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The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the emergence of cashless, cautious and more conscientious consumers, according to the latest global survey by a British multinational banking and financial services company.

The firm found that 73 per cent of Malaysian survey respondents agree that the pandemic has made them more positive about online shopping, but they were also more careful with their spending and wanted new ways to track their money digitally.

The study involved 12,000 adults across 12 markets – Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mainland China, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is the second in a three-part series, looking at how Covid-19 has transformed consumers’ way of life, and what changes could be here to stay.

While the first survey focused on the pandemic’s impact on earnings, the second offers new insights into the way the global health crisis is changing consumer spending habits. Respondents in all 12 markets anticipate doing more of their shopping online from now on.

Before the pandemic, only 30 per cent of Malaysians said that they preferred shopping online compared to 70 per cent who preferred shopping in-person. However, this has shifted significantly with 51 per cent now preferring online payments to the in-person card or cash payments. This increase in preference for online payments is true across a range of purchases, from groceries and travel to digital devices.

As a result, 79 per cent of people in Malaysia now expect the country to go fully cashless, with a majority expecting this to happen by 2030, the report noted. Meanwhile, as spending increases as lockdowns eases globally – 57 per cent of Malaysians reported increased spending in July, while 82 per cent of people in Malaysia say the pandemic has made them more careful with their expenditure.

Reflecting this increased caution, 68 per cent of the survey respondents in Malaysia said the economic impact of Covid-19 has made them more likely to track their spending, with over 80 per cent either using or interested in using budgeting tools or tools that block card-spend over specified limits.

Consumers around the world, including in Malaysia, are also now spending more on basics – such as groceries and healthcare – and digital devices than they did before the pandemic, and they expect this increase to continue in the future.

As well as increased caution when it comes to spending, consumers around the world are increasingly conscientious. This is good news for small businesses and those producing locally made goods, particularly those making and selling sustainably sourced products.

In Malaysia, more than half of people say they are now more likely to shop locally (64 per cent), more sustainably (54 per cent) and with small businesses (52 per cent). This is particularly true of younger generations (18-44), suggesting this trend is likely to continue.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the firm’s Malaysian branch stated that the pandemic had accelerated digital adoption among the Malaysian consumers who have now found themselves more comfortable with online transactions, from shopping to investing.

The firm’s own data ATM withdrawal data supports this shift with ATM usage declining to half the levels they were two years ago, with Covid-19 dramatically accelerating the decline. He added that in a world where people are being more cautious with their spending, being able to keep track of where your money goes is very important.

One way to do that is to keep payments digital. Banks must continue to innovate digitally so that clients can conveniently and securely transact, track and manage their spending.

The world has shifted drastically with the pandemic. With its lingering effects, more people are relying on financial technology with its reliable and contactless transactions to meet their needs. The use of Advanced Analytics and AI in fintech has become critical to ease-of-use and security in the context of AML. Usage of AA and AI allows for risk mitigation as well as cost-efficiency; saving investigators’ time in tracking activity that is seen as a potential threat.

The latest OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight on 8 September 2020, looked at how financial institutions from Malaysia can apply real-world AI and advanced analytics applications to ensure a world-class integrated banking system that has comprehensive risk management, efficient fraud anticipation and complete regulatory compliance with an eye on bettering customer experience and improving enterprise profitability.

A comprehensive risk assessment and understanding is a must for financial institutions

Mohit: Incorporate AI/ML to strengthen compliance in financial institutions

OpenGov Asia Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, Mohit Sagar, opened the session by observing that the world has become chaotic and the status quo been disrupted.

In these turbulent times, he stressed it is critical to ask key questions: How do we stay ahead of the curve? How do we keep safe? How do we stay compliant?

These questions become more pertinent and urgent when bad actors are evolving rapidly and becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Being compliant is just the first step. Mere check-box implementation could possibly make organisations more vulnerable as it is a broad, general framework.

Ideally, organisations need to have a comprehensive risk assessment and understanding of their organisation and their context – not an easy nor simple undertaking.

