PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the world must unite as a family to face challenges to its desire for political, economic and social unity and achieve lasting peace.
Speaking at the Thai Global Business Administration and Technical College in Bangkok yesterday, Ismail recalled how he had introduced the concept of a “Malaysian Family” during his tenure in office.
“This concept was extended to the Asean family, and when speaking at the 77th UN General Assembly, I invited the international community to work together by practising the spirit of a world family in facing global challenges,” he said.
“It is my great hope that the generation of young people in front of me today will be the heirs to the world peace that we want to achieve.”
Delivering the keynote address titled “Digitalisation of world family for universal peace”, Ismail said one of the major challenges facing the world today was how digital technology was affecting human life, both in good and bad ways.
Acknowledging the many great strides made in the areas of business, education and everyday life, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, he said: “Even so, there are parties who abuse digital technology to the point of disturbing the security of human life.”
He cited the increasing number of cyberbullying cases which have had negative impact on children and driven many to suicide. He also lamented over the use of social media by undesirable persons to ignite unrest in various countries.
“There needs to be a balance between technological progress in the industrial sector and the way people live,” he said.
Ismail said the world would do well to emulate the Society 5.0 concept, introduced by Japan in 2015, which emphasises the need for humans to control digital technology, adding that a balance must be struck between economic development and overcoming social problems.
He also called for the promotion of good cyberspace governance and the creation of institutions and legislation at international level to ensure that digital technology does not harm its users.
“Strategic communication is essential in conveying the message of peace through various digital platforms based on the analysed data.
“Immediate action needs to be taken to address the negative effects of digital technology,” he said.
Commending his host for its focus on business studies based on digital technology, Ismail said: “This is a very good learning model in line with the evolution of digital transformation of the world today.”
At the event, the college honoured the former prime minister by establishing a Malay studies chair in his name.
The chair is the first by an institution of higher learning in Thailand dedicated to the study and research of Malay civilisation and the Malay language.