Malaysia to accelerate digital tech adoption

The centre, to be officially set up and officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in the second half of 2022, will serve to accelerate technology adoption, the Finance Ministry (MoF) said.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is setting up a Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR), an independent centre within the World Economic Forum (WEF), to support the achievement of the country’s overarching vision under its 4IR Policy launched in 2021, as well as the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint.

The centre, to be officially set up and officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in the second half of 2022, will serve to accelerate technology adoption, the Finance Ministry (MoF) said.

“(This will, in turn,) help secure a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable growth for Malaysia as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic,” it said in a statement yesterday, Bernama reported.

MoF said the establishment of this centre, also the first in South-East Asia, highlights the government’s commitment towards prioritising technology as a key catalyst for economic growth and post-pandemic recovery, as well as supporting its aspiration to be a regional leader in the digital economy.

The C4IR will be part of the WEF’s global network for multi-stakeholder cooperation to realise the benefits of emerging and innovative technology.

“Through its current network of centres globally, the C4IR is pioneering an agile and human-centred model of tech-focused policy development and implementation,” the ministry said.

The C4IR establishment was announced by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz on the sidelines of the WEF annual meeting which is being held in Davos, Switzerland, that ends today.

The minister said Malaysia is accelerating its digital transformation journey, and its ability to leverage 4IR technologies such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, renewable energies and quantum computing will be one of the leading drivers for the nation’s sustainable, resilient and inclusive economic growth in decades to come.

“To this end, having the C4IR helps ensure that Malaysia’s choice of technologies and their interaction across the physical, digital and biological domains will serve humanity not just materially, but also meaningfully.

“As such, the MoF looks forward to working with the relevant ministries to ensure the C4IR’s success as a platform for technological transfers and for developing local capacity as quickly as possible,” he added.

Meanwhile, WEF managing director Jeremy Jurgens said the organisation looks forward to welcoming Malaysia to the C4IR’s global network later this year.

“As the first centre in South-East Asia, C4IR Malaysia will play a critical role in leading the digital transformation in the region,” he said.

MoF said that once established, the C4IR will be managed by the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department, with programmes to be crafted and implemented in collaboration with MoF, the Communications and Multimedia Ministry as well as the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry.

The WEF will also continue to play a collaborative role in the operationalisation of the C4IR.

“Key target beneficiaries of Malaysia’s 4IR agenda include youths (for example, through better access to learning methods and skills-enhancement powered by edutech); social enterprises (for example to solve socio-economic issues, facilitate digital onboarding and bridge the rural-urban digital gap); businesses (for example to develop industry-led and sectoral based 4IR-powered capacity) and the public sector (for example to leverage on big data to improve public service delivery),” it said.

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