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SPEECH OF
YANG BERHORMAT PEHIN ORANG KAYA AMAR PAHLAWAN DATO SERI SETIA AWANG HAJI ZAKARIA BIN DATU MAHAWANGSA AWANG HAJI SULAIMAN, MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS
AT THE LAUNCHING OF THE NGN FORUM DAN SHOWCASE CENTRE EMPIRE HOTEL
02 RABIULAWAL 1425H/ 22 APRIL 2004M

BISMILLAHIR RAHMAANIR RAHIM
ASSALAMU’ALAIKUM WARAHMATULLAHI WABARAKATUH

Alhamdullilah, kita bersyukur kehadrat Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala kerana dengan limpah rahmatNya jua kita dapat bersama-sama hadir di Majlis yang berkebajikan pada hari ini. Segala puji bagi Allah Subhanahu Wataala, selawat serta salam ke atas Junjungan Besar kita Nabi Muhammad Sallahu ‘Alaihi Wassalam, kepada keluarga, sahabat dan pengikut-pengikut Baginda yang setia lagi jujur hingga ke akhir zaman.

Firstly, allow me to record my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Acting Director of Telecoms for inviting me to be the Guest of Honour and to officially open the NGN Forum and Showcase Centre this morning.

Similar words of appreciation and thanks to Huawei Technologies for helping to organise this forum and bringing a host of worldwide info-communication service providers to Brunei Darussalam to showcase the Next Generation Network technology as well as their capabilities.

I was also made to understand that Huawei Technologies is setting up an NGN showcase centre here in Brunei Darussalam which will officially be opened this morning after the opening ceremony of this forum. The centre will also showcase the network’s capabilities and facilities to the consumers in Brunei Darussalam as well as telecom service providers in this region. Telecommunication Industry

The 21st Century telecommunication industry is an ever growing and ever changing industry with rapid technological advancement. The convergence of info-communication and broadcasting has brought about accelerated growth of this industry. Internet usage is evidently common nowadays and these have in many ways change the way people live, think, work, and communicate whereby accurate and timely information are always necessary in our daily lives.

In the past, the general public would be quite satisfied with the basic telecommunication services such as telephony, telex and fax. However, with the public’s affluence and increased level of knowledge, these basic services are no longer adequate.

Insya’Allah, to meet the public expectation, customers in Brunei Darussalam, with the completion of the NGN services, they would have access to a plethora of multimedia services. Besides the NGN, the government would be introducing the 3G system in the near future and customers would be able to access new mobile services such as Mobile Internet and Mobile Banking.

Information Society

In developed countries, we found that one of the new economic wealth generator is the knowledge based economy or the K-economy. What do we understand of K-economy? K-economy can be defined as an economy that relies primarily on the use of ideas rather than physical abilities, on the application of technology rather than the transformation of raw materials or the exploitation of cheap labour. It can also be defined as an economy that is about knowledge and the ability to create new value and wealth. Wealth is measured by the results of the knowledge that is inventively applied. A knowledge driven economy is one in which the generation and exploitation of knowledge play the predominant part in the creation of wealth.

Here in Brunei Darussalam, we are in the transition stage towards k-economy. Brunei Darussalam has the infrastructure to support the implementation of k-economy. Brunei Darussalam has sophisticated infrastructure such as the RAGAM-21, international submarine cable systems, the GPRS mobile or 2.5G, the new NGN, and interactive Internet applications that are capable of speedy transmission and retrieval of information. Information are processed and retrieved to generate value and shared regardless of time and boundaries.

The shift to K-economy requires well informed-societies. This would require comprehensive involvement from all stakeholders including the government, private, public organisation and other related organisations.

Recently, Brunei Darussalam participated in the World Summit on Information Society or WSIS. The first Summit agreed on a vision to “declare our common desire and commitment to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life”.

Brunei Darussalam together with the global community are committed to achieve this vision through development programs either at national or international levels. These include:

i. Development of national e-strategies, including the necessary human capacity building by all countries by 2005, taking into account different national circumstances.

ii. Initiate at the national level a structured dialogue involving all relevant stakeholders, including through public/private partnerships, in devising e-strategies for the Information Society and for the exchange of best practices.

As Brunei Darussalam’s consistent and committed follow up to WSIS, the Ministry of Communications with the consent of His Majesty’s Government has planned to organize the National Summit on Information Society or NASIS.

Insya’Allah, the National Summit will be opened to all stakeholders in Brunei Darussalam to discuss issues related to the establishment of an Information Society: the vision, technical, ethics, education, legal, contents, promotion, industry, security and others. It is intended that NASIS will be successful in creating a comprehensive Information Society’s strategic chart for Brunei Darussalam that will be agreed by all parties.

Next Generation Network

In the context of JTB’s NGN technology, I hope that the future proof technology can withstand the test of time and continue to provide secure and safe services in terms of information transmission as the system has maximum security and safety facilities.

As a result, I believe that we are heading forward in technical terms towards the establishment of an Information Society.

However, along the process, more have to be done for example improving the access and usage of ICT among government officers and staff, private sectors, students and the public in general and to create confidence when doing electronic transactions through these services.

In facing and handling these new technologies, importantly we have to change our mindset to accept and adapt these technologies and committed to use them to improve our productivity and effectiveness. Everyone of us must be ready to learn new things and adapt to new environment based on these new technologies. Without the readiness, we would only be left with delusions. Multitude of Services

I am made to understand that through the NGN system, a host of new service will be available to the consumers such as EG bandwidth, virtual private network, high speed internet access, multimedia services. It is up to the relevant users to fully utilise this technology to improve their productivity, efficiency and competitiveness.

Apart for that, the system also provide platforms for small and medium entrepreneurs in this country to think of creative ways and create info-communication business opportunities such as content development, software development and business portals to support the development of info-communication industry in Brunei Darussalam.

“Dengan bertawakal kehadrat Allah Subhanahu Wataala jua dan mengucapkan kalimah BISMILLAHIR RAHMAN NIR RAHIM, I officially declare the NGN Forum open”.

WABILLAHIT TAUFIQ WALHIDAYAH
WASSALAMUALAIKUM WARAHMATULLAHI WABARKATUH

(c) Ministry of Communications