MyDigital to transform Malaysia digitally by 2030
By Tan Jee Yee February 19, 2021
- MyDigital to create 500K new jobs, assist 875K micro enterprises and SMEs
- US$3.71bil to be invested into 5G implementation over 10 years
MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (pic) has launched the MyDigital initiative, which he describes as a new and comprehensive approach designed to anchor the country’s digital economy by 2030.
Speaking in a virtual press briefing on February 19, Muhyiddin said MyDigital is expected to be executed via the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, which will comprise three phases.
Anticipating concerns over possible overlaps with existing plans, the Prime Minister noted that the blueprint complements other national development plans such as the 12th Malaysia Plan and the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 announced earlier.
“MyDigital will empower Malaysians from Perlis to Sabah, improving their lives in every aspect,” he said. “It encompasses ideas and plans to increase digital literacy, creating high-income jobs, improving banking and finances, gaining better digital access to education and medical services in rural towns.”
Muhyiddin said MyDigital is expected to create 500,000 new job opportunities in the digital economy, which is expected to contribute 22.6% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.
[Ed: Para updated with year of GDP target.]
He also revealed that the government will assist 875,000 micro enterprises and small and medium enterprises ( MSMEs and SMEs) to go digital via e-commerce. These initiatives will also catalyse 5,000 startups within the next five years.
“This initiative will also be the starting point to draw in US$17.32 billion (RM70 billion) in international and domestic digital investments,” he said, adding that the government is targeting a 30% increase in productivity by 2030.
In order to accelerate innovation, and the creation of an efficient digital ecosystem, Muhyiddin said four important digital infrastructure projects under MyDigital need to be strengthened. These efforts will be implemented through public-private partnerships, where the private sector will lead the way via capital and skills injection.
Muhyiddin said a total of US$5.2 billion (RM21 billion) will be invested over five years through the national digital infrastructure plan (JENDELA) to strengthen existing connectivity. This optical fibre network is set to cover almost 100% of populated areas in stages, from 7.5 million premises by the end of 2022 to 9 million premises by the end of 2025.
[RM1 = US$0.247]
“With this, the country will be better prepared to switch to 5G technology in the near future,” Muhyiddin said.
Secondly, a total of RM1.65 billion will be invested by several telcos to strengthen international submarine cable networks connectivity by 2023. This will open doors for faster and more stable data transfers, and is expected to lower Internet costs to consumers, he added.
Thirdly, a total of RM15 billion will be invested over the next 10 years for the implementation of 5G nationwide.
“This will create approximately 105,000 job opportunities. The effort will be implemented through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) under the Malaysian government,” Muhyiddin said. The SPV will be given the spectrum to manage and all licensed telecommunication companies will have equal access to infrastructure to market 5G services to their customers.”
Meanwhile, between RM12 billion and RM15 billion is expected to be invested by cloud service providers (CSP) over the next five years. The government has given conditional permission to four CSP companies – Microsoft Corp, Google Inc, Amazon Inc and Telekom Malaysia (TM) – to build and manage hyper-scale data centres and cloud services in the country.
“The government has also proposed the appointment of three local ICT companies as managed service providers (MSPs) to work and manage services for public sector agencies, in line with the desire to strengthen the capabilities of local companies,” Muhyiddin says.
The companies are Enfrasys Solution Sdn Bhd, Prestariang Systems Sdn Bhd and Cloud Connect Sdn Bhd.
80% public data migration to hybrid cloud by end 2022
As a measure to strengthen the public sector’s computing services, the government – through a ‘Cloud First’ strategy – is targeting the migration of 80% of public data to a hybrid cloud system by the end of 2022.
“This strategy can reduce government costs in the long-term,” said Muhyiddin. “Cloud services will also allow big data, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and other applications to strengthen government services.”
The prime minister added that the construction of this digital infrastructure will form the backbone of a sustainable digital ecosystem, which will serve as the main engine of sustainable economic growth. Going forward, the government will continue to strengthen this ecosystem in several ways.
This includes fostering a regulatory environment the supports digital use while protecting the privacy of citizens; administering public data sources so that they can be jointly utilised by public and private organisations; and to facilitate the evolution of the labour market in industries that are likely to be disrupted by automation and digital technology.
Muhyiddin also stressed that cybersecurity and data privacy are among the government’s primary focus in realising the country’s vision of digital technology.
“Here I would like to assure you that the government is committed to monitoring the security of this data management system, to avoid any cyber threats.”
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