The digital future is no longer tomorrow’s reality, and Brunei is poised to explore technological advancements geared towards the 4th Industrial Revolution through the increasing level of digitisation across the nation’s economic sectors.
BAHDigital stands at the forefront of this journey, with an online platform that curates strategic content aimed to inspire Bruneians, and help them to aspire in becoming digital-savvy citizens.
The launch of BAHDigital’s hallmark video, broadcast on government platforms and Radio Television Brunei (RTB), will showcase a digital way of life in Brunei filled with opportunities and potential, made easier by technology.
So easy that even our Nini in Kuala Belait can wake us up via video-call for Subuh prayer in Bandar. Imagine being able to use drones to send medicine to our loved ones who live in remote areas. Or being able to present the horticulture of Temburong in real-time to a classroom of students back in Bandar. The hallmark video gives a glimpse of the technological aspirations that can enhance and facilitate our unique Bruneian way of life.
Since its launch in April 2020, the BAHDigital campaign has made numerous efforts in contributing and raising awareness on the nation’s digital and tech-related initiatives, big or small; from home business owners using social media to reach their audience, to the large-scale impact that government-led endeavours have had, such as the creation of BruHealth and other e-government processes.
Recent statistics from BAHDigital’s online questionnaires show that Bruneians have become more dependent on the use of technology for convenience and look forward to more technological-based solutions, with 84 per cent reporting an increase in their online shopping habits during the pandemic, and 76 per cent have bought from local online, home-based sellers. From e-commerce to e-government, 81 per cent show keenness for more e-government apps. On e-health, 77 per cent are open to scheduling virtual appointments as it provides more flexibility and saves time.
The campaign, led by the Digital Economy Council (DEC) of Brunei Darussalam in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE), Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC), Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry (AITI) and Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd (DA), pushes technical explorations and reviews for six channels of the nation’s key economic players: Health, Tourism, Gig Economy, Education, e-Commerce and e-Government.
2020 saw a tremendous increase in the adoption of digitisation due to the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been captured through BAHDigital’s articles and videos on Bruneians integrating technology into everyday life as part of the new norm. This includes the increase in delivery apps such as HeyDomo, GoMamam and Tapow — and in the midst of the pandemic, GoMamam built a list of 90 delivery drivers to cope with the heightened demands for takeaways, and in education the necessity of e-learning during the home-based learning period was emphasised. The BAHDigital platform has also introduced tools that can be used by entrepreneurs to develop and expand their businesses with easy, 101-esque tutorials, like how to build a website. BAHDigital’s Hari Raya video series also highlighted how celebrations and expectations have changed from the physical to the digital, with the heartfelt story of a Bruneian family celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri over the decades.
“Transformation to a Digital Economy is one of the catalysts in our pursuit of economic prosperity and sustainability.”
This statement by the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II, as Co-Chair of the DEC, Brunei Darussalam Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah in the ‘Digital Economy Masterplan 2035’ encapsulates the importance of adopting this transformation to move forward and realise Vision 2035 as a ‘Smart Nation’, together.
With government initiatives such as the urgent influx of online payment services, renewals and recruitment processes, other organisations are also adapting to the evolving business environment due to technology and customer demand. Step by step, nearly every aspect of life in Brunei is being influenced in a digital manner.
BAHDigital’s ‘Digital Way Forward for Government Processes’ article highlights how many of Brunei’s civil services have begun to embrace technology, including the QueUp app for booking time slots when visiting the Immigration and National Registration Department, Post Office, Health Screening Centre and Land Transport Department Headquarters.
It has saved applicants many hours of waiting, and this is a promising start for modernising government processes.
Bah. The 4th Industrial Revolution has already arrived. Are you ready?