is anticipated to bring about enormous economic and social benefits, making it a very lucrative field for investment. 5G is being quickly welcomed by the telecom industry and other businesses across various industries because it promises extremely high bandwidth, extremely low latency, and extremely high reliability.
A revolutionary step forward in communications, 5G is built on top of a new network architecture that will open a wide range of applications and is supported by numerous new enabling technologies including AI, IoT, cloud computing, and edge computing.
Disruptive technology does, however, provide issues, not just in terms of network change but also in terms of how it will impact corporate productivity or efficiency.
Scalability and unparalleled global reach of the evolution of computing and Web 3.0, also known as the third-generation internet, is the World Wide Web’s next evolution, “It offers a data-driven Semantic Web that uses a machine-based understanding of data to create a more intelligent and connected web experience for users.”
Today’s Web is immobile and unable to adapt to the unique needs of each person who uses it. Spatial Web (Web 3.0) is expected to be more dynamic and participatory. It will redefine the web experience with structural changes to ensure democratisation across all aspects of the internet by implementing artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.
Together with its linked technology partners, it would be responsible for the new industrial transformation. It would reuse every business model while yet altering how the world functions to make life more intelligent and fascinating.
Sander believes that “the future is today” and emphasised that StarHub has a place where technologies can be tried out and used to help build the future. It has also a partner ecosystem and independent software vendors together to harness these technologies and deliver them such as spatial platforms, VR streaming and holographic projection.
Understanding Human Behaviour: Motivation is the Key to the Success of Most Initiatives
True transformation, according to Lawrence Lim, Head of SmartHub Analytics Division, is about understanding what truly motivates people and changing human behaviour. “While technology and analytics extract actionable insights from data, understanding human behaviour and motivation is the key to the success of most initiatives.”
Data allows people to understand humans better. However, data from Metaverse should be interpreted a bit differently because it is an alter ego it’s not the real person. “The thing you do not do in real life probably you do in Metaverse.”
Similarly, Metaverse should make use of online behavioural and physical location datasets to identify and better understand customer profiles to optimise engagement and experience. All of this is possible with 5G because it must be real-time.
The digital world will be the next revolution, and inbuilt behaviour will play an important role in making this technology a globally accepted technology that may even create new opportunities. As a result, the Metaverse is a hook that will penetrate human behaviour and fascinate people in the digital world.
Recent advancements in digital technologies and data analytics have created previously unimaginable opportunities for evaluating and changing health behaviours. As a result, science’s ability to comprehend and contribute to the improvement of health behaviours and outcomes has been significantly enhanced.
The diversity and granularity of people’s behaviours, the confluence of elements that affect behaviour now, and the evolution of behaviours through time inside an individual are all captured by digital health data.
There are several following indicators for creating value and understanding human behaviour:
- Identify target audience segments
- Craft value proposition with ‘Competitor’ analysis
- Craft value message with consumer moments
- Motivate visit to next Point-of-interest
- Optimise experience with visitor movement insight
- Innovate new experiences to acquire new visitors
He adds that “it’s critical that we maintain our identity amidst the rapid digital transition.” People must be careful to make emotional wise use of the vast customer data sets they are producing as it will have an impact on human behaviour.
As a result, by combining data with customer insight, enterprises will be able to communicate with customers in relevant, direct, and consistent ways.
Sander reiterated that it may be more useful and fascinating to view the metaverse not as virtual reality but as a new reality. Things made there and actions we choose to take there will be incredibly real. In this scenario, it might become a space for both work and recreation.
The Metaverse has a lot of work to do, particularly in healthcare and education and Starhubis willing to help the nation build the future of the next generation.
Nikhil acknowledged the delegates’ participation and expressed optimism about collaborating with government agencies. He was confident that “we can change the way Singapore can live, work, and play.”
According to Mohit, a digital transformation partner helps businesses identify areas and functions within their organisations that could benefit from digital technology, find the best solutions, and properly implement them.
By leveraging their unique experience, partnerships can create truly disruptive infrastructure solutions to assist organisations on their digital transformation journey.
