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Malaysian PM: Industry 4.0 adoption ‘boils down to knowledge on application’

According to a recent report, Malaysia’s Prime Minister noted that the limitless growth potential from digital adoption amid the fourth industrial revolution “boils down to knowledge on application”.

This was noted when he spoke at the launch of the National Policy on Industry 4.0, adding that the substance of the fourth industrial revolution “lies in the application of available new technologies”.

He noted that the nation has seen how application of information technology and the Internet of Things has opened up market supply chains, easing access to products from the most remote areas, bringing wealth and prosperity to even the rural areas.

The PM added that the Fourth Industrial Revolution can address many issues concerning businesses, including the environment, health and safety of workforce, waste management, efficiency in managing supply chains, resources and delivery systems. And, that the potential for growth is limitless, but it all boils down to knowledge on application.

Recently the PM launched the Policy on Industry 4.0 named ‘Industry4WRD’ — a bespoke policy for Malaysia that focuses on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector, as a response to the fourth industrial revolution occurring worldwide.

Later at a press conference later, the PM emphasised the need for such policy, expressing distaste towards the restrictions pressed unto SMEs in Malaysia when they seek to drive innovation.

Noting that if needless restrictions continue to be placed on SMEs in Malaysia, it “will never progress”.

Sub-sectors in focus are as underlined in the Mid-term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020 namely electrical and electronics (E&E), machinery and equipment (M&E) chemicals, aerospace and medical devices, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in a statement.

The government, said the PM, maintains that to drive the economy, it must remain the backbone of the economy supported by other sectors like commodity and services.

The PM noted that manufacturing firms can no longer reap the same yields as in previous decades if they continue to rely on capital and labour as productivity levers; adding that the country has lagged behind and in order to catch up.

The Prime Minister stated that smart manufacturing will eventually lead to the emergence of smart cities, smart grids, smart services et cetera in Malaysia. Industry4WRD can be a clear strategic direction for the nation since these technologies apply across the board.

MITI, which has worked on the policy since mid-2017, said that the government will act as an enabler through a five-thrust concept named FIRST — funding, infrastructure, regulatory frameworks, skill improvement programmes and technology accessibility — to reach specific goals by 2025.

This includes to increase the productivity level of manufacturing industry per person by 30 per cent to RM138,641 from RM106,647.

At the same time, it sought to elevate absolute contribution of the manufacturing sector to the economy to RM392 billion, from RM254 billion representing 23 per cent gross domestic product presently.

The government also envisions the number of high-skilled workers to rise to 35 per cent of total workforce in the manufacturing sector, from its current 18 per cent.

Finally, the government aims to lift Malaysia to among the top 30 countries in the world in the Global Innovation Index, from 35th place presently.

The Malaysian government has also introduced the Industry4WRD Readiness Programme to allow businesses to assess existing gaps in their manufacturing lines and operations, with targeted intervention of experienced assessors, it said.

The government noted that the policy envisions Malaysia as a strategic partner for smart manufacturing, primary destination for high-tech industries and total solution provider for manufacturing and related services in the region.

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