Malaysia must keep up with digital tech, says minister | Digital Asia

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Gobind said access to the internet is neither a privilege nor a luxury, but a necessity and a survival tool. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Gobind said access to the internet is neither a privilege nor a luxury, but a necessity and a survival tool. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 — Malaysia risks losing its competitiveness if the country lags behind in adopting digital technologies for both the government and industrial sectors, said Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo.

He said the issue needs to be addressed urgently as he felt internet access is neither a privilege nor a luxury, but a necessity and a survival tool.

“I envision a Malaysia where internet connectivity is available to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Today out of eight million households approximately only 18 per cent have access to high-speed fibre broadband,” Gobind said during a panel session at the ‘: A New Dawn’ investors conference today.

He said the government can learn much from other countries like Estonia, whom, according to Gobind, is ranked as the most advanced digital society in the world.

“I am made to understand 99 per cent of Estonia’s government services are digitally available.

“For the Estonian government, a ‘digital service’ means a fully digital end-to-end experience with no phone calls, office visits, or physical paperwork,” Gobind said.

He joked that only the processes of marriage, obtaining a divorce, and purchasing real estate must be done physically.

“This is the digital government I envision for Malaysia. For this to become a reality, we need high-quality world-class infrastructure at affordable prices,” Gobind said.

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