“Even within specialised industries such as banking, healthcare, and manufacturing, our partners can expand upon our product offering to create more customised, service-based solutions that meet the unique requirements of their customers,” Mohit concludes.
SINGAPORE – February 2, 2023 – Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has collaborated with National Geographic CreativeWorks to unveil UNSEEN/SINGAPORE, a campaign that showcases Singapore as a travel destination from the perspective of intrepid photographers from Southeast Asia. Through photography, the campaign includes a virtual exhibition which encourages travellers to explore the city-state’s cultural diversity and hidden spots, by taking a moment to observe the unseen beauty of destination Singapore.
Running from 2 February 2023, UNSEEN/SINGAPORE will showcase a collection of photographic works through a virtual exhibition, captured and curated by six photographers from across Southeast Asia. UNSEEN/SINGAPORE features the works of:
- Amani Azlin from Malaysia
- Tino Renato from Indonesia
- Chanipol Kusolcharttum, better known as “Rockkhound”, from Thailand
- Phạm Gia Tùng from Vietnam
- Gab Mejia from the Philippines
- Jayaprakash Bojan from Singapore
In curating the UNSEEN/SINGAPORE collection, each photographer visited Singapore in mid-2022, covering areas in Singapore that showcase nature, heritage buildings, cultural sites, and art. Each presented their vision of an UNSEEN/SINGAPORE through ways that resonate with their passions and personal experiences.
The photographers ventured across Singapore, going beyond its famous attractions and iconic skyline, to discover spots equally captivating – from charming neighbourhoods to lush and thriving offshore wetlands and a lighthouse at the island’s edge.
“We aim to inspire travellers to Singapore to rediscover the joy of travel once again. One way is to portray our destination in a different light, by helping visitors to see it afresh through another person’s eyes. UNSEEN/SINGAPORE set out to do this, through the lens of talented photographers from Southeast Asia, who tell their journey of discovery through photography. We hope they will inspire a new wave of visitors to discover a Singapore reimagined,” said Mr John Conceicao, Executive Director, Southeast Asia, STB.
“If you want to experience a country, you have to go down a layer below into the more local stuff to get a feel of what the country is. For people who’ve already visited Singapore, they should try and look for some of the unorthodox locations which they probably missed in their previous visits because
there’s a lot more to Singapore with the culture and heritage,” shared Jayaprakash Bojan, a full-time photographer and documentary filmmaker who advocates conservation via visuals and participated in the campaign.
UNSEEN/SINGAPORE is part of STB’s efforts to boost travel recovery through SingapoReimagine, a tourism campaign that highlights new, innovative and unexpected experiences in Singapore to audiences worldwide.
Between January to December 2022, Singapore recorded 6.3 million international visitor arrivals. Visitor arrivals were driven by strong demand from Singapore’s key source markets, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.
Get to know the photographers
Amani Azlin from Malaysia
Amani is a multi-disciplinary visual artist who expresses her passion for minimalism through her work for various local brands. When Amani is taking pictures, she goes in with her camera and doesn’t give it too much thought. It’s all about taking pictures in the moment and only scrutinising them afterwards. For her, it’s about capturing candid, unscripted moments in daily life, even when she’s travelling in a different country. As the only female photographer in the group, she offers a fresh take on travelling to must-visit sites with her passion for slow travel rather than touch-and-go experiences.
Jayaprakash Bojan from Singapore
Jayaprakash Bojan was National Geographic’s Nature Photographer of the Year 2017. He is a nature-wildlife conservation artist whose work focuses on wildlife photography abroad. As someone who has lived in Singapore for around 7 years, the pandemic has pushed him to explore his own neighbourhood (particularly Pasir Ris Park) rather than places abroad. With this project, Jayaprakash rediscovers his home, Singapore, from a different perspective.
