Malaysia to transform into a digitally-enabled, technology-driven high-income nation, says PM Ismail

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PUTRAJAYA OCT.25: A defining feature of the COVID-19 pandemic is digital transformation where it has filled every aspect of our lives besides altering economic, social and structural domains.

Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said, the pandemic has led to the rise of digital technologies, by which have supported governments and businesses in adopting agile and adaptive responses.

Ismail said, in this regard almost all ASEAN countries have introduced digital tools for disseminating information, monitoring healthcare and sustaining education continuance.

“Businesses continue exploring digital financing, e-platform and promote gig-economy. This digital economic growth worldwide had been estimated to reach USD455 billion by the year 2023.

“While we can agree that digital integration has enabled ASEAN to harness its collective competitiveness in the global economy and foster domestic growth, divergences in technological readiness and connectivity remain elusive.

“We cannot disregard the speed and scale of changes that have implicated our society, of which in due process had widened inequalities across nations,” Ismail said.

The Prime Minister said that in his keynote address “Towards ASEAN Sustainable Digital Future” at the ASEAN Business Investment Summit 2021 held virtually that was attended by distinguished guests including Dr. Ar. Siti Rozaimeriyanty Abdul Rahman, Chair of ASEAN Business Advisory Council 2021 and Heads of Government and States of ASEAN.

“We cannot disregard the speed and scale of changes that have implicated our society, of which in due process had widened inequalities across nations.

“The essential question is how do we harness these technologies for future preparation of our businesses and people, while cushioning disruptive transitions? Thus, we need to reshape our digital ecosystem in a way that ensures inclusive, sustainable and resilient growth,” he said.

Ismail added, on this note three key points of suggested resolutions including firstly by building inclusive digital infrastructure. It is imperative for every ASEAN states to foster a truly accessible and affordable digital infrastructure for all. In this vein, Malaysia has taken efforts to improve the foundational infrastructure, with the launching of Malaysian Digital Blueprint (or MyDIGITAL) initiative early this year in tandem with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (or 4-i-R).

“Our aim is to transform the nation into a digitally-enabled, technology-driven high-income economy, while enhancing digital infrastructure for seamless and extensive connectivity.

“This aspiration is currently being actualised by the National Digital Network (or JENDELA) action plan, with an allocation of approximately USD6.7 billion. It was aimed at improving broadband quality and coverage while paving the way to 5G technology.

“These initiatives will enable Malaysia to enhance the preparedness of the nation as well as catalysing a conducive ecosystem for an innovative economy,” Ismail added.

Secondly he said, by promoting inclusive digital literacy, Malaysia has emphasised on developing future-ready digital talents as one of the outlined strategies under our recently tabled Twelfth Malaysia Plan.

Under the Plan Ismail said, continuous measures in up-skilling and re-skilling digital literacy will be undertaken in ensuring relevancy of workforce at all times. Malaysia is consistently expanding industrial trainings, which include Technical and Vocational Education Training, Research and Development, as well as Commercialization and Innovation.

Ismail added, thirdly by boosting digital-ready micro, small and medium enterprise (MSMEs) and for this, Malaysia have intensified policy interventions, of which specifically targeted to expand the breadth and depth of digitalisation adoption by our MSMEs.

“This approach is imperative for Malaysia, as our MSMEs accounted for more than 90% of businesses in ASEAN economies. Without due preparations and measures, we could be among the most hard-hit by the pandemic post repercussion. Therefore, successful adoption of digital technologies are crucial for our consistent revitalisation and sustainable economic recovery,” Ismail reiterated. – Malaysia World News


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