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Malaysia’s Digital Economy: Bridging the Gap

Malaysia’s 2020 National Budget themed “Driving Growth and Equitable Outcomes towards Shared Prosperity” focuses on strengthening the country’s digital infrastructure, building a more inclusive society, and empowering the youth.  

One of the country’s key agenda is to strengthen the Digital Economy with efforts to improve the physical and digital infrastructure, at the same time encouraging digital adoption and upskilling among local enterprises. 

The various initiatives announced have reinforced the government’s commitment to build a strong momentum that powers up the 4th Industrial revolution. Of which, progressive actions have been taken by the various government agencies. 

5G Ecosystem Development

The National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) to improve nationwide connectivity was proposed by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) and approved by the Cabinet in 2019. The RM21.6B (US$5.2B) Plan targets the provision of 30 Mbps average speed in 98% of populated areas and gigabits availability in selected industrial areas and all state capitals by 2023. RM210M (US$50B) has been allocated to accelerate the deployment of new digital infrastructure for public buildings like schools and industrial parks.

(We had the opportunity to visit the 5G demonstration in Langkawi with applications in the fields of agriculture, education, healthcare, manufacturing, smart cities, transportation and tourism.)

5G has been bandied around a lot but what does this really mean for businesses? Find out more on the applications here.

National Policy on Industry 4.0

Since its launch by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in 2018, the National Industry 4.0 Framework named Industry4WRD has gathered much attention in the manufacturing industry - RM210M (US$50.3M) has been allocated from 2019 to 2021 with Readiness Assessments being run to support SMEs with their transition towards Industry 4.0. 

(Sharing by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) at Asia IoT Business Platform 2019.)

Smart City Initiatives

The Malaysia Smart City Framework was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) as a guideline for local governments all across the country to take progressive steps to upgrade connectivity, infrastructure and effectiveness of communication with the people. Five pilot cities will undergo projects to be upgraded into smart cities, and they are Kulim, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.

(YBhg Prof Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive, Iskandar Regional Development Authority, on Smart City Iskandar Malaysia: Johor Bahru aims to improve its planning approval process with its development of a Central Data Centre, Iskandar Malaysia Urban Observatory (IMUO), to collate, update, analyze, manage and disseminate data.)

Enhancing ROI of Enterprise Technology Investments

Undeniably, the governments are working on several fronts in order to enable the digital transition and push the national digital economy agenda.

For the digital economy benefits to materialise at scale, adoption and implementation challenges by local enterprises remain key barriers that may delay the progress of various policies. 

Throughout our role of driving digitalisation ecosystems in Malaysia, we have seen first hand how the discussion on digital transformation has changed from understanding the benefits to deriving real value from any IoT/ digital implementation projects. In response to the government’s interest, we will be mobilising business users in Malaysia to share accountable targets from technology investments as we seek to identify key elements necessary for a successful digital strategy.

(Hint: Request for Asia IoT annual report here for the Top 3 Priorities for Digital Transformation in Malaysia.)

Asia IoT Business Platform Malaysia 2020

Backed by local leaders and experts in Malaysia, the 36th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform on April 15 & 16 will look into the following areas: 

  • The Connectivity Revolution: Exploring the Impact
  • Industry 4.0: Maximizing Return on Capital 
  • Safe and Secure City: Technology and its impact on a Nation's Defense
  • A Sustainable Smart City: Rethinking Urban Development
  • The New Consumer: A Mobile First Approach

Feel free to reach out if you have something to contribute to the above initiatives.


By Asia IoT Business Platform | February 11th, 2020

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