Tino Renato from Indonesia
A self-taught travel, food, portrait and still life photographer, Tino started his journey when he was younger, starting out with a film camera, and it remains his favourite medium for taking his pictures. For him, it’s all about capturing the raw moments of a place and its people and making them the focus of his pictures. It is what makes his photos appear simple while adding depth to the story as we can witness in the UNSEEN/SINGAPORE project.
Chanipol Kusolcharttum, also known as “Rockkhound”, from Thailand
After a few years of working as an air steward and travelling the world, Rockkhound decided to pursue and kickstart his passion for photography as a career, enabling him to continue exploring the world. The photographer-cinematographer from Bangkok started his photography journey about 10 years ago on Instagram while embracing the philosophy of slowing down to truly live in the moment and enjoy the scenery all around him when he is out and about. His style is to deliver motion and emotion, such as looking for an interesting composition to give some movement to still architecture in Singapore. He runs a production company in Bangkok, holds workshops and shares photo and filmmaking tips on his YouTube channel.
Phạm Gia Tùng from Vietnam
Tùng enjoys the photographic process – from scouting a location to finding new angles and setting up his shots, no matter how long it takes. The Hanoi-based photographer focuses on taking photos from angles people rarely consider, and constantly learning ways to improve his photography. Even though he has visited Singapore many times before, this project gave him the opportunity to appreciate and capture Singapore’s nature and people differently.
Gab Mejia from the Philippines
Gab is a National Geographic explorer and is passionate about wildlife photography and conservation. In 2021, he was awarded the World Wildlife Fund For Nature International President’s Youth Award and was also listed on the 2021 Forbes Under 30 List for The Arts in Asia for photography. His story started when his dad took him mountain climbing, sparking his interest in the natural world and the stories he could discover and capture behind it. His vision for this project is to show a different side of Singapore, capturing moments of the wild and pockets of nature.
UNSEEN/SINGAPORE will be open to the public on www.nationalgeographic.com/unseensingapore from 2 February 2023 inviting visitors to reimagine Singapore. The virtual exhibition will showcase each photographer’s ‘room’ based on their thematic-led collections. Viewers will be able to virtually visit many parts of Singapore including locations such as the Sim Kwong Ho shophouses, Pulau Ubin, Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle, Jurong Lake Gardens, Changi Chapel and Museum, and more.
To view the UNSEEN/SINGAPORE virtual exhibition, visit
To watch behind-the-scenes of UNSEEN/SINGAPORE, visit www.facebook.com/VisitSingaporeMY.
Singapore’s Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, S Iswaran, and the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, signed the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership (EUSDP), a comprehensive framework for all areas of bilateral digital cooperation between the EU and Singapore.
The partnership covers various aspects of the cross-border digital economy, including digital trade facilitation, secure data transfers, electronic payments, and standards and compliance. It also addresses cutting-edge areas like artificial intelligence (AI), digital identities, and 5G/6G. The partnership aims to enhance broader participation in the digital economy by collaborating on digital skills training for employees and the digitisation of businesses and public services.
The EU-Singapore Digital Trade Principles, the first outcome of the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership, were signed by Iswaran, as stated in a press release. This marks the beginning of a legally binding digital trade agreement between the two sides. The principles facilitate cross-border data transfers, reduce costs through electronic trade documentation and authentication, and enhance online consumer protection for people buying goods and services online.
Minister Iswaran and Commissioner Breton agreed to exchange best practices and/or develop projects in AI governance and standards and digital identities. The two sides will facilitate cross-border digital transactions and support SMEs’ digital transformation and digital skills. They also said they anticipate more joint projects between Singapore and the EU, including the EU Member States, in partnership with the private sector.
Iswaran stated that the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership strengthens connectivity and interoperability between the digital markets of the EU and Singapore. It will enable Singapore citizens and businesses to transact digitally more seamlessly and at lower costs. As a first deliverable, the officials launched a set of Digital Trade Principles, marking the first step towards a bilateral digital trade agreement that provides legal certainty for cross-border digital trade.
Digital infrastructure, such as data centres and submarine telecom cables, plays a crucial role in enabling cross-border connectivity between countries and regions. To create a secure, resilient, and sustainable digital environment for individuals and businesses, both sides will work together to promote digital infrastructure.
