SINGAPORE (May 19): The digital economy is expected to contribute 22.6% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) and create over 500,000 jobs by 2025, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
Dr Adham said Malaysia has placed priorities on expanding the adoption of digital consumer tools (e-commerce and digital payments); attracting, training, and retaining digital talent; fostering digital entrepreneurial ventures; providing fast fibre optics and mobile broadband Internet access; as well as coordinating innovation between universities, businesses and digital authorities.
"The level of digital evolution helped cushion against the pandemic’s economic impact. For example, more digitally-evolved economies tend to derive a larger share of their GDP from high-tech sectors, where the workforce can shift to remote working more readily.
"In addition, they tend to be better at delivering public services online due to superior infrastructure, experience with digital transformation in much of the public sector, and accessible, affordable Internet. Some even leveraged their superior digital evolution for contact tracing, exposure identification, data collection, and public health messaging that significantly minimised economic disruptions," he said in his keynote address at the Huawei Asia Pacific Digital Innovation Conference 2022 here on Thursday (May 19).
The two-day conference themed “Innovation for a digital Asia Pacific” at Marina Bay Sands here brought together industry leaders, major stakeholders, key customers, and authoritative organisations across the region, totalling over 1,000 people onsite and over 30,000 online participants.
Dr Adham further shared that Malaysia has recently launched the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital) to help guide the country's transformation into a digitally-driven, high-income nation and a regional leader in the digital economy.
"MyDigital will further strengthen and elevate the sustainable development of the digital economy by providing a collaborative platform and market demand for digital solutions developed and deployed by local digital technology startups and small and medium enterprises, both in the form of devices and systems, in a bid to place Malaysia on the trajectory to become a high-tech producer nation," the minister said.
Dr Adham said that during the Covid-19 outbreak, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) introduced public health vaccination infrastructure that can be deployed during emergency pandemic situations.
Vaccine Management System (VMS) is a system developed by Mosti via its agency Mimos Bhd using the hyperledger blockchain platform to enable the pharmacist, medical and respective officers to track and trace the vaccine supply chain from the manufacturers until its recipients (the patients) using blockchain technology.
"VMS is currently running live, and Mosti is ready to discuss with any country on vaccine certificate recognition," he said.
He also shared on Mosti's on-campus 5G Experience Centre, namely MRANTI, which in the midst of developing the first artificial intelligence (AI) park in Malaysia, a designated 300-acre (121.4-hectare) plot which will serve as the platform for the development of AI solutions, where there is also a drone tech centre of excellence named Area 57, a five-acre (2.02-hectare) dedicated land bank for flying, testing, research and development activities.
Meanwhile, through the partnership of Mimos, Maxis and Huawei Malaysia, the AI Innovation Hub, a facility equipped with 5G network infrastructure and AI instruments, has been established to accelerate the creation of industrial use-cases enabled by 5G, AI and other advanced technologies in the country, he added.
Dr Adham said Malaysia sees sustainable development goals in a bigger picture to support planetary health, which has become more important than ever before.
The minister said Mosti will lead the formulation of a national action plan on planetary health using science, technology and innovation to manage the environment.
Malaysia, through Mosti, is always open to forging strategic partnership with global institutions in the area of digitalisation, he said.
"For instance, Mimos through its Digital Transformation Programme with Huawei focuses on the development of curriculum and course programmes for deep tech and future skills. This programme encompasses skills training such as on 5G, AI, Internet of things and big data.
"Looking at the boundless benefits that digitalisation technology has to offer, Malaysia welcomes further cooperation and partnerships on digitalisation programmes both in the bilateral and multilateral spheres," he added.