Fahmi: Malaysia's digital economy ambition is backed by action, fueled by investment
By Digital News Asia August 2, 2023
- Record-breaking investments are helping Malaysia achieve ambitions
- Government remains proactive towards building a high-income nation
The Malaysian government has taken significant steps in moving the country towards becoming a digitally enabled and technologically advanced high-income nation with clear goals, substantial investments, and partnerships.
The Minister of Communications and Digital, Fahmi Fadzil, shared this during his keynote speech at the Malaysia Public Sector Day, held on 1 Aug, hosted by GovInsider in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Fahmi laid out how Malaysia's digital economy is set to hit its goal of contributing more than 25.5% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025.
"We are doubling efforts to attract high-value foreign and domestic direct investments in digital fields such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data analytics," he said.
One of the results of the effort is the investment announced by AWS earlier this year. It announced its intention to invest US$6 billion (RM25.5 billion) in Malaysia by 2023. The amount sets a record as the country's most significant international technology investment.
Investments like these, said Fahmi, are required to propel Malaysia's MyDIGITAL initiative and its ambition to become a high-income nation by 2030.
Fahmi said that as part of the initiative to speed up cloud adoption in the public sector, the government has upgraded the Public Sector Data Centre (PDSA) to create a cloud computing service called MyGovCloud. It combines the benefits of the Private Cloud at PDSA with the Public Cloud from the government's designated Cloud Service Provider (CSP).
"I wish to express my gratitude to the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) for spearheading this important initiative."
In March, AWS signed the Cloud Framework Agreement with MAMPU to help agencies save costs, boost digital skills, drive innovation, and digitize government services for citizens through a streamlined procurement model.
Regarding relevant laws around data and cybersecurity, Fahmi said that Malaysia is reviewing The Personal Data Protection Act (Act 709) to ensure its relevance in the ever-evolving digital ecosystem and address future challenges effectively. Additionally, efforts are being made to enhance cybersecurity capabilities by drafting the Cybersecurity Bill.
"Recently, Malaysia and Singapore signed an MOU to collaborate in personal data protection. This cooperation aims to benefit both nations through knowledge exchange and expertise sharing on best practices related to personal data protection policies and regulations, education, capacity building programs, enforcement efforts, and mechanisms to facilitate cross-border data flows," said Fahmi.
He added that the country needs more talent and expertise in data and technology as Malaysia is fast approaching a golden digital decade and becoming an Asian digital tiger.
"By cultivating a strong digital workforce equipped with up-to-date skills, we can not only realize our MyDIGITAL aspirations but also unlock significant economic advantages," said Fahmi.
Fahmi explained that the idea is to use the tech profession to educate and improve cyber security awareness among the general public and to build skilled tech talents with advanced expertise and technical capabilities, including using cloud technology for cybersecurity purposes.
As the frequency and complexity of cyber threats grow to the point of disrupting government services, it becomes crucial to raise awareness and promote responsibility across all levels of society.
"There are abundant opportunities to enhance our services to the people by embracing digitalization as we strive to become a digital-first nation and embark on a prosperous digital decade for Malaysia," he said.
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