When Najib Razak met Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg - Bernama

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) had a private meeting with Facebook chairman and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg at the social media giant's head office in Menlo Park yesterday.

The Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) in a statement here said Najib and Zuckerberg discussed potential collaborative efforts between Facebook and Malaysia.

The discussion centred on efforts to bridge the digital divide and bring Internet accessibility as well as digital opportunities to the unconnected.

On August 20 this year, Facebook, together with founding partners Ericsson, Media Tek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung, launched the Internet.org initiative to make Internet access available to the next five billion people. It is focused on addressing three key challenges — making access affordable, using data more efficiently and helping business drive access — in developing countries.

"Internet.org is a noble and audacious initiative and it is commendable that the industry is making an attempt to be inclusive and to bridge the digital divide.

"With wider Internet accessibility, more Malaysians can be empowered in new areas of digital adoption, use and creation to catalyse our nation's shift to a new, knowledge-based economy," Najib said.

"The goals are aligned with the aspirations of Digital Malaysia, which seek to digitally empower more Malaysians to seize the opportunities in the digital economy," Najib was quoted in the statement.

"Everything Facebook has done has been about giving people all around the world the power to connect," Zuckerberg had said in an earlier statement. "There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy. Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making Internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it."

The meeting also saw discussions on ways to facilitate better utilisation of Malaysia's Internet infrastructure to serve more users at a lower cost through means such as the propagation of internet.org's data encryption models.

The meeting was part of a series of high-level discussions, demonstrations and announcements that form the Prime Minister of Malaysia's Experiential Visit to Silicon Valley, organised by MDeC, which is the driver of Malaysia's Digital Economy initiative, Digital Malaysia and the National ICT initiative, MSC Malaysia.

Facebook is the most visited site in Malaysia and has 12,747,100 Malaysian users to date, making the country number 18 in the ranking of all Facebook statistics by country. - Bernama, September 25, 2013.

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