By : K. Vatsala Devi and Shah Ahmed Farouq

SHAH ALAM –  If one were to take a look at the last five years, there have been many changes that have taken place within the country and these changes are in various aspects. One of the biggest change is how technology has played a pivotal role in our lives.

Just in the past year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has gripped Malaysia and the rest of the world has seen many turn to technology for the day-to-day. From meetings, events, and business transactions to social gatherings, learning, and even the way we order food has been largely dependent on technology.

At the touch of a button, the world has gotten smaller and “it has never been clearer that technology is a convenient tool for advancement in the best of times, and an essential tool of survival during the most challenging of crises,” said the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin at the virtual launch of MyDIGITAL and Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint virtually here on Friday.

The Prime Minister said the initiative would complement national development policies such as the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) and Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (WKB 2030). In his speech, the Prime minister explained that the MyDIGITAL initiative aims to empower every Malaysian, from Perlis to Sabah, to improve their lives in all aspects.

Among others, it includes ideas and plans to improve digital literacy, create high-income jobs, make banking easier and more organized, whilst providing virtual educational access and medical facilities remote towns.

In his speech, the Prime Minister said that the MyDIGITAL sets out a combination of initiatives and targets across the three phases of implementation until 2030. It is also expected that by 2025, the digital economy will contribute 22.6% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

To accelerate innovation and create an effective digital ecosystem, four important types of digital infrastructure under MyDIGITAL need to be built first.  Firstly, a total of RM21 billion will be invested over the next five years through the National Digital Network (JENDELA) project to strengthen the existing connectivity.

Secondly, a total of RM1.65 billion will be invested by several telecommunication companies to strengthen connectivity to the international submarine cable network until the year 2023. This will open up more space for faster and more stable international data transfer, thus lowering internet costs to consumers in Malaysia.

Thirdly, a total of RM15 billion will be invested over a period of ten years for the implementation of 5G nationwide. This will create approximately a total of 105,000 job opportunities. This effort will be carried out by a special purpose vehicle under the Malaysian Government. This entity will then be given the appropriate spectrum to own, implement and manage the 5G infrastructure.

Fourth, between RM12 billion and RM15 billion will be invested by Cloud Service Provider (CSP) companies over the next five years. The government has so far given conditional approvals to four CSP companies – Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Telekom Malaysia – to build and manage hyper-scale data centres and cloud services. This hyper-scale data centres as well as hybrid cloud services will be created to increase data storage space, thus reducing operating costs and improving analytical efficiency.

The Prime Minister ended his speech by emphasizing that the MyDIGITAL initiative through the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint is a nationwide approach plan and that Malaysians should take full advantage of this digital technology and be bold enough to face the process of transition towards achieving digital economy.

By ESPC

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