Malaysian Government committed to embrace digital tech

Significant commitments and investments by the government signal its intention to rapidly transform this country by embracing digital technologies, the nation’s Communications and Multimedia Minister noted.

In its recent budget, the government announced a 5G ecosystem development grant worth RM50 million and a further RM25 million matching grant to spur more pilot projects on 5G in a move to further accelerate the growth of 5G and new technologies in Malaysia.

Addressing top multinational and local corporate digital players at the Business Spark Summit 2019, the minister said the together with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) recently announced the commencement of the 5G demonstration projects that will consist of 55 cases to be rolled out in 32 live sites across six states.

The total industry investment in these projects is estimated to be RM116 million, the minister noted, adding that to further accelerate adoption, the government also introduced a 50 per cent matching grant of up to RM5,000 per company for small and medium enterprises that adopt digitalisation measures.

Furthermore, a further RM550 million smart automation matching grant will be provided to 1,000 manufacturing and 1,000 service companies to automate their business processes.

The government would spend RM70 million, through Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), to set up 14 one-stop digital enhancement centres and a further RM20 million had been allocated to grow local champions in creating digital content, especially in electronic games and animation.

The recent Budget 2020 is evidence of a strong commitment from the government to drive digital transformation.

The budget focuses on building high-quality digital infrastructure with an emphasis on further strengthening digital content, embracing digitalisation, enhancing e-commerce and to promote the use of 5G technology.

The National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP), a key pillar of the digital transformation in Malaysia, aimed to provide comprehensive high-speed broadband coverage and high-quality digital networks throughout the country.

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When talking about new technologies, it is important to bring up the topic of 5G. This technology will change communication, work and daily life.

The minister noted that 5G will most certainly amplify our capacity in the IR4.0 phase. It will enable Malaysia’s industries to fully exploit the power of artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, virtual reality, and software engineering.

Undoubtedly, the technology will be a game-changer, in line with the ultra-high-speed, hyperconnected world.

In addition, the government has taken a special interest in developing the Internet of Things (IoT) sub-sector, which had resulted in several market partnerships.

The commercialisation of ‘smart city’ infrastructure, applications and services such as smart highways, intelligent traffic management systems and advanced energy management systems were expected to drive IoT adoption across key social and economic sectors, he said.

The minister called upon all businesses to quickly embrace and arm themselves with knowledge and talent in digital technologies or risked being left behind in global competitiveness in the near future.

According to an earlier article by OpenGov Asia, it was noted that an important aspect of digital transformation in Malaysia is shared prosperity – no one is left behind.

Shared prosperity must keep in mind progress made in digital payments, as well as digital currencies, and the digital divide it creates. Barriers to access must be lowered to make the digitalisation process inclusive.

While there is still much to be done, Malaysia’s leaders noted that it is making good progress in digitalising its economy and enabling the adoption of Industry 4.0 technology, while closing the digital gap.

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