Furthermore, to support trusted cross-border data flows and data sharing, Singapore and the EU will work on the application of model data protection contracts and provide guidance for their use. They will also exchange information on the infrastructure and governance frameworks needed to facilitate data sharing.
The two sides will also cooperate on information sharing in platform governance and regulation. To drive the development and uptake of 5G and beyond 5G technologies, they will research use cases and possible areas of collaboration on R&D pilots. To support the deployment of AI, Singapore and the EU will encourage interoperability on AI governance, standards, and testing frameworks. Both sides will also explore cooperation on AI testbeds and research collaboration on AI.
Singapore and the EU have a strong economic partnership, built on the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA), which came into effect in November 2019. The EU is Singapore’s fourth largest goods trading partner globally, with bilateral trade in goods totalling SG$ 102 billion (US$ 78.1 billion) in 2021, which accounted for 8.8% of Singapore’s total goods trade. The EU is also Singapore’s second-largest services trade partner globally, with bilateral trade in services exceeding SG$ 67 billion (US$ 51.3 billion). Investment relations are strong, with the EU being Singapore’s second-largest foreign investor and largest overseas investment destination.
The Ministry of Communication and Informatics carried out the Digital Leadership Academy (DLA) Programme to educate regional leaders and managers of commercial firms. The course seeks to improve the digital leadership capabilities of governors, regents, mayors, and business leaders. The government offers 500 training scholarships to public and commercial sector digital leaders.
This year, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics’ Human Resources Research and Development Agency cooperates with the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Human Resources Development Agency to organise the training.
“We will conduct training and visits for 20 regional heads in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, and we have already decided on Korea,” told Hary Budiarto, Head of the Ministry of Communications and Informatics Research and Development, at the Press Conference of the Ministry of Communications and Informatics Digital Talent Provision Programme in Central Jakarta.
Hary noted that the DLA programme’s training and visitation in 2022 had been fully completed for 20 regional head participants, with Singapore serving as the destination country. The initiative will introduce another 20 regional heads in 2023, with the Ministry of Home Affairs determining the regional head qualifications. The chosen region will be picked based on various criteria, such as districts and cities with low inflation or high digital community indexes, among many others.
Last year, the ministry cooperated with the BPSDM West Java Province to host a Smart Digital Leader for the West Java Champion course. They have agreed with the Regional Secretary to choose the theme of Dignified North Sumatran Smart Digital Leader for North Sumatra, which will be completed in March.
Apart from the public sector, the DLA programme collaborates with the business sector, including the Indonesian Telematics Society (Mastel) and a U.S. tech company focusing on digital infrastructure. The event will have 200 attendees.
The DLA programme is one of the Ministry of Communication and Informatics’ digital training programmes meant to address the needs of national digital talent. President Joko Widodo has declared this programme a priority to advance the country’s digital transformation.
According to Abdullah Azwar Anas, Minister for Administrative Reform and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB), digital leadership has become crucial in today’s increasingly connected society. He mentioned that leadership would become one of the options for success in managing foundations and organisations. In terms of digital leadership, it is expected that a public leader is more responsive and technologically literate to capture messages from the public and guide the organisation in the proper direction.
Digital skills are also required to assist the government in implementing an Electronic-Based Government System (SPBE). The SPBE architecture is intended to facilitate thematic bureaucratic reforms, such as the RB eradicating poverty, the RB raising investment, and the RB accelerating the President’s genuine priorities. He emphasised five talents required for digital governance. Digital leadership skills, digital professional skills, digital socio-emotional skills, digital user skills, and 21st-century skills in society are among them.
Furthermore, when it comes to digital leadership, leaders must possess two digital talents: hard and soft skills. Mastery of public sector theory and methodology on hard skills such as organisational theory, public sector human resource management, and public policy analysis, he stated, needs to be revised. As a minor subject, it requires help for mastery of theory and methods from other disciplines, particularly competence in digital technology.
