Committed to connecting the world


World Telecommunication Development Conference 2014


Statement by H.E. Mr. Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Malaysia

Mr Chairman, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

1. On behalf of Malaysia, I thank you for the opportunity to address this Conference. Thank you, also to United Arab Emirates for the excellent arrangements.


2. My delegation and I would like to take the opportunity to thank our friends who have shown concern and provided words of support since I arrived in Dubai, in the wake of what has happened, to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370.

3. We are, as a nation, still coming to grips with what has happened. Despite the initial shock, we have invoked procedures in line with international requirements, to the best of our abilities. This has been an unprecedented incident for us. We have also learnt that whilst ICT has helped us tremendously, in this instance, the rapid development of social media has also caused unprecedented challenges.

4. Four years ago, Malaysia stood on the WTDC stage and said with conviction and belief that the ITU is in a unique position to influence global policy and regulation towards the development of ICT. The WTDC, in particular, is the platform to determine how the world will chart the growth of ICT.

5. Our position has not changed.

6. We still believe that today.

7. Our recent experience in the last few weeks strengthens our commitment to stand with the Leadership and all members of the ITU to chart the next cycle of development for ICT.

8. In particular, Malaysia believes that ICT can play an even bigger role in the aviation industry. For example, locating and searching for the black box should be a thing of the past, especially with the advent of cloud computing in the age of big data.

9. I believe that data from aircraft, including from the black box could be continuously transmitted and stored in data centres on ground. I urge the ITU to work with industry to develop a better way to constantly monitor flight data and what is happening in the cockpit. With the advancements in ICT today, we should be able to retrieve and analyse this data without necessarily locating the black box. I believe that this simple change may have brought a different outcome today. In this context, I cannot help but note that whilst communications technologies have evolved drastically in the past five years, the story of the black box remains unchanged from 30 years ago.


10. Since we met four years ago, we have all been touched by calamaties and disasters of different proportions. I believe that what we decide at the culmination of this Conference, will have a critical effect and influence greatly not just the social and economic growth but also the well-being of our peoples. It is this continuing journey that Malaysia is committing to.

11. For this reason alone, we must be mindful of the tremendous obligation and responsibility that we carry as Members of the ITU. How we collaborate with other parties, and other sectors, will also impact the effectiveness of our collective efforts.


12. In the search and rescue operation for the missing aircraft, Malaysia has had at our disposal, thanks to the generosity of our friends, the most sophisticated of equipment and technology, and an entire team of experts from various international organisations. This has made us feel closer to all of you.

13. In closing, I take this opportunity to thank the Secretary General and his team for their prompt offer of assistance when MH 370 first went missing. More than the physical expertise, my team and I were comforted by the moral support which Dr Toure and his team offered. (Dr Toure, terima kasih.)

14. We would also like to acknowledge the 25 nations, including the UAE, and everyone else who have come to our assistance, // and the men and women who have put themselves in harm's way to search for the aircraft. More than anything, my delegation and I would like to convey our heartfelt sympathies to the delegation of the People's Republic of China, and the other delegations who share our sadness and sorrow of having passengers and crew on board that flight.

15. Finally, on behalf of Malaysia, I reiterate our unwavering support and cooperation towards the ITU and the goals of the WTDC. We are confident that at the end of the Conference, the constructive deliberations will result in the best possible strategy to chart the way forward for the ICT sector.

Thank you.