Delving deep into digital economy

(From left) Administrative assistant Nur Azmina with Digital Transformation executive Brenda Hor and manager Kelly Lee browsing through the Digital Transformation Masterplan 1.0 manual at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee in George Town, Penang. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

PENANG will spend RM50mil over the next three years to deliver the Digital Transformation Masterplan to capture opportunities in the digital economy and promote a digitally engaged society.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the agenda would work in tandem with the development of the physical environment and aspects laid out in the Penang2030 vision of being a family-focused, green and smart state that inspires the nation.

“As such, the Digital Transfor-mation Masterplan and the establishment of Digital Penang have been identified as the lead agencies to drive this crucial agenda.

“The plan, outlined for the next three years, begins with a simple question – How can Penang leverage technology to achieve the Penang2030 vision?

“Hence, it is designed to be a cross-domain over all sectors of the economy and all structures in the state, corresponding to the establishment structure of Digital Penang to drive it, ” he said during the launch of the masterplan at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee in George Town on Friday.

Chow, who is chairman of Digital Penang, explained that the plan is organised into four strategic pillars – Economy, Infrastructure, Governance and Community – to ensure a holistic outcome-based digital transformation for Penangites.

“It aims to develop data science for better policy-making, drive digital adoption to achieve scale and sustain advantage, promote a culture of digital trust and deploy an agile and resilient digital infrastructure, ” he said.

Meanwhile, Digital Penang chief executive officer Tony Yeoh said key economic zones had been identified to develop their infrastructure.

“Going digital will require the infrastructure and we have identified zones in need of upgrading.

“Getting local enterprises to go digital faster will expand the economy and promote entrepreneurship start-up systems.

“Penang has been successful in attracting manufacturing foreign direct investment and now, we should get the digital sector into the ecosystem.

“Among other initiatives to expect are the promotion of digital adoption, raising digital literacy and conducting online classes.

“A total of 15,000 people have been reached, ” he said.

State human resources, education, science and technology committee chairman Dr P. Ramasamy gave a reminder that digitalisation is not an equaliser and it must cover all within the society.

“We want digitalisation but it has to benefit the full spectrum of society, including those in the B40 group and other underprivileged groups.

“For example, e-learning might benefit those already with facilities but not those without, so it will not lead to equality, ” he said.

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