MDEC to drive digital agenda with launch of twelfth Malaysia plan

Photo Credit Izuddin Helmi Adnan Unsplash

Focus on reducing the digital divide and attracting high quality digital investments.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia’s lead digital economy agency, welcomes the emphasis on digital and technology for the nations development in the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP) announced by YAB Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday.

The five-year (2021–2025) plan – themed “A Prosperous, Inclusive, Sustainable Malaysia” – aims to steer Malaysia out of the COVID-19 pandemic effect and put the economy back on track. Efforts to achieve this will focus on digitalising micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to broaden market access and facilitating strategic and quality digital investment.

MDEC will intensify efforts to encourage MSMEs to adopt digital technologies in production, processes, and business services, mainly in the back end of business operations. The 12MP also includes the positioning of Malaysia as the ASEAN digital centre, given the country’s strong capability in cybersecurity solutions and digital content products.

“The focus on digitalising MSMEs and to position Malaysia as the ASEAN digital centre through the 12MP reaffirms the impact of MDEC’s twin initiatives of #SayaDigital and Malaysia Heart of Digital ASEAN.

“We will continue to push forward initiatives to establish a progressive and inclusive digital economy in line with our vision as well as the goals of the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL),” said Mahadhir Aziz, CEO, MDEC.

MDEC’s initiatives such as eRezeki, eUsahawan and Global Online Workforce (GLOW) have collectively brought more than RM2.153 billion in income generated. More recently, MDEC has kicked off the 2021 edition of the 100 Go Digital Coaching programme, which aims to enable businesses in key sectors to move towards digitalising their businesses to remain competitive, sustainable, and profitable amidst the pandemic.

This year, MDEC kickstarted the Go-eCommerce Onboarding and Shop Malaysia Online campaigns that will benefit 300,000 local businesses by helping onboard them into eCommerce and ePayment platforms. From 2017 to 2020, MDEC has helped 489,000 SMEs adopt ecommerce, with companies using eCommerce for export growing from 1,800 to 27,000.

The Digital Investments Future5 (DIF5) strategy, a five-year plan focusing on five key thrusts, is aimed at attracting investments and advancing Malaysia’s digital economy. By 2025, MDEC aims to have landed catalytic and high-quality digital investments to unlock new drivers of growth, which will be supported and facilitated by the Digital Investment Office (DIO).

MDEC’s initiatives are also aimed towards reskilling and upskilling new and existing workforce for the digital economy. The Digital Skills Training Directory, for instance, serves as a one-stop guide to digital reskilling and upskilling via a catalogue of 250 courses and online training providers that have been specifically reviewed and endorsed by MDEC’s Talent Expert Network (TEN).

MDEC has also been key to the development of the Malaysian cybersecurity and digital creative content industry. MATRIX is a collaboration programme between the government and industries to provide solutions with the aim to manage SME cybersecurity challenges and act as a catalyst for the success of SMEs in the era of digital economy.

Since 2019, MDEC has led the development of the Digital Content Ecosystem (DICE) Policy, which aims to fortify the local digital content industry and position Malaysia as a leader in digital content creation and production.

The rapid advancement of digital adoption has been a disruptive force within the business community. In this new landscape, data has been a hot commodity that creates a vast supply of opportunities with the emergence of cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

According to a report by International Data Corporation, the total amount of data generated in the world last year was estimated at 64.2 zettabytes (1 zettabyte: a trillion gigabytes). The colossal amount signifies that data represents every aspect of human lives.

“With new information being generated every second, data should be treated as the ‘oxygen’ for the digital economy that needs to be harnessed for shared prosperity and value innovation to enable new sources of growth.

“Businesses that embrace data tend to be more agile and innovative, especially during these trying times. We have seen many that have been flourishing from creative business models compared to others who are struggling to survive. At the national level, data-driven decisions benefit the country, be it economically or in managing the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Aiza Azreen Ahmad, Chief Digital Business Officer (CDB), MDEC.

Responding to the digital evolution, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia’s lead digital economy agency, introduced the DataKITA initiative to prepare the digital ecosystem in adapting to the new world order of data utilisation, particularly one that is driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies.

Launched in November 2020, the DataKITA initiative sees MDEC joining forces with the industry to provide an impetus for businesses to kickstart their data transformation journey through a structured approach as well as leveraging data literacy, data analytics, governance, data sharing and AI.

With aims to raise the availability, accessibility, and usability of data in Malaysia, the DataKITA initiative is standing on four strategic pillars:

  • Knowledge: Promote Data Literacy
  • Infrastructure: Foster a Data-Driven Environment
  • Talent: Facilitate Development of Data Professionals
  • Action: Accelerate Business Enterprises to be Data-Driven and AI-Ready

The four pillars will ensure that the beneficiaries of the initiative are catalysing a thriving data ecosystem.

Aimed at stimulating a mindset change and encouraging knowledge sharing on technology adoption, DataKITA serves as Malaysia’s aspiration in fortifying the efforts towards meeting the 4IR standards as well as the fast changes of disruptive technologies that have been proven to exponentially transform the global economic landscape, in line with Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL) and the National Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Policy.

Additionally, DataKITA gears up Malaysia to tap into the lucrative data economy, which IDC has projected Malaysia’s data-driven spending to reach $US1.9 billion by 2025 from $US1.1 billion in 2021. By controlling its data destiny, Malaysia can be a digitally sovereign nation that leads an innovative digital economy, in line with MDEC’s mission to create a digitally integrated society that is driven by a sustainable and inclusive digital economy.

With the COVID-19 pandemic showed at great length how data fluency could save lives by enabling businesses to continue operating, MDEC strives to equip local trailblazers with the tool kits to survive the new normal.

As part of the DataKITA initiative, MDEC will be hosting the AI and Data Week 2021 (AIDW 2021). Starting from 25 October 2021, AIDW 2021 is a week-long event that aims to position Malaysia as a thought leader for the regional digital hub for data, AI, and Internet of Things (IoT).

The goal of AIDW 2021 is to help catalyse the mindset integration as well as the adoption of data, AI and IoT among the attendees and participants through various captivating events that will be held during the week.

The virtual event welcomes industry players, data professionals, data communities and tech startups to engage with business enterprises, working professionals and government officials.  

Its anchor event, which will be on 26 October, will feature insightful speakers in the areas of AI and data such as Nikolai Dobberstein, Partner and Asia Pacific Head of Communications, Media and Technology, Kearney; Carl Ward from Amazon Web Services and Laurence Liew of AI Singapore.



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