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Data Protection Law: Singapore's Next
3 May 2012


Lee Sheridan Conference Room, Eu Tong Sen Building, Singapore

By Abu Bakar Munir (Associate Fellow, UMCoRS)
Law Faculty, University of Malaya

Abstract: Thirty two years after the adoption of the first international instrument on personal data protection, the wave is now coming to Asia.  In April 2010, the Taiwanese Parliament passed a comprehensive law called the Personal Data Protection Act. Korea followed suit and enacted a new Personal Information Protection Act in March 2011.  Among the countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ('ASEAN'), Malaysia is the first to do so. Its Personal Data Protection Act ('PDPA') which was passed in June 2010 is expected to be in force soon, this year.  The Philippines Congress recently wrapped up the debate and tabling of the Act. The draft law on Data Privacy of 2011 is being reconciled as the Senate and House of Representatives have come out with two different versions. In Singapore, following two public consultations last year, the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, has recently, issued a proposed Personal Data Protection Bill for another public consultation. This presentation considers briefly the international instruments on personal data protection and the recent developments in Europe and the USA.  This is followed by a comparative study of the laws in Malaysia, Korea and Taiwan.  In conclusion, this talk will analyse the Singapore proposed law.


Abu Bakar Munir is an internationally renowned scholar, expert and consultant on data protection law and ICT Law. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, Malaysia. Currently, he is a Professor of Law and Associate Fellow at the University Of Malaya Malaysian Centre Of Regulatory Studies (UMCoRS). He is also a Visiting Professor at several universities in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Europe.

Abu Bakar Munir is the author of several books; Privatization (1992), Cyberlaw: Policies and Challenges (1999), Privacy and Data Protection (2002), Internet Banking: Law and Practice (2004), and Information and Communication Technology Law: State, Internet and Information (2010). His most recent work; Personal Data Protection in Malaysia:  Law and Practice published in 2010 is a must-read book that provides a guidance to comply with the Malaysian Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (PDPA). He has widely published articles on several aspects of ICT law and data protection law. He speaks extensively at seminars and conferences within Malaysia and around the globe. In September 2011, he was invited to speak on Privacy and Data Protection in Asia at the 102nd of the Society of Legal Scholars Conference hosted by the Downing College, University of Cambridge.

Professor Abu Bakar Munir has been far and wide consulted by the governments and private entities in Malaysia and around the world. He was appointed the Adviser to the Government of Malaysia on data protection law in 2007 and was instrumental in crafting and the passing of the PDPA 2010.  He was also responsible for developing the academic draft of the proposed data protection law for the Republic of Indonesia.

In 1999 he was seconded as the IT Law Adviser and Principal Consultant to the Government of Dubai, UEA where he led an international team of consultants in developing and drafting the Data Protection Code, Electronic Commerce Facilitation Code, etc to facilitate the Dubai Internet City, a multi-billion dollar IT project. A member of the United Nations ICT Policy and Internet Governance Working Group he was also a Council Member of the Asia Pacific Privacy Charter Council (APPCC). He is the recipient of the Malaysia Cyber Security Awards (Minister’s Award) 2010 as well as the Malaysia Cyber Security, (Information Security Visionary of the Year) Award 2010.

He has been the Data Protection Consultant to Chartis Insurance Malaysia (formerly known as AIG Insurance) and is currently advising Telekom Malaysia, PETRONAS and POS Malaysia on the compliance of the PDPA. He is working on another book on Data Protection Law in Asia Pacific. His other areas of specialization include Air and Space Law, Nanotechnology Law and Renewable Energy Law.

There is no registration fee for this seminar but seats are limited. To register, please click here and you will receive an automated message upon submission. For enquiries, please contact Ms Poova at Tel: 6516 3644 or email her at
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