PUTRAJAYA: 5G technology is going to be the cornerstone of Malaysia’s march into the new age and a vital foundation for the country to remain relevant and competitive, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Speaking at the launch of the 5G Malaysia showcase here, the Prime Minister said Malaysians can leverage on this technology within the next three years and catapult the national economy towards strong and sustainable growth.
“We have come a long way and yet there’s still a distance to go,” he said, adding that 5G would impact every industry that is vital to the growth of the country’s economy.
“Industries like manufacturing that has contributed 22% to the Gross Domestic Product in the last five years, remains integral to the national economy.
“Through smart manufacturing or massive machine-type communications, the government hopes that it can attract high value-added, high technology and knowledge-intensive investment in areas such as aerospace, chemicals and chemical products, machinery and equipment and medical devices,” Dr Mahathir said.
He was given a taste of the future when he was driven in a driverless car and had a conversation with a hologram.
The Prime Minister was taken on a driverless blue Proton Exora for a 500m ride from the Palace of Justice to the Putrajaya Corporation building on the opposite side of the road.
A safety driver was present and sat on the driver’s seat and showed the prime minister that the car was able to manoeuvre even though his hands were not on the steering wheel.
Dr Mahathir was visibly impressed with this latest technology as he waved at the crowd and media cameramen.
As he entered the function hall, he was again given an experience of how things will be in the future when he had his face scanned to gain entry into the hall.
Later at the launch, the Prime Minister spoke to a little girl by the name of Aisyah, not with her physically but her hologram.
Aisyah or her real name Tengku Zara Eryna Tengku Ahmad Saifuddin is no stranger to Dr Mahathir.
The seven-year-old was featured in an election campaign video with the prime minister last year.
During the short conversation with the hologram, “Aisyah” asked: “Atuk, when you were my age, what G were you on?”
Dr Mahathir replied “Zero G”, drawing laughter from the audience.
“Aisyah” also asked Dr Mahathir what’s next for Malaysia beyond 5G, to which she answered “Teleporting humans”.
Dr Mahathir told the audience that the government, through the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan and the National 5G Task Force would create an environment conducive for the growth of 5G.
The 5G showcase event is open to public at the Putrajaya Corporation Complex until April 21.
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