Given the complexity and finesse required, it is best to find the right partners to ease through the process of augmenting a corporate’s existing AML system.

Augmenting and not replacing existing AML capabilities is the priority

Cheam Tat: SAS has wide-ranging applications

After Mohit’s introduction, Managing Director, SAS Malaysia, Cheam Tat Inn, explained that his organisation’s analytics solutions have been used across different parts of the banking landscape.

They have been deployed to enable digital transformation, enhance customer experience, improve risk management and strengthen fraud and security intelligence.

He added that the SAS Solutions optimise and enhance existing AML capabilities and not replace them entirely.

Ahmed Drissi, Anti-money Laundering Lead, APAC, SAS, joined Cheam to give weightage to the need for external expertise. He opined that financial companies need to invest in Machine Learning and AI to automate and speed up the onboarding process.

Ahmed: AI/ML augments existing capabilities

He showed the delegates a graph that depicted clearly how some regional and tier-1 banks had improved their operational efficiency. Expounding on their proposition, he explained that the SAS Solution had several key capabilities:

  • Transaction Monitoring
  • Customer Risk Rating/Due Diligence
  • Customer screening
  • Transaction screening
  • AML & CTF Investigation
  • Reporting

These key capabilities can be applied to an organisation’s existing AML systems to improve and strengthen its ability to combat financial crimes through advanced analytics.

Entity resolution in the context of AML will help in the reconciliation and gathering of normal multiple data and uncover hidden relationships through the analysis in customer’s attributes. This is important to establish a single view of the customer. It will help investigators have a holistic view of a customer.

Ahmed re-emphasised that SAS’s goal is not to replace existing AML capabilities but to optimise and/or augment them as part of segmentation.

Challenges in AML regulation from an HSBC lens

Lee: AI/ML improves the effectiveness of rule-based TM

After Ahmed, Lee Ashmore, Global Head of Anti-Money Laundering Technology & Head of Compliance IT-APAC gave a presentation on the challenges on AML regulation through an HSBC perspective.

Lee explained that customer segmentation models can be complex and can take a long time to develop in HSBC.

He shared that there were problems they encounter when a high number of false positives are flagged while using a rule-based TM that needs to be addressed

Lee was of the opinion that it might be difficult to transition from one system to another in their current situation. Fine-tuning systems are time-consuming and thresholds can be severely impacted by market volatility through external events such as COVID-19.

After these insightful presentations, the virtual insight moved into a time of interaction through OpenGov Asia’s polling session.

On the first question asked the delegates where they were in their current AML journey, close to half  (44%) said that they have replaced their current AML solution in the previous year.

While discussing answers, a senior executive from a prominent bank in Malaysia shared that they shared their solution about 2 years ago, but are still facing some challenges including false positives, calibrations etc. He also shared that it is an ongoing journey for them, and they are looking to incorporate AI in their AML solution.

Interestingly, in the last session with Singapore-based delegates, for the same question, 62% answered that they were looking for technology that would complement their existing AML solution.

The second poll question asked if the current AML platform/solution provides real-time screening capabilities. Over 48% confirmed their platforms can only screen transactions by batch while 44% said that their AML platform has real-time screening in place.

A delegate reflected that batch screening is appropriate for more complex non- sanction transactions. But for screening sanctions, it should be done real-time. However, ideally, it would be to have a combination of both which is something new to explore.

The third asked about the main challenges that delegates are facing during the AML investigation process. A majority of them (38%) felt the lack of data/insight around customers, accounts and entities is the main problem.

On this one of the delegates shared an interesting reflection. She shared that the major issue is customer information not being updated. When the information is not updated, the risk profiling and mitigation also turns out to be inaccurate. So even when the claims and transactions are not actually high-risk, they seem suspicious.

On the final question on the extent to which organisations are incorporating AI/ML in their risk and compliance programs, half of our audience (50%) voted that they are still evaluating AI and ML before actually incorporating it.

