The benefits associated with drones are numerous; construction assessment, farming, health care, commerce, security and recreational purposes. Drones can even help check on road conditions during harsh weather, monitoring oil refineries, power grids and critical infrastructure. 

Nonetheless, the associated threats have also come into view. The possibilities in cyber of physical attacks on critical infrastructure and large outdoor events or gatherings also cause concern. In addition, intellectual property theft, tracking, spying and a long list of threats hover overhead.

It therefore must come as a relief that The World Economic Forum (WEF) and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) announced a collaboration to co-design and steer policy principles as well as regulatory frameworks, to augment benefits to society while mitigating risks from Drone Technology. MDEC will work with the World Economic Forum’s Aerospace and Drones portfolio to embark on, and enable, the objectives of this collaboration.

Timothy Reuter, Head of Aerospace and Drones at the World Economic Forum said, “Countries that don’t move fast enough to responsibly enable emerging technologies will find themselves at a disadvantage economically. We are excited to partner with MDEC and other key stakeholders in Malaysia to co-design and pilot policy principles associated with drones”.

Meanwhile, Surina Shukri, Chief Executive Officer of MDEC emphasised, "The focus of MDEC’s engagement with the World Economic Forum will be working with Malaysian authorities to develop a policy framework that allows for drone delivery and a potential launch of the first drone delivery service in Southeast Asia.” 

She went on to say, “The goal is to create a regulation that can serve as a model for the region and beyond. This partnership firmly establishes Malaysia as the Heart of Digital ASEAN.”

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