#TECH: Blueprint set to boost Malaysia’s digital economy

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today launched MyDigital – the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint – which will chart the growth trajectory of the country’s digital economy development.

Muhyiddin said the blueprint comprises action plans which adopted a whole-of-nation approach to complement the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) and the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.

Its holistic approach encompassing digital connectivity, infrastructure as well as digital skill sets and talents with aim to make Malaysia a connected nation.

The National Tech Association of Malaysia (Pikom) chairman, Danny Lee, said the MyDigital blueprint launched by PM this morning is a very comprehensive plan as it looks into “the rejuvenation of the public sector, empowering the private sector, equipping society, building first class infrastructure and developing human capital”.

According to Lee, the blueprint will place Malaysia well among its peers in the region as well as globally. However, he also said as much as the plan is perfect, execution will be key.

“As in any plan, execution will be key. If there is one area we should take a deeper look at is infrastructure. Malaysia currently does not fare well compared to its neighbours and other fast developing countries. This may require additional emphasis to ensure that we are quickly up to speed (pun intended) and globally competitive,” he said.

According to MCMC’s report, Internet users in Malaysia last year was a high 88.7 per cent, an increase of 1.3 per cent from 2018.

Lee said that with population growth and increased mobile penetration, and the continued consumption of data and content, 5G would He, however, believes that this applies more to those in urban areas “as the infrastructure of 5G systems place great emphasis here as well” where the manufacturing, agriculture, health, education and transportation sectors will greatly benefit greatly once the 5G roll-out by end of the year.

One of the future Malaysia envisioned by MyDigital is that by 2030, 100 percent of Malaysian households will have access to the internet.

“Having achieved 100 per cent of all Malaysians with internet connectivity is ideal. Again, we need to have more emphasis on the infrastructure for this to be achievable,” said Lee, adding that those who already have access to the internet would now expect connection stability and security at all times, above and beyond affordable packages.

However, Lee expected all different sectors will benefit from this, directly or indirectly. “Internet connectivity is part of technology and IT remains essential in all the sectors today, for development, growth and productivity,” he said.

“Over the past year, e-commerce has grown triple fold due to the pandemic, imagine if we reach 100 percent connectivity. It will no longer be a question of readiness, it will be a necessity to be connected,” said Lee, adding that for change to happen, it takes time and in this digital age, speed is the essence,” he added.

AWARENESS ON IMPACT OF DIGITALISATION

Continuous awareness, education and understanding the impact of digitalisation must be done across all industries and to all SMEs/micro SMEs.

“No one should be left behind. Implementation must be more effective, with less issues, troubleshooting becomes easier to manage and people see the benefit of digital transformation,” said Lee.

“Street vendors will take full advantage of digitalisation, going O2O, having both online and offline operations. With the financial facilities and several funding platforms provided by the government and financial institutions, (I believe) microSMEs will not be left behind,” he added.

Part of MyDigital strategies include building a trusted, secured and ethical digital environment by strengthening safety in digital activities and transactions, enhancing personal data protection and privacy as well as increasing cybersecurity uptake.

As an association for tech industry players, Lee said it is something that is achievable as it has a cybersecurity chapter that consists of more than 100 cybersecurity companies who is actively creating awareness and educating companies, agencies, institutions on the importance of having cybersecurity software embedded in their systems.

“We also sit on the Digital Infrastructure & Data Cluster for the Digital Economy and 4IR Council, National Science Council and the National Security and Public Safety Advisory Council with the relevant ministries too,” he said.

KEY DRIVER FOR THE COUNTRY

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) also pledges its support and commitment towards making the MyDigital, a key driver of national development and success.

MDEC’s chairman, Datuk Wira Dr Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff in a statement said that the corporation, with the full support of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM), will continue to lead the digital economy forward; centred on ensuring shared prosperity for the many and towards realising their own vision – Malaysia 5.0.

“Our vision of Malaysia 5.0 complements the holistic MyDIGITAL blueprint, encouraging the creation of a society deeply integrated with technology, governed by inclusive and equitable ‘eco-environmental’ principles and practices,” said Rais.

Focusing on three strategic thrusts – empowering digitally skilled Malaysians, accelerating digitally-powered businesses and attracting digital investments, MDEC reaffirms its commitment to rolling out key digital initiatives as announced in Budget 2021 to ensure the society can fully leverage and benefit from 4IR technologies and establish Malaysia as the Heart of Digital Asean.