Meanwhile, leaders must have analytical skills to analyse critically and propose problem-solving ideas. A leader must also be proficient in public speaking, English, coding, creativity, dispute resolution and negotiation, and teamwork.
Two tech companies operating under Hong Kong’s Smart Government Innovation Lab have rolled out solutions that are now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
Solution I – Heritage Conservation Platform
The company under the Lab has proposed a comprehensive solution for heritage conservation that encompasses data capture, 3D modelling, and online visualisation of realistically rendered models. It supports a variety of capturing sensors and raw data types, including camera images, LiDAR point clouds, and RGB-D data, and can be used with stationary, handheld, robotic, or UAV platforms. With high-precision modelling, realistic texturing and rendering, and a lightweight web-based visualisation platform, this solution is ideal for archiving, exhibiting, renovating, and educational purposes.
The solution was designed to be applied in the areas of City Management, Education, Infrastructure, Recreation and Culture as well as Tourism.
The solution employs the latest in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics, Deep Learning, Mixed Reality as well as Virtual Reality.
In Hong Kong, there are 132 declared monuments and over 1000 historic buildings with significant heritage value. To safeguard and preserve this archaeological and architectural heritage, a comprehensive 3D surveying record is essential for future preservation and monitoring against potential damage or destruction.
Currently, LiDAR scanning and image records are widely used for digital preservation, but the disorganized data and large size make them difficult to use and constructing 3D models from raw scanning data is time-consuming and labour-intensive.
The company has developed a cutting-edge AI-assisted algorithm that can accurately convert raw captured data into 3D models at a cost-effective price. The structured 3D models have the advantage of low data volume, ease of access, and meaningful information for engineers. The solution offered is modular and covers the entire process from data collection to 3D model generation and online visualization, offering great flexibility.
To raise public awareness, promote participation, and enhance cultural tourism, the company provides a realistically rendered 3D model and a lightweight, web-browser-based visualization that can be accessed from anywhere and on any device.
Solution II – LifeOnline: Smart Personal Emergency System for Law Enforcement
Law enforcement officers face various dangers on a regular basis. LifeOnline is a tool that keeps officers, especially those working alone in remote areas, connected with their team. In emergency situations, officers can seek help from their supervisor by pressing an SOS button on their smartphone. If they encounter danger, such as falling from a height or a medical emergency, the smartwatch will notify their team.
Using long-range wireless communication technology, LoraWAN, officers can stay connected even in remote areas covered by the government’s GWIN IOT network. If necessary, portable LoraWAN gateways and concentrators can further extend network coverage. The compact size of the smartwatch allows it to be used as standard equipment for law enforcement officers in their daily operations.
The solution was designed to be applied across the areas of Health as well as Law and Security.
The solution employs the latest in Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as Mobile Technologies.
The officers are connected with their teams and could get help in dangerous and emergency situations.
The Secretary of the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology (MeitY), Alkesh Kumar Sharma, inaugurated the G20 Cyber Security Exercise and Drill for over 400 domestic and international participants as part of India’s G20 presidency.
The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) held the Cyber Security Exercise and Drill in a hybrid format. International participants from over 12 countries participated online. Domestic participants from various sectors like finance, education, telecom, ports and shipping, energy, IT/ITeS, and others attended both in person and virtually.
Speaking at the event, Sharma highlighted the fact that cyber incidents are becoming increasingly sophisticated and disruptive. They have transnational impacts and there is a pressing need for collaboration to build collective resilience against cyberattacks.
Sivagami Sundari Nanda, the Special Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), stressed the importance of a government-wide response to address cyber challenges, including cooperation with law enforcement agencies both domestically and internationally.
The event held a strategic tabletop exercise (TTX) and an operational drill using a CERT-In exercise platform. The first tabletop exercise catered to board and top management and was themed Synergy to counter Global Cyber Crisis. It focused on crisis management and crisis communication.
