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Malaysia Launches Digital Inclusion Council

Malaysia National Digital Inclusion Council

The Malaysian government announced the set-up of the National Digital Inclusion Council. The council aims to create more income opportunities in the digital economy and is the nation’s Prime Minister.

The council will comprise representatives from the following ministries: economic affairs; finance; communications and multimedia; women, family and community development; rural development; housing and local government; agriculture and agro-based industry; tourism, arts and culture; transport; entrepreneur development; youth and sports; human resources; and federal territories ministry.

The news was announced by the PM after the 30th Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia Implementation Council meeting at Perdana Putra.

It was also noted that the government will be focusing on getting the execution right and achieve results as soon as possible. Meanwhile, ministries and agencies are being encouraged to collaborate and work together to benefit Malaysians and earn their trust.

The new initiative is in line with the government’s vision of shared prosperity, uplifting social and economic quality of life for Malaysians through the use of technology.

Meanwhile, the PM stated that the MSC has also created 183,000 high-value jobs at almost 3,000 companies with a total revenue of almost RM500 billion since its establishment in 1996.

Highlighting the importance of adopting emerging technologies, developing tech talent and facilitating digital inclusion, the PM stated that there have also been more local tech companies being recognised globally.

This includes the digital creative content space, where local developers have produced internationally-recognised animation and game titles.

Malaysia’s Digital Economy Expected to Expand

According to a recent OpenGov Asia report, the nation’s digital economy expanded RM267.7 billion in 2018, contributing 18.5% to the national economy, according to the Department of Statistics.

However, the growth pace moderated to 6.9% year-on-year as compared with the 9.8% recorded in the previous year.

Information and communications technology (ICT) contributed 18.5% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) comprising gross value added of ICT industry (GVAICT) (12.6%) and e-commerce for non-ICT industries (5.9%).

Keeping this in mind, Malaysia’s 2020 Budget was developed. The local technology industry will continue to receive attention from the government, which is intent on further boosting the capabilities of local SMEs and start-ups, strengthening digital content, embracing digitisation, enhancing e-commerce, and adopting 5G technology.

Local technology players, industry associations and tech agencies, in general, have lauded the various allocations set aside towards making Malaysia a stronger player and contender in the technology arena, both locally and abroad.

The budget lays emphasis on shared responsibility to ensure that the fruits of development are distributed at each stage of the value chain and to the rakyat at large – hence the digital inclusion council.

The core measure undertaken in the budget will help further fuel the digital economy, drive growth for SMEs and enterprises, enhance workforce skills development, as well as allowing education access for all.

Among the key thrust areas in the 2020 Budget is to fortify the digital economy with efforts to improve the physical and digital infrastructure that powers up the IR4.0 revolution.

With digital transformation set to contribute US$10 billion to Malaysia’s GDP by 2021, the government’s move to enhance Malaysia’s digital infrastructure is undoubtedly a step forward towards a stronger, more resilient economy.

Malaysia is poised to be a digital-first economy with a robust digital and social infrastructure that works towards bridging the opportunity divide in the country’s journey to becoming a high-income nation.

These efforts will help cement Malaysia’s position as a tech powerhouse in the region, drawing in more investments from foreign companies, whilst also creating more job opportunities for Malaysians.

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