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Malaysia, Singapore Sign MoU on Data Protection, Cybersecurity and Digital Economy

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (left) and his counterpart from Singapore Lee Hsien Loong (right) witness Memorandum of Understanding on promoting Cooperation in Data, Cyber Security and Digital Economy signing ceremony between Malaysian Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil (second, left) and his counterpart from Singapore, Josephine Teo (second, right) at the Istana today. -Bernama pic

Malaysia and Singapore today (Jan 30) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of personal data protection, cybersecurity and digital economy.

The MoU was signed by Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil and his Singapore counterpart Josephine Teo, duly witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong at The Istana.

The Communications and Digital Ministry (KKD) said this was following the agreement by both countries on October 2018 to explore the cooperation in all three fields and the ministry had agreed to the proposal and the process of updating and incorporating the field of cooperation in the MoU had since begun.

It said among the areas of cooperation on personal data protection would be exchange of knowledge and expertise on best practices relating to personal data protection policies and regulations, education and capacity building programmes, and enforcement efforts as well as facilitation of mechanisms to promote cross-border data flows.

"The cooperation also includes development and implementation of the Asean Cross-Border Data Flow Mechanism under the Asean Framework on Digital Data Governance and exchange of information regarding potential or ongoing cross-border data protection or do-not-call incidents or investigations, involving persons or organisations," it said in a statement today.

Additionally, the cooperation includes the development of joint initiatives between the participants to enable the industry to collaborate on data-driven innovation.

Meanwhile, Communications and Digital Ministry said the cooperation on cybersecurity includes exchange of knowledge and expertise on best practices, coordination and organization of cybersecurity capacity building activities and exchange of information on analyses, experiences and guidance regarding cyberattacks and cybersecurity incidents, concerns or threats.

"It also includes designation of an authorised national cybersecurity lead agency by each participant for the purpose of establishing an annual Malaysia-Singapore Cybersecurity Roundtable."

On digital economy, the ministry noted that the agreement involves exchange of information on best practices, policies and regulations, including on digitalisation, interoperable standards, and new emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technology such as blockchain.

"Also included is the cooperation and collaboration on joint initiatives to promote and support the growth of electronic commerce, digital economy and the interoperability of standards, including but not limited to electronic signatures and authentication, electronic transferrable records and electronic invoicing frameworks," it said.

According to the ministry, an MoU in the field of information and communications cooperation between both governments was sealed and signed by Malaysia's Minister of Communications and Multimedia and Singapore's Minister of Communications and Information during the latter's visit to Malaysia on Feb 19, 2016.

"The MoU will come into effect after the date of signing and will remain in effect for a period of 5 + 5 years until Feb 2026, and specifically covers the cooperation in the field of media and information," it added.


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