In a recent gathering at the 16th Conference of ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information (AMRI) in Da Nang, Malaysia showcased its robust measures to counter the rising tide of digital misinformation.
- Blocking Suspicious Activities: With the collaboration of telecom service providers, Malaysia thwarted nearly two billion dubious calls and 581 million questionable SMS from reaching its citizens.
- Addressing Public Concerns: From 2020 to April 2023, the Communications and Digital Ministry recorded 8,499 complaints related to online scams, leading to the shutdown of 3,370 phishing websites.
- The 2P Strategy: Malaysia’s approach to digital misinformation revolves around two core principles: prevention and protection.
- Inter-agency Task Force: To combat misinformation, Malaysia has established a multi-agency task force, including the Royal Malaysia Police and the Attorney General Chambers.
- Fact-Checking Platforms: The nation introduced Sebenarnya.my and MyCheck Malaysia, with the former receiving an impressive 4.8 million hits monthly, marking its effectiveness.
- ASEAN’s Role: The AMRI’s theme emphasized the evolution of media and the importance of converting information into knowledge for a resilient ASEAN.
Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil, who led the Malaysian delegation, stressed the significance of equipping the public with the necessary tools and knowledge to safeguard themselves online. He highlighted the nation’s commitment to “educating and empowering” its citizens.
Addressing the challenges of the digital age, Minister Fadzil remarked on the rapid transformation of media. He noted the shift from traditional print, which delivered news the following day, to the current digital platforms that provide real-time updates. “Knowledge is the key to resilience, and the media’s role in this transformation is pivotal,” he added.
The minister also touched upon Malaysia’s active participation in ASEAN initiatives, especially in raising awareness among the younger generation. Programs such as the ASEAN Mural Drawing Competition and ASEAN Quiz Competition have been instrumental in this endeavor.
Vietnam’s Vice President, Vo Thi Anh Xuan, in her inaugural address, emphasized the urgency of disseminating accurate information and converting it into actionable knowledge. She underscored the importance of AMRI as a platform for ASEAN nations to align their priorities and collaborate towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.