PETALING JAYA: About 128 digitisation projects involving a total cost of RM3.8bil have been approved by the government this year in a bid to drive public sector digitalisation, said Prime Minister’s Department Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu) head of ICT Consultant, Hussin Abu Bakar.
“The MyDigital blueprint has set a goal of 100% digital literacy among civil servants by 2025.
“Therefore, the government aims to equip civil servants with relevant skills based on future job demands as well as enhance their digital competencies and expertise in related areas,” he said in his keynote address of the Smart Government and Public Services: Powering a Digital Nation live virtual conference.
Meanwhile, in line with the title “Shaping Next-Gen Academia & Leaders Through Borderless Classrooms” power panel, McKinsey and Company Expert associate partner Joyce Noser spoke about educational transformations proposed before the pandemic which were never fully realised may now have a chance to see the light of day.
“Crises like the Covid-19 pandemic often create opportunities for broader change. As education systems begin to make decisions about investment for the new school year and beyond, it is important to take a step back to consider the longer term imperative to create a better system for every learner,” Noser said.
Beaconhouse Malaysia South-East Asia director Alister Bartholomew believes educators of today will be dealing with a generation of children that will be in catch up for some considerable time.
“Some children may never recover from it, investments on these children will have to be a lot more extensive than what is being planned.”
To partly combat the issue, JomStudy founder Yong Xun pointed out that it is necessary for a household to have sufficient electronic gadgets for children’s education.
“In terms of going digital, we have to look into the family’s capability in affording the necessary devices. However, we cannot provide aid forever. We could teach the parents how to maximise revenue to sustain and welcome this new era of technology for education.”
Auckland University of Technology Professor Gayle Morris noted there is a need to get clarity on new education modalities and frameworks, the model of professional learning to support colleagues and engage with the new modalities, as well as maintaining quality teaching.
Besides education, power panels on combating threats in the post-pandemic world, smart cities, and futures thinking were also held, where a wide range of topics were discussed.
National Cyber Security Agency (Nacsa) senior principal assistant director Shariffah Rashidah Syed Othman explained how the agency – under the National Security Council – efficiently monitors, manages and mitigates incidents that affect national security, sovereignty.
She also shared about Malaysia’s Cyber Crisis Management Plan which led to the establishment of the National Cyber Coordination and Command Centre and the annual national cyber drill which started with just 10 agencies and escalated to over 100.
Malaysian Institute of Defence and Security (Midas) acting chief executive Noor Hisham Rosle shared how Malaysia works together with the Asean Defence Institute Network on policies and initiatives to be taken on national and regional level to deal with cyber threats.
Noting that it is crucial to be ahead of cyber threats, the United states Department of Justice’s Kristi O’Malley said being cautious and aware is best to combat such threats.
“We have to be prepared for the worst when we are constantly under attack daily and never trust easily.”
During the Smart Cities segment, Taipei Smart City Project Management Office director Dr Lee Chen-Yu, South-East Asia Institute for Transportation and Development Policy director Faela Sufa and Smart Cities, Resources & Energy for the City of Perth economic development officer John Hawke shared views, experiences and strategies on building smart cities.
Lee said smart cities exist to assist people in solving problems using technological solutions, Faela shared how said coordination between institutions and government must be conducted earlier in building smart cities to ensure smooth implementation while.
Meanwhile, Hawke emphasised on the need to learn and leverage from others’ experiences to equalise transformation so that no communities are left behind.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) South-East Asia and the Pacific regional representative Jeremy Douglas shared about the connection between cyberspace and transnational crime and non-conventional security threats in South-East Asia in a session titled “Cybersecurity and defence: Protecting the Land, Sea, Air and Cyberspace”.
“South-East Asia experiences 33% of global cybercrime attacks – with an average of six businesses in Asia targeted by cyber threats every minute.
“Ransomware attacks are becoming more focused and sophisticated. There are even people who would offer their services to promote ransomware,” he revealed.
World Health Organisation Digital Health and Innovation Department (Geneva) acting director Derrick Munene’s session on “People-centered Digital Health Innovations” shed light on the agency’s plans on promoting global collaboration an advance transfer of knowledge on digital health; advancing national digital health strategies implementation; strengthening governance for digital health at global, regional and national levels; and advocating of people-centered health systems.
Noting that leadership is the business of building and growing human, social, emotional and economic capital, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia Provost and chief executive officer Prof Mushtak Al-Atabi said a purpose driven leadership is about having a clear sense of purpose for oneself, communities, organisations and the nation, during his session on “Steering a Digital Nation with Purpose-Driven Leadership”.
Transport for NSW acting head of Technology and Innovation Lewis Clark shared a good many ideas on how the New South Wales government is delivering the largest transport infrastructure programme – A$72.2bil (RM220bil) of investment – over four years for game-changing projects like Sydney Metro, light rail, motorways and road upgrades that will shape NSW cities, centres and communities for generations to come.
Noting that technology and innovation such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things is the way forward in transportation, Clark said it would allow customers to travel seamlessly and safely in an integrated and efficient transport system.
In commemoration of Star Media Group’s 50th anniversary, the Smart Gov & Public Services Live Virtual Conference is part of the group’s #digitalXdata Road to Malaysia 5.0 event series that was dedicated to enabling digitally-fuelled government and public services to accelerate growth in realising the common future vision of building a sustainable, inclusive, human-centered society, powered by disruptive technologies.
In the closing power panel “Futures Thinking: Designing Society 5.0 by Redesigning Mindset”, Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (Might) president and chief executive Datuk Dr Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman shared that like Japan, Malaysia could take account the situations of other countries can help drive solutions to social problems.
“Might is looking into how the future scenario would be, shaping up ideal future situations we want for Malaysia and planning for it. We can learn from Finland, adopt some of their best practices that are applicable for this part of the world.”
Meanwhile, Rahul Daswani, head, People and Culture at Open Government Products GovTech Singapore, touched on preparation on any disruptive events.
He noted it is important for governments to have transparent communication lines with the people to combat fake news as well as secure identity and payment systems.
“With these things, countries will be able to deal with challenges well as become nimbler as an entire country when dealing with disruption.”
Vision Foresight Strategy chief executive and academically trained futurist Dr Richard Lum said the mindset of focusing on “punching above our weight”, coupled with taking risks and rethinking of the potential that can be achieved could really drive governments and countries forward.
The conference was organised by Star Media Group, with Heriot-Watt University Malaysia as the exclusive Exabyte Partner; Adobe, Cohesity and CommScope as the Terabyte Partners and Green Packet as a Gigabyte Partner.
Centre for Asia Leadership, IDC Asean, McKinsey & Company and the United Nations were the Knowledge Partners while the conference was also supported by Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu), National Cyber Security Agency (Nacsa) and Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (Might). sendQuick was the Mobile Messaging Partner and the conference was held live on Cisco Webex. You may watch the playback of the sessions at bit.ly/smartgovplaylist.