Week in Review: MDeC no longer sole ecosystem anchor

  • Maturing ecosystem has many anchors; that’s good for entrepreneurs
  • Ecosystem also gets two new ministers with questions about where ICT fits in

Week in Review: MDeC no longer sole ecosystem anchorIT is a sign of how far the ecosystem has come that the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) is no longer the sole anchor organisation for it. There are many anchors today, and that’s great for entrepreneurs.
Nonetheless, the release of the annual MSC Malaysia financial report by MDeC is a useful gauge of the progress of the ecosystem. We have to bear in mind that our ecosystem has participation from both local and international players, and MDeC’s report provides the best current data points to measure how things are going.
It would be even better if MDeC segmented the data into local companies versus international, but it did not do that this year. To me that will indicate the real growth of the ecosystem – how Malaysian companies are doing.
Still, MDeC did provide DNA with the breakdown last year and we will be duly making a request for the breakdown again and bring you that story soon as we get the data from MDeC.
Nonetheless, the headline growth numbers for 2012 are good. Companies in the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia) saw total revenue of RM33.53 billion in 2012, up 5.7% from the previous year.
Not surprisingly, with the global economy still struggling to get back on an even keel, some areas did not do as well. A particular standout was new investments in the Shared Services and Outsourcing Cluster (SSO), which saw a 59% drop from 2011 to RM500 million.
Readers will know that I have been critical of local entrepreneurs in this sector which has underperformed badly, considering the support it has received from the Government.
Explaining the lower investments, MDeC chief executive officer Badlisham
 Ghazali says this is because the national ICT custodian is targeting higher-value investments in areas like Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), rather than creating thousands of call-centre type jobs.
Still, there were only 502 new jobs created in the KPO sector, 15% up from 2011. But salary growth has been eye-popping with a 51% growth from 2010 to 2012, to RM7,028.
Of course, the other major news of the week was the appointments of Dr Ewon Ebin as Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation; and Shabery Cheek as the Minister of Communications and Multimedia. And yes, we were being cheeky with our headline for this story!
But here’s the million-ringgit question: Does the ICT portfolio now switch to the multimedia ministry and fall on Shabery’s shoulders? Will Badlisham have a new ‘boss’? We are already hearing murmurs that it will happen.
Meanwhile, the early buzz on Shabery seems good. He has been described as “cool and very open.” Let’s see if he remains as cool once the billionaires start lobbying him over spectrum and what-have-you not in the telco space!
And finally, if you want to be cool in my eyes, you better answer the super tough questions we have for you in our inaugural contest (which, truth be told, is an elegant way to get you to register with us) that sees us giving away two cool digital devices. Thanks to DiGi for sponsoring them!
Now, what are you waiting for?
Previous Instalments:
Week in Review: All about founders, or the ideas?

Week in Review: Do they owe the ecosystem anything?
Week in Review: GE13 hits the ecosystem … hard

Week in Review: Are our public schools failing?
Week in Review: What an awesome week for start-ups

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