August 15, 2020

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Malaysia’s Digital Economy Task Force holds first meeting

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Earlier this week, the Minister of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia and the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation co-chaired the first meeting of the Digital Economic Task Force (DETF). The meeting was held in Cyberjaya, Malaysia’s tech hub.

The DETF consists of 32 members including senior officials from relevant Ministries and Government agencies, industry representatives as well as representatives of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

As empowering the Digital Economy is a key agenda of the country, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia (KKMM) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti), through the DETF, will accelerate and stimulate the nation’s economic sectors that have been affected by Covid-19.

This objective can be achieved in Malaysia by rolling out initiatives similar to the ones which are currently gaining a foothold across the world, where the Digital Economy is a salient part of daily life.

At the same time, efforts made by the Ministries, agencies and those in the private sector within the Digital Economy framework will also contribute to increasing Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In addition, the Digitalisation of Government Services Delivery initiative was announced and is included in the Science, Technology, Innovation and Economics (STIE) program under the National Policy on Science, Technology, and Innovation (DSTIN) 2021-2030 through what the two ministries have deemed “Digital Tsunami activities”.

Mosti, through Mimos Bhd and Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, will push for the expansion and adoption of big data analytics and artificial intelligence. This is meant to ensure value-added creation.

Both ministries have expressed that the establishment of the DETF represents the best and most appropriate opportunity to play an important role in coordinating the implementation of the various digital economic initiatives to drive the country’s economic recovery, guided by the main thrust of the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) announced on 5 June 2020.

The work of the DETF is guided by four main thrusts namely, empowering the people, propelling businesses, stimulating the economy and enablers.

The DETF meeting discussed the 15 high-impact programs under the four thrusts to accelerate the digitisation of the national economy and make Malaysia a digital and high-tech nation, namely;

Thrust 1: Empowering the People

  1. Development of digital economy talent
  2. The Gig Economy
  3. E-Learning (digital education)
  4. Adoption of cashless payments

Thrust 2: Propelling Businesses

  1. Adoption of e-commerce
  2. Digitisation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
  3. Technology Platforms
  4. Innovation in startups
  5. Digital Creative Industry
  6. Government E-Procurement between SMEs

Thrust 3: Stimulating the Economy

  1. Attract investments
  2. Digitalisation of the public sector

Thrust 4: Enabling capabilities

  1. Digital infrastructure
  2. Cybersecurity
  3. Data sharing

Besides this, participants agreed that the DETF must ensure more orderly coordination between agencies while ensuring that activities related to the development of the country’s digital economy do not overlap.

Also discussed at the meeting was the importance of the involvement of local industry. This includes start-ups that supply of digital products and services to public and private sectors. In empowering local start-ups, Malaysia can boost the development of its digital industry.

Cyber trust and security were also in focus at the meeting; with the aim being to encourage and grow the use of digital platforms in business transactions and data sharing.

In the future, DETF meetings will be held periodically and the findings reported to the Cabinet to ensure successful implementation of every high-impact project.

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