The Week That Was: Dialling up changes

Health director general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah holding the placard of MySejahtera app which come with Check-In features, Covid-19 hot spot tracker and soon, e-wallet. — MOHD SAHAR MISNI/The Star

As the country enters the recovery movement control order (RMCO) phase which will go on until Aug 31, the tech sector saw a number of changes.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) got a new chairman – Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek – who is replacing Al-Ishsal Ishak. Fadhlullah Suhaimi was offered a two-year tenure.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said in a statement that Fadhlullah Suhaimi has 20 years of experience in the telecommunications sector and is a former commission member.

Saifuddin also appointed Tan Sri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa as his telecommunications adviser in the ministry. Zamzamzairani, who is currently the UEM Sunrise Bhd chairman, previously served as CEO and managing director at Telekom Malaysia.

In light of the new normal due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Saifuddin said improvements will be made to MCMC policies that will cover three main aspects: infrastructure, 5G readiness and institutional governance.

“Efforts to improve broadband infrastructure with wider coverage and better quality in cities, sub-urban and rural areas will be accelerated. In terms of 5G readiness, the strategy for spectrum allocation will be improved to ensure optimum usage,” he said.

He added that the industry structure will also be reviewed to ensure long-term sustainability that is aligned with customers’ needs.

Saifuddin also announced the formation of the Communications and Multimedia Consultative Council (MPKM) to create a platform for the government to discuss and gain an understanding from all stakeholders on policies and measures related to telecommunication and multimedia.

MPKM is chaired by Saifuddin and its members include Pikom chairman Danny Lee, media figure Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar and Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA) chairman Datuk Dr Paul Selvarajah.

Youths from the age of 18 to 30 years old are also encouraged to contribute their ideas and suggestions through the Ideas4KKMM website to help improve the ministry’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan.

Those that offer the best 10 ideas, which must be conveyed via an essay, will be invited to a special discussion session with Saifuddin and receive a prize.

The minister also announced the appointment of Datuk Dr Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff as the new chairman of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), effective from June 15 for two years.

Saifuddin described him as an entrepreneur with a wide range of experience in the business, information technology and communication fields.

Rais Hussin has a doctorate in business administration from the International Islamic University Malaysia and is also the author of the book 4IR: AI, Blockchain, Fintech – Reinventing A Nation.

In a tweet posted on June 13, Rais Hussin described his MDEC appointment as an “immense responsibility”, as he will be in charge of Malaysia’s digital journey.

“For my critics, please continue providing constructive criticism so together we can rebuild digital Malaysia,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysians are adjusting to the new normal under the RMCO which allows for interstate travel, schools to reopen for Form Five and Form Six students, and businesses to resume normal operating hours.

However, Malaysians must still maintain social distancing and observe SOP (standard operating procedure) to curb the spread of Covid-19.

They must still provide their name and phone number before entering a shop or other business premises, as the info is vital for Covid-19 contact tracing.

The government also encouraged everyone to download the MySejahtera app which offers a Check-In feature, Covid-19 hotspot tracker and digital healthcare services from Doctor On Call.

The download for the app spiked – recording about 700,000 registrations within a minute – after the government announced that eligible Malaysians must register for MySejahtera to receive the RM50 e-wallet credit as part of the Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) initiative.

The National Security Council tweeted that close to 2.5 million people have downloaded the app as of June 12.

Those who qualify will also receive an additional RM50 in the form of discount vouchers and additional credit through cashback. Only Malaysians aged 18 and above with a yearly income of less than RM100,000 will be eligible, and the credit must be used for purchases at physical shops and not online platforms.

In a Facebook post, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) warned that sharing bank account information on social media to receive duit raya from others, though apt during the Covid-19 pandemic, could lead to being targeted by scammers.

“You may be contacted by certain individuals pretending to be a police, bank or immigration officer, claiming that you have committed an offence and are required to transfer out your money immediately,” PDRM posted, adding that many people are still falling for this old tactic.

The police advised the public not to entertain such calls and to contact the nearest police station or the CCID infoline at 03-2111222 to verify claims made by such callers.

During MCO and conditional MCO from March 18 to May 18, PDRM recorded a 20% increase in Macau scam cases with losses amounting to RM480,000.

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