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Bismillahir Rahmannir Rahim
His Excellency Bin Chhin, Permanent Deputy
Prime Minister, Acting Minister in Charge of Office of the Council of
Ministers, a High Representative of Samdech Akka Maha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen,
the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia,
His Excellency Tram Iv Tek, Minister of Posts
and Telecommunication of the Kingdom of Cambodia,
ASEAN Ministers, TELMIN Leaders, Dialogue
Partners and Members of delegations,
The Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN, His Excellency Mr. Lim Hong Hin Excellences,
Ladies and Gentlemen
Assalamualaikum and a very good
1. Speaking as Chairman of the
16th ASEAN Telecommunication & IT Minister Meeting let me at the outset,
extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to The Honorable Bin Chhin,
Permanent Deputy Prime Minister, Acting Minister in Charge of the Council of
Ministers, for his presence today to grace the opening of the 17th ASEAN
Telecommunications & IT Ministers Meeting.
2. Your presence today, Excellency,
illustrates the importance and the commitment that the Government of the
Kingdom of Cambodia attaches to the progress and unity of ASEAN, especially
through ASEAN’s collaboration in telecommunication.
3. Through you, Excellency, let
me also express our thanks and appreciation to the Government and people of the
Kingdom of Cambodia, for their gracious hospitality accorded to us throughout
our stay in this ancient city of Siem Reap. It is indeed a great privilege for
me to be able to walk down the memory lane after my last visit some 17 years
4. This year marks the 50th
anniversary of the formation of ASEAN in 1967.
This meeting therefore, a fitting occasion to reaffirm our commitment to
bring ASEAN closer to the people, to build an inclusive, peaceful, prosperous,
resilient and caring ASEAN Community.
5. As we celebrate this long
years of establishment, we take this special moment to reflect upon the various
progress that ASEAN has achieved through time and challenges.
6. From a humble beginning with
the common endeavor to promote cooperation for economic progress and peace,
ASEAN has emerged as a regional alliance to forge a common purpose of unity in
diversity and to embrace the ideal of common prosperity through economic and
social integration among the community of South East Asian nations.
7. Through high and lows, and
through the testing times of regional and global developments, ASEAN has
strived to be what it is now, an ASEAN Community in its own unique way,
threading through challenges leveraging on friendship and cooperation.
8. The ICT Development Index
2017, which was recently launched by the International Telecommunications Union
offers a useful benchmark on ICT development that takes into consideration the
key requirements of access, usage and skills.
9. Most relevant in our context
is the glaring gaps and disparity which are quite glaring and indicates the
existence of digital divide within ASEAN.
10. The difference in access
alone, such as on those related to availability of computer and internet access
at a household, reflect the immediate need to address even the most basic
necessities for the users to appreciate ICT and its potential.
11. The modest levels of
subscription strongly suggest the need to call for greater awareness on the
essentials of digital literacy that would gradually spur demand for the
12. Also closely related is the
level of ICT usage in ASEAN, as there remains a myriad of challenging issues
that contributes to underlying reasons for the prevailing situation.
13. One inherent aspect in some
countries is the dispersion of wider distribution of population and complexity
in geographical terrain. The option for Universal Services Obligation, as a
means to provide access to the underserved areas, has its own dynamics
especially at a time of economic challenge. A weak business case often hinders
our effort in making further progress to build more broadband
14. We, nevertheless, must remain
adamant on the important role of ICT to the economic growth and ensure an
equitable development for our people through equal access and efficiency of ICT
15. More than two decades ago, we
saw the emergence of the third industrial revolution characterized by the
development of electronic and information technology.
16. This, in turn, has paved the
way for powerful innovation and creative ideas that enhances efficiency and
automation in process and production.
17. ICT now cuts across all
aspects of life, fused between physical, digital and biological spheres, with a
very fine line dividing among them.
18. Building on this trend, many
now believe that we are on the verge of the 4th Industrial Revolution that will
fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another.
19. We may have already witnessed
the development of so called disruptive innovations with the emergence of the
Internet of Everything, OTT, the block chain and many others that challenge the
traditional norms and wisdom.
20. Given the magnitude of these
changes, in terms of scope, velocity and complexity, the turn of event would
not be something that we have seen before…. and the transformational effect of
this development is yet to be witnessed by the human race…
21. But, one thing is clear,
according to the World Economic Forum, the response to it must be integrated
and comprehensive involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the
public and private sectors to academia and the civil society.
22. This is where I see the
importance of our meeting in Cambodia today, to take stock of the major
developments that have taken place and to ensure that ASEAN remains at the
forefront of technological revolution.
23. As a proviso, I feel, ASEAN
must endeavor to invest in infrastructure and human capital to enhance its ICT
24. We must promote equitable
development, with connectivity and easy access to internet, and that our people
must be nurtured to show high degree of passion in ICT.
25. The ASEAN ICT Master Plan
2020 has set out a clear roadmap to achieve these objectives. It involves among
others, the development of human capacity and creating awareness on ICT even at
an early age.
26. ASEAN too has been very
creative, in that, we are also exploring ways and means in which we can
facilitate the mobile segment of the ASEAN population with easier access to
internet with price transparency wherever they are in any part of ASEAN.
27. A connected and innovative
community of ASEAN will no doubt elevate ASEAN’s economic standing to a higher
level, as the most progressive and dynamic region in the world stage.
28. As a single market ASEAN with
combined GDP of US$2.5 trillion, ASEAN is already among the largest economies
in the world.
29. As we touch on innovation, we cannot
ignore the fact that the cyber world remains vulnerable to all kind of
exploitation and attack by ill-intent intruders. This can have a devastating
effect on large institutions such as the banking sectors, medical institution,
power generation and even the digital economy as a whole.
30. Cyber Security in my view, is
partly an issue of on-going race between the champions of IT and the baddies
who seek to profit by undermining innovation and creativity. For the small few, it is also a platform for
manipulation and criminal intent.
31. ASEAN’s collaboration in
Cyber Security will be elevated to a higher plain, as we endorsed the ASEAN
Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy. This
will hopefully lead to the formation a coordinated regional actions in the form
of ASEAN Computer Response Team or ASEAN CERT.
32. In addition, we also welcome
the convening of ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity hosted by
Singapore as a very useful platform to discuss and to have an in-depth analysis
on all aspects of Cyber Security.
33. The forum also involved
important players and stakeholders coming from the regulators, industries,
academia and the nongovernmental organisation. For that we would like to
express our appreciation to Singapore for taking the leadership role in ASEAN
on Cyber Security.
34. Finally, Excellency, let me
also take this opportunity, as the outgoing Chairman of TELMIN, to express my
sincere thanks to ASEAN Member States for the support and assistance extended
to Brunei Darussalam throughout our tenure as Chair of the 16th ASEAN
35. My heartfelt thanks
especially to the Senior Officials, members of the Working Groups, the
Governing Council, ASEAN Telecommunications Regulators Council (ATRC), ASEAN
ICT Centre and of course, members of the ASEAN Secretariat for their hard work
and dedications in bringing our progress to a higher level.
36. I would also like to express
my best wishes to the incoming Chairman, The Honourable Tram Iv Tek, Minister
of Posts and Telecommunication of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and to assure him of
our full support and cooperation. I am confident that with his wisdom and vast
experience, the 17th ASEAN TELMIN Meeting will come to a fruitful conclusion.
Aw Kun Ch’rn / Thank you.
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