Malaysia, Thailand should renew bilateral agreement to deepen cooperation

BANGKOK, June 21 (NNN-Bernama) — Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister Annuar Musa urged Malaysia and Thailand to renew bilateral agreements to deepen cooperation in the field of telecommunications, broadcasting and creative industries.

“I hope an agreement would be signed before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting (in November) to boost bilateral cooperation,” he told Bernama.

Annuar who was on a working visit to Bangkok since last Friday said though it is a brief visit, he was satisfied with the outcome.

“I’am happy that we have learned a lot of things during the visit, including exploring the ties at the officials, ministries and national level,” said Annuar who flew back home on Tuesday.

On Monday, he visited the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT) to learn about Thailand’s experience in combating fake news.

Annuar also met the Chairman of NBTC Dr Sarana Boonbaichaiyapruck and Director General of Public Relations Department (PRD) Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd where they discussed on various issues and efforts in tackling fake news.

The NBTC is an independent state broadcasting and telecommunications regulator. Its responsibilities including regulate all broadcasting and telecommunication services in the country through formulating a master plan on broadcasting and telecommunications activities and setting criteria and categories of broadcasting and telecommunication services and granting licenses to the broadcasting and telecommunication operators.

NBT, the broadcasting arm of the PRD that operates comprehensive media services comprising radio, television networks.

Meanwhile, Annuar said media literacy could help Malaysia stay ahead in the fight against fake news.

He said media literacy would develop stronger ‘antibody’ or resistance among the community, especially among students in a bid to curb unverified news on social media platforms.

“Fake news is just like a virus… difficult to do away. The best possible method is to build antibody to fight the virus. So, for the government, we have to make sure the people have the capacity to detect misinformation and at the same time encourage the people to disseminate right information.

“We need to educate the people and community as well as collaborate with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to curb fake news,” he said.

Annuar said Thailand has been very active in combating disinformation including providing training, organise programme and creating awareness as well as conducting survey and research.

“There are interesting things implemented in Thailand that we have yet to do. Therefore, I have requested MCMC to follow up,” he said.