The second tabletop exercise, an operational drill was designed for CISO and mid-management, themed Building Collective Cyber Resilience. The scenario for the exercise, which included cyber extortion, data breach, supply chain attacks, and disruptions was derived from real-life cyber incidents, in which domestic-level (limited impact) incidents escalated to a global cyber security crisis. The exercises were successful in meeting their objectives and provided insights on enhancing and improving crisis management, crisis communication, incident response, and global coordination and cooperation.
Cybersecurity plays an increasingly important role as the world becomes more reliant on technology. Cybersecurity forms the backbone of a strong digital society, providing a trusted environment necessary to grow digital transformation and the confidence needed to advance digital adoption. Concurrently, strong cyber capability protects the economy from losses due to cybercrimes and builds the foundational capability to grow the emerging digital technology sector.
India has worked with several countries to build resilience against cyberattacks. Last year, CERT-In and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) designed and conducted the cybersecurity exercise “Synergy” for 13 countries. The initiative was part of the International Counter Ransomware Initiative-Resilience Working Group, which was led by India under the leadership of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).
The theme of the exercise was ‘Building Network Resiliency to counter Ransomware Attacks’. Similar to the G20 cybersecurity drill, the exercise scenario was derived from real-life cyber incidents. As OpenGov Asia reported, the specific objective of the exercise was to assess, share, and improve strategies and practices among member-states to build network resiliency against ransomware and cyber extortion attacks.
The exercise ‘Synergy’ was hosted by CERT-In on its exercise simulation platform. Each state participated as a National Crisis Management Team, which was made up of different government agencies including National CERTs/CSIRTs, law enforcement agencies (LEA), communication and IT/ICT ministries, and security agencies.
CERT-In was launched in 2004 by the Department of Information Technology and is currently run under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. CERT-In responds to cybersecurity incidents, reports on network vulnerabilities, and fosters effective IT security practices throughout the country. Under the provisions of the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008, CERT-In oversees the administration of the Act.
Market merchants in Quezon City, Philippines, can now apply for and book spaces and booths online using the Market One-Stop Shop platform (MOSS). According to City Administrator Michael Alimurung, the portal would identify “legal” vendor spaces free of impediments. It is also part of Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte’s ambition of making the city a desirable business location.
With the new system, the city government promises a smooth application process for renting a stall, including payment and collection of market rentals. This will also make the city treasurer’s office’s job easier because they will no longer have to collect rent in person.
To ensure that the new system is widely adopted, the local administration put free Wi-Fi connection points in barangay halls and hundreds of other public venues. A caravan will be launched to assist existing and prospective vendors in registering with the platform.
“Imagine treating the entire city as a public market. This method allows us to locate vendor locations online. It’s thinking broader by allowing us to treat the entire city in terms of how to assist our vendors,” Alimurung told at a press conference at Quezon City Hall.
Margarita Santos, director of the Quezon City Business Permits and Licensing Office, stated that the system would not replace any positions, such as market masters or market managers, but would make their tasks easier.
She stated that the MOSS would use a “first in, first out” queuing system and offer a five-year contract to the first vendor that applied for the space or stand. However, if they cannot satisfy the requirements within a specific number of days, they will be returned to the bottom of the queue,” Santos noted.
Market inspectors will check IDs supplied to registered merchants to guarantee that the correct renters occupy registered booths. Currently, over 12,000 sellers occupy public market stalls in the city. Those are our objectives. In addition, we want to incorporate 43 private markets.
According to Santos, the MOSS would also assist in eliminating red tape and corruption, such as those who reserve marketplaces and then rent them out to other merchants. Because this is an online system, we have a digital trail that allows us to see where the application took too long, who is at fault and admonish them.
Santos added that the system would also record vendor transgressions, which might result in losing their registration area or stall. She stated that registered vendors would be queued online once these areas are full until free space becomes available.
Procopio Lipana, Programmes and Projects Officer, stated that the site would make it easier for the city government and other law enforcement agencies to identify and apprehend unlawful sellers. Quezon City has an anti-hawker division and market inspectors who verify stall sizes and look for illicit merchants.