On digital investments, Rais shared that Malaysia has attracted RM345 billion investments to date, creating close to 185,000 jobs.

“In 2020 alone, new investments by pure-play technology companies stood at RM3.98 billion, while new investments recorded by digital services companies were RM2.01 billion. These investments created approximately 9,000 new jobs,” he said.

MOVING TOWARDS MALAYSIA 5.0

There are three main components of Malaysia 5.0. First, instilling a new core identity philosophy that transcends individual and societal dividends and upholds the value of shared prosperity.

Second, adopt, value-add and produce digital transformation and Fourth Industrial revolution (4IR) technologies centred on solving eco-environmental problems.

And, third, produce well-rounded citizens who are well-positioned and empowered to face, navigate and thrive in 4IR.

“From a digital skills and jobs perspective, MDEC has accelerated its efforts to expand the digital capabilities of Malaysians. Initiatives such as ‘Let’s Learn Digital’ continue to upskill and reskill Malaysians,” said Rais adding that more than 3,800 free courses have been offered to date with more than 21,000 successful applications.

Under MDEC’s MyDigitalmaker initiative, some 1.6 million school students nationwide have benefited under this initiative and each year, Premier Digital Tech Institutions (PDTI) produce an average of 7,800 graduates with an average graduate employment rate of 95 per cent in 2018/19.

“We have also seen more than 25,000 students enrolled in digital tech courses in 2019, a 40 per cent increase from when the initiative started in 2017,” said Rais.

Besides that, more than 240 lecturers too have learned and immersed themselves with the latest industry technologies via ecosystem partnerships under the same initiative.

In their efforts to digitalise and automate businesses, MDEC has rolled out various initiatives including the 100GoDigital, SME Digital Accelerator, Smart Automation Grant, SME Digital Quickwins to ensure small businesses are properly equipped to navigate the benefits and challenges of the digital economy.

“Our vision of Malaysia 5.0 complements the holistic MyDIGITAL blueprint, encouraging the creation of a society deeply integrated with technology, governed by inclusive and equitable ‘eco-environmental’ principles and practices,” sad Rais.

To date, 335,834 SMEs have been on-boarded onto e-commerce marketplaces and we will intensify our outreach here.

FOCUS ON CLOUD SERVICES

At the launch Muhyiddin announced that the government has given conditional approvals to four Cloud Service Providers (CSP) to build and manage hyper-scale data centres and cloud services.

Named as the only home-based cloud operator awarded the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) to serve the public sector together with the appointed Managed Service Provider (MSP), TM’s managing director and group chief executive officer, Imri Mokhtar, in a statement, said TM is “ready and excited to play a significant part in this accelerated journey”.

Apart from Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), the other three CSP companies are Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Telekom Malaysia, which will invest between RM12 billion and RM15 billion over the next five years.

Announcing the full support of Jalinan Digital Negara (Jendela), a government initiative to provide wider coverage and better quality of broadband experience for the Rakyat and 5G technology infrastructure in the country, TM reaffirm its commitment to accelerate connectivity reach.

“The expansion of fibre network also enables fiberisation of mobile towers to improve the current 4G service quality and next, to expedite 5G roll-out. The current 570,000 km of fibre length across Malaysia is expected to grow rapidly over the next years, in tandem with the JENDELA implementation,” said Imri adding that it’s growing global network of more than 20 submarine cable systems spanning 190,000km is also ready to support the global connectivity demand of MyDigital.

TM currently has seven data centres with four of them rated as Tier III offering Cloud services, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced cybersecurity.

“We laud the bold approach and formation of the 5G Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), which will allow us more focus in rapidly bringing next generation services to our multi-segment customers served by our customer units, unifi and TM One,” said Imri.

“As we continue to support the national digital connectivity (fixed and mobile), as well as the digital infrastructure (cloud, data centre), these strategic assets need to be secured and protected. Via our enterprise and public sector arm, TM One, we offer our CYDEC solution to help Malaysian enterprises and public sector institutions build digital trust and cybersecurity resilience, by managing five key areas of risk – cybersecurity, compliance, privacy, ethics and social responsibility.

According to Imri, its 570,000km fibre network nationwide will facilitate the rollout of the 5G infrastructure, efficiently as well as cost effectively.

“TM will be accelerating its convergence offerings to their 2.7 million home customers and 400,000 SMEs including micro businesses, 11,000 enterprise and public sector customers, bringing next generation and Internet-of-Things (IOT) solutions to industry verticals like healthcare, education, oil and gas, financial institutions, among others.

Source: NST