Ahmed shared that it is good to see that majority of organisations were in different stages of their adoption cycle. They have either already adopted it or are evaluating it to understand its benefits. In the same vein, Ahmed brought the session to a closing where he thanked the delegates for the great insights they had all shared.

He closed by reminding them that AI/ML are not plug-and-play solutions that replace current solutions. They augment existing capabilities and strengthen existing systems. Further, SAS has worked hard to create a way of implementing their solution that can be customised to each organisation’s specific requirements and context.

The entire session, with the deep interaction among delegates and experts, led to an intense time of discovery and learning. Advanced Analytics, AI and AML capabilities can be a great tool in strengthening existing systems to combatting financial cybercrime and fraud – activities that may pose high-risk to customers and that can seriously affect an organisation’s credibility.

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with an multinational financial services corporation to advance digitalisation in the economy and support digital initiatives outlined in the government’s new PENJANA economic recovery plan.

MDEC, an agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia (KKMM), stated that the partnership will focus on enabling e-commerce for micro, small-and-medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); foster financial inclusion for unbanked and underbanked populations in rural communities, and drive the adoption of digital disbursement solutions.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia stated that the MoU between the financial firm and MDEC, the lead agency in driving the nation’s digital economy initiatives, brings a truly dynamic synergy that will see the sharing of best practices and knowledge-sharing between both parties to enable the economy’s digital transformation and fuel business growth in Malaysia.

KKMM and MDEC aspire to firmly establish Malaysia as the Heart of Digital ASEAN and reinforce its regional digital powerhouse role that engages global champions by ensuring the digital economy will drive shared prosperity for all Malaysians as well as the region.

The industry partners of both parties will be supported in the rollout of the financial firm’s payments and business technologies such as like the firm’s proprietary Payment Gateway Services, Kionect microcredit platform, and Tap-on-Phone Contactless Technology and Simplify Commerce.

The Chairman of MDEC noted that the challenges faced by the businesses this year have demonstrated to the government that achieving sustainable and inclusive growth requires a proactive public-private sector collaboration for trade and commerce to continue to flourish in the global scene.

Moreover, digitalisation is key and will continue to be a major factor for Malaysians to embrace living and working in an era that engages the 4th Industry Revolution (IR4.0) that propels forward shared prosperity for all.

The Chief Executive Officer of MDEC commented that by working with financial giant and drawing on their expertise in developing vast electronic payment infrastructure, the government looks forward to tackling a range of pressing economic and social issues through technologies that better connect individuals, communities, and businesses to become digitally-skilled Malaysians and digitally-powered businesses of all sizes across the country.

Both partners will leverage on each other’s programs such as the firm’s global mentorship programs and signature Girls4Tech STEM curriculum to promote digital and financial literacy for vulnerable groups, such as underprivileged women and girls, and women-led enterprises.

These are areas that are also being championed by MDEC through its various existing programs such as digital talent development, empowering women in cyber risk management, online eCommerce services with Perkhidmatan e-dagang setempat (PeDas), eUsahawan (entrepreneurship) and eRezeki (sustenance) initiatives.

MDEC will now be a corporate member of StartPath, Mastercard’s global initiative that supports innovative early-stage companies, to enable Malaysian Islamic FinTechs to grow and expand.

The Country Manager for Malaysia and Brunei at the financial services firm stated that the work that MDEC does is line with the company’s aims to advance digital technologies to create opportunity, expand inclusivity, and drive profitable entrepreneurship.

The Malaysian government has laid out ambitious goals for moving the country forward and create a smart, informed community—both out of the pandemic and beyond—and the firm is committed to supporting this pursuit of progress by working with the MDEC to deploy the most secure, efficient, and versatile payment technologies in the world.

In 2017, the firm partnered with Cyberview and the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) to transform Cyberjaya as a Smart City with a focus on cashless initiatives and now look forward to continuing this digital innovation endeavour through MDEC on a nationwide scale.

