By Syazwani Hj Rosli
Asia News Network
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
The two-day meeting, officially launched Tuesday by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, saw delegates holding discussions focussing on the sharing of best practices to address the challenges emerging from the prevalence of cybercrime.
Initiating discussions, Attorney General of Brunei Darussalam Dato Paduka Haji Hairol Arni bin Haji Abdul Majid as Chairperson of the conference, informed the meeting that the conference’s theme ‘Enhancing Capabilities and Cooperation in Addressing Cybercrime’ was selected due to cybercrime’s increasing negative effects on society.
"I hope that the deliberations and discussions during the conference would allow the participating countries and their prosecutors to derive best practices from each other, as part of an overall effort to constantly improve existing mechanisms as well as to advocate and formulate new measures which are practical and efficient to address transnational crime," he said.
Following up on the Attorney General’s statements, Prosecutor General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China Zhang Jun as conference co-chair, expressed his gratitude to the Government of Brunei Darussalam for hosting the conference.
"The year 2018 marks the 15th anniversary of the ‘Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity’ joint declaration between China and ASEAN, where both sides have agreed to work together for mutual benefit, adhering to the themes of cooperation and development," he said.
"The China-ASEAN Prosecutor-General conference mechanism had brought ASEAN member states and China closer together.
"Together we’ve also achieved milestones such as the setting up of an official website for the ‘China-ASEAN Prosecutor General Conference’ and the establishment of a training base for China-ASEAN prosecutors in Guangxi Province in China."
He added that he hoped to see the continued convening of the conference to foster high-level exchange visits, judiciary assistance in criminal cases, as well as direct cooperation among prosecutorial organs in border regions to stamp out transnational crime so as to contribute to regional peace, stability and common prosperity.
Commenting on the conference’s theme, Zhang stated that cybercrime remains "an arduous challenge for all countries in the world", and that it is the "obligatory social responsibility" for prosecutorial organs to crack down on cybercrime and protect information security.
He urged his fellow conference delegates to continue working to break through traditional modes of legal cooperation in order to more effectively fight cybercrime.
The first day of the conference yesterday saw several keynote speeches being delivered by heads of delegations from the China-ASEAN region as well as representatives from Hong Kong and Macau.
Brunei Darussalam’s keynote speech was delivered by Solicitor General and Head of the delegation of Brunei Darussalam Zuraini binti Haji Sharbawi.
Zuraini highlighted the pressing need to "formulate appropriate and innovative ways to combat cybercrime and to ensure that perpetrators do not get away with circumventing the laws and regulations", especially in light of the rise in cyber-attacks on institutions and businesses, as well as the increased use of social media to breed extremism and terrorism.
In addition to the various initiatives taken by the Brunei government – in particular the Attorney General’s Chambers – in addressing cybercrime, she also informed the conference that countries need to better combat the problem, through effective legislation concerning data preservation, the use of informal networks in order to facilitate international cooperation, as well as increasing information sharing amongst each other.
A gala dinner, which included traditional performances showcasing the cultural heritage of Brunei Darussalam, was hosted in the evening for the conference delegates by Dato Paduka Haji Hairol Arni.