Amendments to Telecommunications Act to be tabled 'very soon': Yaacob Ibrahim

SINGAPORE - Amendments to the Telecommunications Act will be tabled in Parliament "very soon" while changes to the Films Act will follow suit next year (2017), said Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim.

His comments on Saturday (Oct 1) followed the launch of the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Friday (Sept 30).

The new agency - which comes from the merger of the Infocomm Development Authority and the Media Development Authority - is mandated to help Singapore seize opportunities in the converging infocomm and media sectors.

Dr Yaacob did not say what the amendments to the Acts are.

The priority for IMDA is to ensure that businesses which are both in media and IT "understand that convergence is something we cannot avoid", said Dr Yaacob on the sidelines of a dialogue session with young people from the Malay/Muslim community.

"But within convergence there are opportunities. Business development is something that IMDA will look into very actively," he added.

Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister-in-charge of Cyber Security and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, said the underlying philosophy is that the Government will be "pro-business".

At the same time, it has to focus on manpower development for emerging areas such as cybersecurity, he said.

At the event, held at The Central @ Clarke Quay, members of the audience - who are from the information and communications technology sector - raised issues such as funding support and a lack of recognition, by their community, for their contributions to the sector.

Said Dr Yaacob: "We agree we need to do more... (such as) work with the media to make sure that people who have done well in the IT sector... be given some publicity.

"Parents can (then) realise these are new options for their children instead of going for the safe option of being a doctor, lawyer or engineer."