Group photo of participants and supporters who attended the Regional Commission for Social Communications Meeting in Sabah.  Photo: ARCHDIOCESE OF KUALA LUMPUR

The dioceses in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei will be working closer to exchange information and learn from each other’s experiences in the age of digital communications.

The Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur is looking at setting up a collaborative online platform for the dioceses to share Catholic-related content such as testimonies, teachings, publications and periodicals. Other collaborations may also include sharing of communications-related content from seminars, workshops, webinars and livestreams.

It is envisaged that this would help the dioceses to be better informed with a wider sharing of information and a saving through a cut in duplication of the use resources. For the parishioners this may well benefit them as they would have access to more information.

One clear plus factor in this exercise is that more content may be available in other languages such as Mandarin, Tamil and Malay.

The collaborative drive was mooted following the four-day meeting in Sabah at the Regional Commission for Social Communications Meeting (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei) on June 18 with representations from the dioceses, the Daughters of St Paul and SIGNIS, the world Catholic association for communication.

Bishop Cornelius Sim of Brunei gave the keynote address on the World Communications Day Message for 2018, while participants shared their diocese’s initiatives drawn from Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home”; and challenges faced in the digital age.

Particular focus was given to the rise of fake news and how the Church can counter the scourge.

The conference heard from Mr Nicholas Lim, the Head of Digital Media, Archbishop’s Communications Office, who presented to the participants the scope of the Archdiocese of Singapore’s efforts in the field of communications in print, a mobile app, social media, websites and instant messaging.

Bishop Cornelius Sim of Brunei watches the VERITAS seminar on fake news livestreamed from Singapore.

Content creation was also discussed with particular focus on video and streaming content. He also shared how Singapore adopts the initiatives and direction from the Pope and the Vatican, like Laudato Si’, and “Gaudete Et Exsultate, on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World”.

Living the Truth

Separately, Singapore’s ArchComms team organised the VERITAS Seminar: Untangling Fake News on June 28 at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, where some 40 people attended. This is the second run based on positive reviews from the first workshop held earlier in April.

There were also members of the clergy, and church workers and volunteers from the Archdioceses of Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur and Kuching, and the Dioceses of Keningau, Sibu, Penang and Sandakan, and the Apostolic Vicariate of Brunei, who watched via livestream on YouTube.

This collaboration was the first of its kind in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei. Many felt that it was a great collaboration and are looking forward to more of such events.

“Very enriching webinar! Wise use of media, truly an instrument of unity and progress. Thanks be to God for such truthful and inspiring speakers! I would certainly recommend these formative talks to students,” said Fr Thomas Madanan from the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu.