Malaysian authorities are taking steps to make citizens more Internet-savvy as the Covid-19 coronavirus causes panic online and in real life.
The Communications and Multimedia Ministry rolled out training programmes and more initiatives to address cyber threats as part of Safer Internet Day (SID) 2020.
In line with this year’s theme of Digital Fluency, the ministry and CyberSecurity Malaysia launched an outreach programme CyberSAFE (Cyber Security Awareness for Everyone), which aimed to educate Malaysian youths and school children on safe and responsible Internet habits.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who attended the event last Tuesday, revealed a Cyber Security Modular Professional Certification pilot project was also being introduced to train up more local cybersecurity experts.
“With this project, we hope to enhance the competency of existing cybersecurity practitioners, nurture new and trusted cybersecurity professionals and enhance the competitiveness of the country’s cybersecurity sector,” she said.
Meanwhile, Touch ‘n Go announced that its e-wallet has adopted the national QR standard DuitNow QR, going live with the system by July 2020.
Soon TNG e-wallet users will also be able to instantly transfer funds to other e-wallets or bank accounts by using DuitNow.
Payments Network Malaysia (PayNet), the company behind DuitNow QR, said this adds another e-wallet brand to its current ecosystem of 38 banks, e-wallets and non-bank acquirers.
PayNet Group chief executive officer Peter Schiesser said e-wallet providers were incurring substantial merchant acquisition costs as each company signed up the same merchants on to their respective proprietary networks, which could be avoided using DuitNow QR.
In another treat for tech fans, Samsung has launched its latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S20 series, which come in three variants: the S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra 5G.
While previous generations normally offered two variants, usually a standard size smartphone and slightly larger version, this generation has a third, the S20 Ultra 5G which has 5G compatibility.
The S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra 5G are priced at RM3,599, RM3,999 and RM4,999 respectively.
Pre-order is available at Samsung e-stores and selected Samsung authorised partners including Maxis, Celcom and Digi.
The campaign runs until Feb 26 and the phone will be available from March onwards. For more info, check out the Samsung Galaxy S20 pre-order website.
Meanwhile, a different kind of shopping craze was taking place in Singapore, as citizens emptied supermarket shelves and stocked up on essential supplies.
Bloomberg reported on pictures circulated online that showed long lines of people trying to buy rice, instant noodles, toilet paper and sanitisation products. Online grocers including Amazon.com Inc and Redmart Ltd were also reportedly overbooked to a point of having only limited delivery slots.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong tried to calm the crowds in a Facebook post, saying there was no reason to panic or hoard items as there were ample supplies.
Even European conferences like Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 were not safe from the virus, as health and travel concerns forced its organisers GSMA to cancel the huge mobile technology event scheduled to run from Feb 24-27.
GSMA Ltd chief executive officer John Hoffman said global concern regarding the Covid-19 outbreak made it “impossible” to hold the event.
The decision came about following the exodus of more than a dozen key exhibitors from MWC, as a report by Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia speculated that the absence of these companies could leave nearly 10% of the event space unfilled.
Hoffman said the host city, Barcelona, which stood to earn millions of euros in tourism income, respected GSMA’s decision and would continue working together for MWC 2021 and future editions.