KUALA LUMPUR, August 2 – The policy decisions regarding the alignment of the country’s cybersecurity ecosystem will be discussed and finalized during the Cabinet Meeting on July 19, according to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He stated that this step demonstrates the government’s seriousness and strong commitment in addressing cybersecurity challenges.

“I want to make it clear that the Unity Government will not compromise on issues related to the cybersecurity space and will not delay in taking action. “Whatever ‘shortcomings’ we have in terms of timing, we will make up for it with hard work,” said the Prime Minister at the opening ceremony of the Cyber Defence and Security Exhibition and Conference (CYDES) 2023, held in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.  His speech was delivered by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, who attended the event on behalf of the Prime Minister.

The decision to bring the issue to the Cabinet Meeting was made after Anwar chaired the first National Cybersecurity Committee Meeting last month, which discussed important decisions to strengthen cybersecurity in Malaysia.  Anwar stated that the unanimous meeting confirmed the National Cybersecurity Agency (NACSA) as the central cybersecurity agency reporting directly to the Prime Minister, with various measures to enhance cybersecurity being integrated under the agency’s umbrella.

He said this would ensure centralized coordination and enable the government to establish a cohesive and comprehensive strategy in countering cyber threats, strengthening efforts, and maximizing collective effectiveness.  The Prime Minister stated that the meeting also agreed that the expeditious drafting of the Cybersecurity Act was necessary to ensure a robust legal framework with good governance to effectively address evolving cyber threats.

“The Cybersecurity Act will give NACSA clear legislative powers to regulate and enforce laws related to cybersecurity, thereby enhancing their effectiveness. “CyberSecurity Malaysia, a government-owned assurance company that plays a crucial role in strengthening the cybersecurity ecosystem in Malaysia, will be placed under NACSA to avoid duplication and confusion,” he added.

Meanwhile, Anwar emphasized that the maintenance of a secure cyber ecosystem can only be achieved through good governance and effective strategies with measurable outcomes, and thus, the government must lead by example in establishing a secure and resilient cyber ecosystem. To achieve this goal, he said the government sector must strengthen its capacity to address cybersecurity challenges and collaborate with all relevant stakeholders.

Referring to CYDES 2023, Anwar expressed his hope that the event will serve as an important platform, with capacity-building and cybersecurity awareness being continuously developed and expanded. CYDES, organized by the National Security Council (MKN), NACSA, and Alpine Integrated Solution Sdn Bhd (Alpine), runs from today until July 13 at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), under the theme ‘Building Cyber Resilience: Protecting the Digital Future’.

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