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has been known for its primary task to manage and lead Malaysia’s digital economy forward. As MDEC is positioned to ramp up the Malaysia 5.0, a concept that will work towards and contribute to a more sustainable and circular economy.

This will be done via the development of a national-level digital ecosystem with a unified alliance of stakeholders, both from within government and across the private sector that will enable business and societal migration onto the digital age.

Malaysia 5.0 directly addresses financial inclusion, access, performance and growth through the Fourth Industrial Revolution (“4IR”) tools, such as fintech, blockchain and artificial intelligence. These digital initiatives and hubs will emerge as core components for next-gen infrastructure of every country. They will be the ones facilitating the interoperability of goods and services that are flowing through them with interconnectivity between various market sectors.

Digital asset exchanges will play an important role as they offer participants the ability to monetise their activities over digital infrastructure, essentially serving as the capital markets for Malaysia 5.0.

These digital exchanges are, primarily, dynamic asset conversion facilities that will bridge current legacy marketplaces with new e-marketplaces. More importantly, they ensure both platforms can co-exist for the foreseeable future.

Challenges that businesses face currently include the inability to deploy capital and move assets seamlessly between legacy platforms. This is a historic problem for exchanges that persisted since their inception as floor-based marketplaces and are still present even after legacy platforms moved over to electronic trading. As legacy systems were still operating as stand-alone pools of liquidity, interoperability between newer and older systems are difficult to manage, expensive and only possible via multiple intermediaries.

The advent change for digital exchanges will reduce redundancies in capital markets and even provide enhanced liquidity and transparency. As is, legacy exchanges work well for blue-chip companies, in the same way, banks function as efficient lenders for the larger multi-national corporations. However, for start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), these options carry massive costs and overhead expenses.

As for the future of exchanges, it will combine digital and traditional assets in ways that can potentially change the decades-old exchange model. The impact of such changes will be dramatic, especially for start-ups and SMEs. Tokenisation and blockchain-based solutions will revolutionise the ability of smaller companies to raise capital as it makes the process more streamlined and cost-effective.

For MDEC, as the primary digital change agency, its role focuses on supporting and managing such transformational shifts. The need for robust institutional-grade digital asset exchanges in trusted environments is, now, greater than ever. This trend is already starting to happen in regulated environments as opposed to the ‘Crypto Wild West’.

Globally, digital asset exchanges represent a huge opportunity – the Southeast Asia region included. The market for digital assets has evolved substantially as security tokens started to gain more traction with institutional investors.  A survey conducted by the World Economic Forum already predicted how 10% of the world’s GDP will be stored on blockchain technology by 2027. This is an equivalent of US$24 trillion in financial assets.

Undoubtedly, Malaysia 5.0 is the golden opportunity to position the country into the heart of Digital ASEAN. The potential for early adopter countries, especially those that are taking the lead, is further facilitated as round-the-clock transactions become easier, cheaper and more secure while expanding its global reach.

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia (MCMC) has launched the #SayaDigital movement to empower Malaysians with digital skills and technologies.

In a statement today, MDEC said the movement’s primary aim is to accelerate a digital society and spur the country towards a digital leap into the era of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), to achieve Malaysia’s shared prosperity vision.

It said #SayaDigital has four primary goals, namely to make life convenient, boost income, empower careers and accelerate business expansion.

For the month of August, #SayaDigital will feature several MDEC-led capacity-building programmes, providing businesses with various means to go digital and enabling Malaysians to be digitally skilled with speed and at scale.

The first two weeks of the movement focused on scaling digital adoption among businesses, while the subsequent two weeks provide opportunities for Malaysians to learn and enhance digital skills.

The recently held SME Digital Summit, which is the first of its kind in Malaysia, successfully attracted over one million digital participants during the three days.

The participants learned and implemented digital solutions to restart or expand their businesses.

The period of 21 August to 30 August 2020 has been reserved for initiatives such as The Young Creators, #MYDigitalWorkforce Week and Gig and Freelance Expo (GFX), focusing on cultivating digital skills and talents, enhancing the capability of Malaysians to monetise their new abilities, and matching digital jobs with the right talents.

