KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 10): Technology, media and consumer behaviour are evolving at a rapid pace and companies are getting more creative in using technology to augment every consumer touchpoint.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said businesses that wish to stay relevant need to accelerate understanding and implementation of new digital tools, processes and technologies.
“One of the key elements to enable this new age is advanced mobile wireless technology, and in line with this government’s aspirations and vision, we must invest in and develop our digital economy to meet the needs of today’s investors.
“This is why my ministry launched the RM21.6 billion National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) on Sept 19 this year to improve our country’s economic competitiveness through connectivity and to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban areas,” he said when launching the 3rd Annual National Malaysian Indian Digital Economy Conference 2019, today.
He said Malaysia has long recognised the importance of the digital economy where in 1996, the then (and also current) Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had launched the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) to transform Malaysia into a modern state with the adoption of a knowledge-based framework.
“Today, we are facing yet another dramatic phase in the tech realm known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or IR 4.0 with constant breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Virtual Reality (VR) and so on,” he said.
In his speech, Gobind said under Budget 2020, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) received an allocation of RM10 million to train micro-digital entrepreneurs and technologists to leverage on e-marketplace and social media platforms to sell their products.
In addition, the minister said MDEC was also given RM70 million to set up 14 one-stop Digital Enhancement Centres (DEC) in all states to facilitate access to financing and capacity-building for businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
To further accelerate digital adoption, Gobind said the government also introduced a 50% matching grant of up RM5,000 per company for SMEs that adopt digitalisation measures.
“A further RM550 million smart automation matching grant will also be provided to 1,000 manufacturing and 1,000 services companies that automate their business processes. This grant will be given on a matching basis up to RM2 million per company,” he added.
Gobind said the government has also been sensitive to the needs and specific challenges faced by segments of the Indian community.
To demonstrate its commitment, the government has, under Budget 2020, allocated RM100 million to the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra) to improve the socio-economic situation, skills development, health, education and women empowerment of the Indian community, he said.
“I am confident that if all of you take full advantage of all the opportunities available in this digital era, the Malaysian Indian business community will be able to contribute to the national economy in a strong and sustainable manner,” he added.