November 30, 2020

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Propelling the nation forward with Malaysia 5.0 tech

The digitisation and digitalisation of the Malaysian economy is an important factor in the changing society today as most countries are re-emerging by adopting new norms due to pandemics affecting various sectors. This unprecedented situation has led to irregular structural changes in past lifestyles.

However, a majority of the population does not have much choice because they have to adapt to the new paradigm as past practices have to be changed forever. It is important to acknowledge that this crisis is causing the emergence of change agents that trigger a new digital era.

The industrial revolution that bloomed about 200 years ago has exposed humans to technology has now entered a new phase which is the leap into the Industrial Revolution 4.0 or IR 4.0. Despite the belief that IR 4.0 will remain, the implementation of these technologies will determine which societies will progress and which ones will be left behind.

Just as steam engines trigger the use of fossil fuels to aggravate the current climate crisis, the power of IR 4.0 technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, material internet (IoT), robotics and crypto will determine the quality for human beings whether they provide well-being or vice versa.

Taking on the responsibility of digitising Malaysians who are ‘affected’ by this transformation, the role of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is being implemented accordingly. The agency is responsible for ensuring the widespread dissemination and use of IR 4.0 tools in advance so that the community is aware of the challenges that are inevitable not only in Malaysia but also globally.

Considering that more than 90 percent of businesses in Malaysia are categorized as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), it is an essential requirement for this group to be given ‘digital power’. Therefore, the focus is also given to MDEC for the digitization and digitization of family-based businesses.

Investment through training, subsidies, incentives, grants and loans are all important to achieve the goal of digital participation, especially during these challenging times, MDEC is in a unique position to encourage grassroots engagement by sharing resources that fairly involve all stakeholders in society.

The main philosophy that drives the penetration of IR 4.0 technology in the Malaysian digital economy is to achieve common prosperity for all citizens. The current global crisis is an opportunity to place the country in a position from where it can prepare for a better future with greater possibilities as well as by placing the community at the centre of IR 4.0 technology.

Another article notes that MDEC aspires to firmly establish Malaysia as the Heart of Digital ASEAN, a regional digital powerhouse launching global champions to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). It also aims to ensure the digital economy will drive shared prosperity for all Malaysians by accelerating our digital economy growth, ensuring it is inclusive and rewarding for all, focused on the key drivers: empowering Malaysians with Digital Skills, enabling Digitally-Powered Businesses, and driving Digital Sector Investments.

At the cusp of the 4IR, Malaysia is blessed with the chance of re-engineering the human experiment using technologies that decentralise authority and de-emphasise divisions along the lines of colour, creed and country – what the Japanese have coined as “Society 5.0” – and the nation has adapted as “Malaysia 5.0”.

The term describes the next stage of the evolution of societal communities. The quest for Society 5.0 is built around the needs of a human-centred society. MDEC envisions playing a leading role in catalysing this transition to Malaysia 5.0 as a new narrative for introducing emerging technologies which are essential tools in the new Malaysia 5.0 digital economy.

With Malaysia 5.0, it can contribute to a more sustainable and circular economy, where greater well-being is possible for all citizens regardless of age, ethnicity, and class.