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Govt unveils Malaysian Digital to replace MSC and address 3 priorities

Govt unveils Malaysian Digital to replace MSC and address 3 priorities

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The government has launched the Malaysia Digital initiative to address three strategic priorities. They are to drive digital adoption among aspiring young entrepreneurs, companies and citizens; support local tech companies to become ‘Malaysian Champions’ and successful international players; and attract high-value digital investments. 

According to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia Digital is the initiative to succeed MSC Malaysia, which has served to transform Malaysia into a knowledge-based economy since 1996. With a new and enhanced framework, the new initiative seeks to enhance the nation’s digital capabilities and boost the digital economy. The latest initiative is driven by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (K-KOMM) through MDEC.

The Malaysia Digital Coordination Committee will lead the execution of Malaysia Digital and will also coordinate the initiative's governance and operations, including awarding Malaysia Digital status to companies. 

Through MDEC, the government will introduce two initial Malaysia Digital Catalytic Programmes, DE Rantau and Digital Trade. DE Rantau is a programme to boost digital adoption, promote professional mobility and drive tourism across Malaysia, aimed to establish Malaysia as the preferred Digital Nomad Hub. Meanwhile, Digital Trade will drive interoperability and greater harmonisation of standards and regulatory approaches as well as to facilitate trade within and across borders.

Annuar Haji Musa, minister of communications and multimedia, said that Malaysia Digital is a testament to the continued efforts of K-KOMM and MDEC to spur Malaysia’s digital economy, in line with the ministry’s vision to establish a society that is informed, creative, and digitally cultured. “K-KOMM and MDEC will establish a dedicated platform for the industry to continuously participate and provide valuable feedback on Malaysia Digital, which will include private sector representatives from relevant industry bodies and organisations as subject matter experts,” he said.

While digitalisation is becoming increasingly important, ASEAN businesses that are less digitalised found it less appealing to pursue further digital adoption. The ASEAN Digital Generation Report 2021 which surveyed 86,000 individuals in the region said respondents who were less digitalised cited digital skills as a key barrier. Those who were more digitalised cited factors such as trust and security concerns as barriers for further digital adoption.

Meanwhile, a study done in 2018 uncovered that more than two in five (43%) of Malaysian employees feel their jobs are at risk due to an increasingly digital economy. The study was titled "The Drive for the Digitally-enabled Workforce" and found that despite high digitalisation awareness, 37% of Malaysian employees feel they do not have the right skills to compete in an increasingly digital economy, while 44% of Malaysian employees feel their managers are not proactively engaging them about digitalisation to future-proof their careers.

Picture courtesy: Shutterstock

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