The contents, which will be fully virtualised, consist of webinar sessions, panel discussions and digital engagement opportunities. There will also be digital career fairs, online competitions and other satellite events over the two weeks.

Many of the talks and keynote sessions will have industry and public sector experts sharing the latest trends, insights and thoughts on the new norm with advice on what the businesses should be ready for.

Developing local SMEs digital skills

SMEs, more than any other business segment, will see big digital transformation over the next few years and are therefore an essential participant in Malaysia 5.0, OpenGov Asia previously reported.

Malaysia 5.0 outlines a problem-solving approach to society’s challenges and problems through the deployment and implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies which integrates both physical and digital environments.

It stems from the term “Society 5.0” which describes the next stage of the evolution of societal communities, following the hunting society (Society 1.0), agricultural society (Society 2.0), industrial society (Society 3.0), and information society (Society 4.0).

Society 5.0 underpins MDEC’s strategy aimed at delivering such solutions to Malaysians across all economic classes, and especially SMEs hit by the Covid-19 crisis, in facing the challenging economic environment ahead.

Digital transformation, from e-commerce solutions, training and education, and integration onto common platforms, will improve lifestyles and enable independence for those that implement them proactively.

At the same time, the big data revolution will empower SMEs to fully flex their considerable influence in the economy. Today they face multiple challenges such as lack of business connections, limited awareness of technology, lack of access to funding, education and training, and poor internet presence in a world going full-on digital.

Malaysia 5.0, if properly implemented, can directly address their inclusion, access, performance and growth through 4IR tools such as Fintech, Blockchain, Analytics and AI. Digitalization offers new opportunities for SMEs to participate in the global economy, innovate, and grow.

Japan and Malaysia have been closely collaborating to contain the spread of Covid-19, the Japan ambassador to Malaysia recently highlighted. The contribution by the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT), established in 2011 with Japanese development assistance as a centre of excellence in technology research, is a case in point. Face shields manufactured by cutting-age three-dimensional printers in MJIIT are put to use for the protection of medical front-liners.

A Lieutenant Colonel at the Malaysia Civil Defence Force, who has led efforts in developing anti-COVID-19 standard operating procedures, as well as setting up and managing quarantine stations, is a graduate of MJIIT’s Master of Disaster Risk Management programme.

MJIIT is the culmination of long-lasting bilateral cooperation under the Look East Policy, which was launched in 1981. The significance of Japanese developmental cooperation lies in the prioritisation of human resource development. For instance, there are nine Japanese professors teaching at MJIIT, sharing state-of-the-art Japanese engineering expertise.

Under the Look East Policy, more than 17,000 Malaysians studied in Japan and they are now playing leading roles in Malaysia. Their presence gives a unique strength to the friendship between Japan and Malaysia. The 40th anniversary of the policy will be celebrated next year. To accelerate global efforts in the development of medicines and vaccines to fight Covid-19, Japan joined the World Health Organisation-led initiative, called “Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator”, together with Malaysia in April 2020.

At its launch, Malaysia’s Prime Minister stated that no one should be left behind from vaccines. Japan shares his aspirations and looks forward to furthering cooperation with Malaysia in international fora. The ambassador stated that digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things would be the key to this transformation. He foresees further engagements of Japan, as a frontrunner in science and technology, in Malaysia in the post-COVID-19 period.

In August 2019, the Selangor State Government, a group of researchers from the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Center (DPPC) of the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University, City of Sendai, Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) launched a publication on landslide and flood risks in the state of Selangor that was officially handed over to the Chief Minister of the State of Selangor.

Replete with simplified technical explanations and illustrations, the Report, called “Disaster Risk Report: Understanding Landslide and Flood Risks for Science-Based Disaster Risk Reduction in the State of Selangor”,  shows how the outputs of science-based analysis such as hazard maps can serve as a decision-making tool that allows local governments and community members better understand their disaster risks and come up with their own preventive actions.

