Photo - (From left) Yang Berhormat Dato' Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Minister of Communication and Multimedia; Ybhg Dato' Sri Dr Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad, Secretary general, Ministry of Communications; and Multimedia and Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of MDeC during the demonstration & tour of the sub-systems of MDeC's e-Bantuan Banjir Platform.
To help victims of the recent floods in Malaysia, the national ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) has joined tech communities and linked organisations in launching the '#TogetherWithU' or '#BersamaMu' community campaign.
The campaign is powered by the e-Bantuan Banjir (eBB) platform, an integrated mobile-enabled system that incorporates Open Data and Social Media, which overlays on Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data Analytics (BDA), as well as crowdsourced funding and volunteer platforms for individuals and corporations to donate resources.
This new drive is also supported by the Ministry of Communications & Multimedia Malaysia, and communities from MSC [Multimedia Supercorridor] Malaysia, Digital Malaysia, technology & creative content providers, NGOs and other agencies. The campaign and eBB platform was launched by Dato' Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, minister of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia, together with Datuk Seri Dr Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad, secretary general of the Ministry.
MDeC chief executive officer Dato' Yasmin Mahmood said members of the public can now access the eBB platform via www.togetherwithu.my and via a free mobile app with the same name currently available on Android, and iOS in the near future.
"Like all Malaysians, we all feel for the flood victims. MDeC's '#TogetherWithU' / '#BersamaMu' campaign integrates the various key communities across the country to make a difference. This complements the numerous initiatives from both the public and private sectors to help our affected rakyat start rebuilding their lives," said Yasmin.
"As an agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, we are extending the communication efforts from the Government via the e-Bantuan Banjir integrated platform to the public," she said. "At the same time, under the Digital Malaysia mandate, we are spearheading technology as a means to impact lives. In this case, technology is the best enabler to combat crisis."
She said that the initiative involves MDeC using cutting-edge technology from the MSC Malaysia community and technology providers to provide high-value solutions to assist in the flood-recovery process.
This included "an integration of data-points from various private and public sector sources including a real-time drone images to be integrated into the eBB portal via IoT and social media feeds" said Yasmin, adding that the drones will collect data mapping and multiple photos of the floods through imaging to identify terrain situations, stitched together using BDA.
She said MDeC and MSC communities were working with NGOs [non-governmental organisations] such as Mercy Malaysia, MyWin Academy and Persatuan Orang Kota Bahru to donate money and resources.
Ahmad Faezal Mohamed, executive director of Mercy Malaysia said, "We applaud MDeC's integrated approach to bring hope to the flood victims and help to rebuild their lives. The cutting-edge technology that MDeC is driving with the help of its communities will undoubtedly complement our efforts to help with the post-flood rebuilding process."
While individual donations below RM50 [US$14] were channelled to the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia - Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)'s Tabung Kemanusiaan SMS platform, donations above RM50 [Us$14] were channelled to the PitchIN.my crowdsourcing platform. Corporate donations from the MSC Malaysia and Digital Malaysia communities direct via MDeC engagements has so far raised RM250,000 [US$70,000] to help in rebuilding efforts.
In addition, the eBB platform engaged community support through the eSukarelawan website (www.esukarelawan.org) and mobile application (which will be available this week), built to capture and match volunteers from the MSC Malaysia and Digital Malaysia communities to the respective NGOs for post-flood rebuilding tasks. The mobile app allows volunteers to communicate on the ground happenings to a central online community tagboard.
Meanwhile, the creative content community, which includes firms such as Animonsta Studios, Animasia Animation Studio, Les Copaque Production, Inspidea Animation Studios Malaysia and Wau Animation, will provide content to increase awareness and uplift to flood victims, including children, using multiple media platforms and public service announcements.
"Coming from a family that also went through the floods years ago, I can truly empathise with the challenges and emotions that the affected are experiencing," said Yasmin. "It is very heartening to see so many members of the community coming together - whether it is via donations, providing technology to enable predictive analysis and mitigation of future flood issues, or volunteering to help with the post-flood relief efforts. This epitomises the spirit of unity and togetherness to always look out for and help our fellow Malaysians in need."
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