PM launches Malaysia Digital initiative to replace MSC Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Digital (MD) initiative, which will succeed the 25-year-old Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia), aims to enhance the country's digital capabilities and boost the national digital economy.

Launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Monday (July 4), the initiative seeks to better prepare the country for the ever-evolving landscape and build the bedrock of a digital nation, which will ultimately benefit the rakyat, businesses, government and the nation.

Ismail Sabri said MD would drive more high-impact programmes, which will result in direct benefits to the Malaysian Family.

"The country has to develop more talents and competitive digital workforce, infrastructure and ensure that the country's capacity and capability remains in line with world standards," he said in his keynote address at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here.

"This is important to ensure that the future generation has the fundamentals and facilities needed to continue to drive the country to become a developed digital country," he added.

Ismail Sabri said the Cabinet had also agreed for the Communications and Multimedia Ministry to establish the Malaysia Digital Coordination Committee (MD-CC), which will coordinate the governance and operations of Malaysia Digital, including awarding MD status to companies.

For starters, he said six companies have been awarded MD status so far, namely Bytedance System Sdn Bhd, Bridge Data Centres Malaysia (III) Sdn Bhd, GDS IDC Services (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Abbott Laboratories (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Aceteam Connect Sdn Bhd and Peninsula Apex Technologies Sdn Bhd.

The ministry and the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) will be the lead agencies spearheading the initiative.

MD is a national strategic initiative by the government to encourage and attract companies, talents and investment while enabling Malaysian businesses and citizens to play a leading part in the global digital economy.

The initiative aims to drive digital adoption among aspiring young entrepreneurs, companies and the rakyat; support local tech companies to become Malaysian Champions and successful international players as well as to attract high-value digital investment.

To realise this vision, the government through MDEC will be introducing two initial Malaysia Digital Catalytic Programmes (Pemangkin), namely DE Rantau and Digital Trade.

DE Rantau is a programme to boost digital adoption and promote professional mobility as well as drive tourism across the country, with the goal to establish Malaysia as the preferred Digital Nomad Hub.

Digital Trade, on the other hand, will drive interoperability and greater harmonisation of standards and regulatory approaches as well as to facilitate trade within and across borders.

The nine key growth sectors that MD will be focussing on are digital tourism, Islamic digital economy, digital trade, digital agriculture, digital services, digital cities, digital health, digital finance and digital content.

The digital economy which accounted for 22.6% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 it's share in the economy is expected to exceed 25.5% by 2025.

Also present at the launch today were Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi and Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin.

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