This report is the first output of a four-year program run by Selangor State, IRIDeS and DPPC/MJIIT called “Strengthening the Disaster Risk Reduction Capacity to Improve the Safety and Security of Communities by Understanding Disaster Risks (SeDAR)”.

The SeDAR program enables the sharing and transferring of knowledge, know-how, and expertise of IRIDeS based on Japanese experience to local community leaders and residents in Malaysia to better prepare for and cope with disasters. DPPC brings technological expertise and local knowledge of the project, while Selangor Disaster Management Unit carries out the outreach activities to bring this knowledge and understanding to the people of Selangor.

Pushing CE technology

The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the urgent need for better ways of handling crises particularly through the use of technology. This is where Critical Event Management comes in. According to Everbridge, the global leader in critical event management and enterprise safety applications, a critical event is a disruptive incident which poses serious risk or threat to assets or people.

An effective Critical Event Management program and strategy is an integrated, end-to-end process that enables organisations to significantly speed up responses to critical events and improve outcomes by mitigating or eliminating the impact of a threat.

An effective CEM system would mean that business continuity, disaster recovery, active assailant, emergency response, natural disaster, IT incident risk management, and mass notification would all be rolled up into an easy-to-execute, strategic plan with long-term benefits.

The Malaysian branch of a Japanese multinational system integration company announced that it surging ahead with plans to expand data centre capabilities across the Asia Pacific and the wider world, with enhancements in Malaysia and Indonesia now months away.

In Malaysia, the company is currently constructing a fifth data centre at its Cyberjaya campus, located 30km away from the centre of Kuala Lumpur. The new Cyberjaya 5 facility will house 5.6 MW of “critical IT load” and will come online during the fourth quarter of 2020 to meet the requirements of hyper-scalers and high-end enterprise customers.

Meanwhile, the firm’s new campus in Indonesia will be capable of 45 MW of critical IT load once fully developed. Under the banner of Indonesia Jakarta 3 Data Centre, the new facility is expected to become the largest data centre in Indonesia with plans in place to open during the first half of 2021.

In addition to Southeast Asia, new data centre capabilities will also be launched in India, Japan, the UK, Germany and the USA, providing over 400 megawatts (MW) of IT load upon completion.

The Senior Executive Vice President of Services at the firm stated that nowadays, organisations demand an ever-expanding global platform to reach their growing digital business objectives. Hence, the firm continues to expand its portfolio of the best data centres in new and existing markets that complement its global geographic footprint.

Customers will have access to full-stack technology solutions, spanning data centre, network, voice and video infrastructure and managed services. The global system integrator (GSI) has also committed to following sustainable best practices ‘where possible’.

The new data centres will be set up for clients to use renewable energy if they choose, as the firm invests in a sustainable future for the planet. The data centres are strategically located to support interconnected ecosystems around the world’s most important business and government hubs and will include the latest data centre technology for security, reliability, and energy efficiency.

The firm will leverage its deep construction expertise and the strength of its capital resources to extend their line of data centre facilities – with more to come, the Executive Vice President of Global Data Centres at the firm.

According to another article, a wholly-owned subsidiary of a local engineering services company accepted a letter of award from Future Digital Data Systems LLC (FDDS) to build a data centre for about RM1.47 billion.

Malaysia’s data centre market expected to expand

Malaysia’s data centre market size is likely to reach revenues of over $800 million by 2025. Malaysia is also expected to gain increased traction for data centre investments owing to the land shortage faced by Singapore to facilitate greenfield developments.

The expansion by hyperscale across other Southeast Asian countries is likely to lead to an increase in investments in Malaysia. Over 80% of the population has access to the Internet, the data traffic in Malaysia Internet Exchange is around 35 Gbps per day, which is expected to grow at about 5-10% YOY between 2020 and 2025.

The Malaysian government has planned to generate 20% renewable energy by 2025. To achieve the target, an $8 billion investment is required for the renewable energy sector from the public-private partnerships and private financing. The increase in digital transformation initiatives by enterprise verticals will aid the growth of PaaS and IaaS providers, thereby boosting the market growth.

