Malaysia committed to creating digital utopia

The 30th MSC Implementation Council Meeting (ICM) was recently held, chaired by the nation’s Prime Minister who expressed contentment with the progress the Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has made, especially in growing homegrown tech champions into regional and global leaders.

The PM announced the two following key initiatives designed to further boost Malaysia’s digital economy.

  1. A global testbed initiative to attract next-gen emerging technologies to innovate in Malaysia
    Under this initiative, MDEC will accelerate development in the fintech, blockchain, and drone sectors by attracting global digital talents and interest from investors. A pilot dronetech testbed initiative will be implemented to leverage the rapidly increasing adoption rates around the globe. The dronetech sector is estimated to generate a value of US$127 billion by 2025. Currently, several Malaysian companies are already global leaders within the international dronetech market.
  2. The development of Malaysian tech talent
    To address the increasing demand for a digital-savvy workforce, MDEC proposed a new Digital Development Strategy Framework. Designed to mobilise and coordinate the end-to-end nurturing of Malaysia’s tech talent both locally and on the international stage, this framework coincides with the creation of the Cross Ministerial Cabinet Committee.

The establishment of a Future Innovators Academy – an educational component that builds upon MDEC’s successful #mydigitalmaker programme – has also been proposed. This platform will look into providing close industry mentoring to tertiary students from 2021 onwards with an initial cohort of 100 young innovators.

Similar to the #mydigitalmaker programme, this initiative aims to produce skilled talents who are equipped with strong tech, entrepreneurial, and communication skills.

MDEC will helm the implementation of the plans, underpinned by the national theme of “Driving Growth and Equitable Outcomes Towards Shared Prosperity”, which was recently unveiled in Budget 2020.

The ICM was also attended by 10 Cabinet Ministers and relevant agency heads, highlighting the importance the government is placing on the nation’s digital economy to drive shared prosperity.

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Currently, the Malaysian digital economy, on average, has grown 9% annually in value-added terms between 2010 to 2016. Statistically, this is faster than Malaysia’s overall GDP growth, highlighting the country’s digital economy as a growing source of expansion.

Despite Malaysia having developed a strong ICT base and digital technology that will eventually become a major force in the country’s economy, there is still more to be done.

As the current and next generations are different from the one that started with MSC in 1996, it is important to have a new coordinated approach between ministries and their agencies. This will ensure rapid progress as well as the continued push to achieve MSC’s original vision of creating a digital utopia.

In addition to the new initiatives, MDEC has been tasked with the creation and maintenance of a National Digital Register. This registry will act as a guide for life-long learning initiatives that specifically target Malaysians who are facing challenges in the job market.

As Malaysia nears 2020, and with MSC Malaysia on the cusp of celebrating its silver jubilee in 2021, MDEC is being entrusted with the task of leading the digital economy and leapfrogging Malaysia into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The CEO of MDEC stated that this year’s ICM reinforces MDEC’s role in driving the digital economy forward through its various on-going and upcoming initiatives for the rakyat, industry and investors.

She noted that MDEC is primed and ready to elevate Malaysia as the preferred digital economy for investments and tech talent in the region. The end-goal is to establish Malaysia as a regional digital powerhouse in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and ensure the digital economy will drive shared prosperity for all Malaysians.

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