Indonesia is also working to improve digitisation in the conventional sector. Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade has targeted digitising 1,000 traditional markets and one million MSMEs as part of its digital transformation strategy. There are now 2,047 traditional markets that use local market websites through the Trade Facility Information System (TFIS), ten traditional markets that use digital marketing, and 51 conventional markets that operate QRIS for non-cash transactions.
According to Vice Minister of Trade Jerry Sambuaga, 326 traditional markets in 42 sub-districts have implemented e-retribution, 106,702 local traders, and 9.7 million MSME dealers have made non-cash transactions through QRIS.
The government of Indonesia’s digitalisation efforts have helped the country attain IDR980 trillion (US$ 63 billion), or 5.7% of GDP, by 2021. Indonesia’s GDP is predicted to reach IDR24 trillion (US$1.5 trillion) in 2030, with the digital economy accounting for 18% of GDP, or approximately IDR4,531 trillion (US$ 290 million).
Indonesia’s Central Bank (Bank Indonesia/BI) worked with five ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand, to provide cross-border payment through QR. In a series of events at the G20 Bali Summit, the five ASEAN countries agreed on Regional Payment Digital Connectivity. The collaboration will make the Indonesian Standard Quick Response Code (QRIS) more widely available in five ASEAN countries.
The Ministry of Communication and Informatics welcomed the discussion. Usman Kansong, Director General of Information and Public Communication at the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kemkominfo) asserted that the ministry supports efforts to integrate payment systems through QRIS ASEAN.
“Because it is related to the digital economy, Kominfo is very supportive; we will provide the infrastructure. For example, we are also putting together an internet network,” said Usman on the sidelines of Jakarta’s 2023 ASEAN Indonesia Chair Kick-Off event.
The five countries’ central banks have held discussions on various occasions to implement cross-border payment system connectivity in the region. Bank Indonesia began payment system connectivity cooperation with other central banks in the area, initially with five countries in the region.
The agreement will be documented as a memorandum of understanding (MOU). At the same time, this initiative demonstrates Indonesia’s regional leadership in implementing the G20 agreement.
Regional Payment Digital Connection among 5 ASEAN Countries, according to Governor of Bank Indonesia (BI) Perry Warjiyo, is a physical representation of how digital connectivity in ASEAN is an example for other countries to help economic recovery in each country regionally.
“Wherever we go in these five ASEAN countries, we can utilise QR payment, QRIS in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, and it will be a rapid payment system, instantly,” Perry explained.
Meanwhile, according to Esther Sri Astuti Soeryaningrum from an economic and finance NGO, the introduction of QRIS will aid financial integration in ASEAN. At the same time, there are still some hurdles to tackle. However, she mentioned that QRIS, as a non-cash transaction method, can help collaborating countries make cross-border payments easier without needing a money changer.
“With QRIS, we don’t have to worry about converting rupiah currency for other currencies, and we don’t have to do cash transactions, which are riskier and require a higher level of security,” she explained.
Moreover, the Indonesia Central Bank (Bank Indonesia/BI) expanded its payment cooperation network with Japan in December. The signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (NK) addressing QR-based payment by BI and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI). Dody B. Waluyo, Deputy Governor of BI, stated that the partnership on QR-based payment between BI and METI Japan would be a key concern for regulatory authorities and industry, given that the NK in question has the potential to strengthen economic relations between Indonesia and Japan.
The QR-based payment collaboration aims to accelerate cooperation on the implementation and interoperability of cross-border or country payments using QR codes, specifically the QR Code Indonesian Standard (QRIS) and the Japan Unified QR Code (JPQR). Furthermore, this collaboration will create a framework that permits QR-based payments between the two countries and other parties, such as payment system operators (SP).
The agreement marks the beginning of BI and METI Japan’s collaboration to carry out various activities related to the interconnectivity of QR-based payment systems, such as policy dialogue, technical cooperation, and the formation of working groups to ensure goals are met, such as efforts to implement QR-based cross-border payments to support people-to-people transactions in both countries. This collaboration is expected to promote payment system digitisation in both Indonesia and Japan.