KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysia Digital (MD) initiative, which will succeed the 25-year-old Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia), aims to enhance the country's digital capabilities and boost the national digital economy.
Launched by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Monday (July 4), the initiative seeks to better prepare the country for the ever-evolving landscape and build the bedrock of a digital nation, which will ultimately benefit citizens, businesses, government and the nation.
Datuk Seri Ismail said MD would drive more high-impact programmes, which will result in direct benefits to the Malaysian Family. The Malaysian Family concept of the government led by Mr Ismail outlines three characteristics and 20 values. According to the Malaysian Family booklet, the three characteristics are inclusivity, common ground and contentment.
"The country has to develop more talents and competitive digital workforce, infrastructure and ensure that the country's capacity and capability remains in line with world standards," he said in his keynote address at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
"This is important to ensure that the future generation has the fundamentals and facilities needed to continue to drive the country to become a developed digital country," he added.
Mr Ismail said the Cabinet had also agreed for the Communications and Multimedia Ministry to establish the Malaysia Digital Coordination Committee (MD-CC), which will coordinate the governance and operations of Malaysia Digital, including awarding MD status to companies.
For starters, he said six companies have been awarded MD status so far, namely Bytedance System, Bridge Data Centres Malaysia (III), GDS IDC Services (Malaysia), Abbott Laboratories (Malaysia), Aceteam Connect and Peninsula Apex Technologies.
The ministry and Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) will be the lead agencies spearheading the initiative.
MD is a national strategic initiative by the government to encourage and attract companies, talents and investment while enabling Malaysian businesses and citizens to play a leading part in the global digital economy.
The initiative aims to drive digital adoption among aspiring young entrepreneurs, companies and citizens; support local tech companies to become Malaysian Champions and successful international players, as well as to attract high-value digital investment.
To realise this vision, the government through MDEC will be introducing two initial Malaysia Digital Catalytic Programmes, namely DE Rantau and Digital Trade.
DE Rantau is a programme to boost digital adoption and promote professional mobility, as well as drive tourism across the country, with the goal to establish Malaysia as the preferred Digital Nomad Hub.
Digital Trade, on the other hand, will drive interoperability and greater harmonisation of standards and regulatory approaches, as well as facilitate trade within and across borders.
The nine key growth sectors that MD will be focusing on are digital tourism, Islamic digital economy, digital trade, digital agriculture, digital services, digital cities, digital health, digital finance and digital content.
The digital economy accounted for 22.6 per cent of the country's gross domestic product in 2020. Its share in the economy is expected to exceed 25.5 per cent by 2025.