Several Malaysian and Chinese enterprises have planned to establish an Artificial Intelligence park at a cost of $1 billion. The aim is to build a commercial AI ecosystem, increase artificial intelligence talent, and grow AI-related research initiatives in Malaysia.

The Malaysia national industry 4.0 framework has designated initiative programs to adopt IoT, sensor technology, artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), mobile connectivity, robotics, and 3-D printing.

Infrastructure projects such as the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) are to be implemented by the government to improve inland connectivity across Malaysia in the next five years. Big data analytics digital lab has helped the government to map public health patterns and improve safety and convenience in transportation facilities.

To drive the development of the National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP2020), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Automotive Institutions, Robotics and Lot Malaysia (MARii) announced that they are collaborating on developing new generation vehicles (NxGV). Specifically, they will be looking into re-manufacturing and recycling and intelligent manufacturing technology (smart manufacturing) through a variety of research and development (R&D).

One of the projects carried out includes the development and commercialization of electric car (EV) batteries, supported by Research and Development efforts by both parties focusing on battery performance, battery replication, lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery production development and more.

The Vice-Chancellor of UKM stated that the signing of the MoU showed closer cooperation between the two institutions in enhancing technological capabilities. It is hoped that the emergence of the digital economy in the Industrial 4.0 landscape will drive more sustainable innovation in various domain applications for the benefit of the government, organizations, and all citizens.

This innovation can be further utilized to change the way Malaysians live and work, creating an inclusive digital society with the same goal, which will not only generate wealth for better well-being but also bring peace and prosperity to the world, the academic stated while delivering a speech at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UKM and MARii, in Cyberjaya recently.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of MARii noted that the collaboration will complete the network of strategic expertise needed to implement projects related to research and development of basic materials for the manufacture of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, cybersecurity and digitization in the mobility sector.

These projects will add value to the development of NxGV, Maas and IR4.0, in line with NAP2020. This collaboration will also be able to show the development of a special network for Reverse Logistics, which includes the process of collection, recycling and end-of-life vehicle (ELV).

The Smart Data Initiative will also be implemented and focuses on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the manufacturing process. The aim is to push forward Smart Manufacturing in Malaysia. With Industry 4.0 technology, the project will focus on cybersecurity methods that use various techniques to protect data and resources.

About Malaysia’s National Automotive Policy 2020

The National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP2020) is expected to contribute RM104.2 billion to Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 10 years, an earlier article by OpenGov Asia noted. The forecasted contribution is in line with its projection of total production volume of 1.47 million vehicles and total industry volume of 1.22 million vehicles by 2030.

The overall intended outcomes of the NAP2020 are an increase in research of new technologies; the creation of business and job opportunities, particularly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs); and the development of new manufacturing processes and value chains within the local automotive and overall automobile sector. The NAP2020 will further enhance the Malaysian automotive sector by transforming it into connected mobility.

The element of technology such as Next Generation Vehicle (NxGV), mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) and Industrial Revolution 4.0 are in line with disruptive trends that have emerged in global markets, the Minister stated.

The NAP2020 is a holistic policy that covers the comprehensive development of industry capacities including supply chain, human capital, indigenous technology, aftermarket, exports, infrastructure readiness, standards and regulations. The NAP2020 will focus on the development of ecosystems for the NxGV, MaaS and Industry 4.0 technologies while continuing its focus on enhancing the development of Energy Efficient Vehicles.

The policy entails the National Roadmap Automotive for the mobility value chain, technology, mobility talent, aftermarket and National Blueprint Automotive for mobility as a service, robotics and IoT. It also envisions driving a policy that focuses on connected mobility, while enhancing Malaysia’s automotive industry in the era of digital industrial transformation.

The NAP2020’s vision includes integrating supply chains, local manufacturing, engineering capabilities, the latest technology trends, and sustainable development.

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