‘New body to regulate digital industry’


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s flourishing start-ups and digital industry may see a new commission heading it to further develop and regulate the industry.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo (pic) has given players in the start-up industry two weeks to propose a name to lead the country’s first Commission for Startup and Venture Capital.

He announced this during a dialogue with industry leaders here yesterday.

“At this point, we have so many people and different groups managing different parts of the problems in this sector.

“I think if we actually bring them all together under the Commission, then we have a body that can look into how we will develop this industry,” he told reporters after attending the My Digital Maker Fair 2018.

Gobind said it would take some time before the proposal for the Commission could be tabled in Parliament, but in the meantime, a pro-tem group would be formed.

“Within the next two weeks, I will sit down and have a meeting with 10 to 12 people to understand the parameters of the Commission, what we need to do, and how it can help the industry,” he said.

Gobind said Malaysia must welcome the digital industry and develop young talents in new technology such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

“Every day we read that Singapore and Vietnam have new inventions. if we don’t take the opportunity now to create a structure where we can help the industry, we will lose out,” he said.

The ministry’s main efforts to develop the industry was to ensure equal access to the Internet for both urban and rural folks, and education on digital literacy, he said.

“We have taken the approach to develop infrastructure, we have also pushed the idea to set up education at early stages in school.

“All children now have access to smartphones at a very young age, it is important for us to make sure they understand the power of the Internet,” he said.

On the Sept 30 deadline for telcos to submit proposals for new broadband packages, Gobind said the Ma­­laysian Communications and Multi­media Commission would start reviewing the suggestions.

“Hopefully, we can reach an agreement and start implementing the suggestions soon.

“Then by the end of the year, we should be able to see prices come down by 25%, if not more, and speeds increasing by double if not more,” he said.

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