AS the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing this past week, the historical achievement highlighted how technology has evolved and brought changes to our life over the years.
As Neil Armstrong’s immortal words went, the success has been “a giant leap for mankind”.
From the black and white television that showed the landing of Apollo 11 on the Moon live on July 20, 1969, to the introduction of modern colour televisions, or from the transition of the analog handphone to 5G technology, where information can be instantly obtained at our fingertips, these changes saw many improvements to human life in the past five decades.
In 1969, Malaysia went through its own tumultuous social transformation, but luckily we have not been left out of these global developments.
From a small new nation, the country has grown into a modern and developing society.
And like the Moon landing achievement, Malaysia too has come a long way, especially with technological advancement.
As we prepare to celebrate the 62nd Merdeka next month, it is good to remind ourselves that we again have to look ahead and beyond our domestic – and often petty – preoccupations to continue to evolve to be at par with the developed and high- income nations.
Sure there is lingering fear among many of us about these changes, especially about whether our jobs would be taken over by robots as we evolve with technology and enter the next phase of evolution referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 (IR4).
But while the IR4 technology can be more efficient and effective in delivering more precise, sophisticated and dangerous tasks and cost-saving in the long term, it cannot entirely replace the human workforce.
As revolution is closely associated with evolution, Malaysians must be ready to take a bold jump forward to face these new challenges.
And while these changes are inevitable, there should not be fear that they would make the current workforce redundant.
Malaysians have to be brave to face and embrace this paradigm shift.
Malaysians have to reinvent themselves, learn new knowledge of applications and acquire new skill sets to be part of this transaction.
We have to create, adapt and integrate distinctive technological solutions to transform the workforce and industries.
Of course, in order to fully manifest this transformation within Malaysia’s economic framework, a symbiotic relationship of sorts must be formed between the government and private sector that helm it.
To be able to establish and achieve the ecosystem of IR4, Malaysians too must not only embrace but also be fundamentally prepared to master the technology.
With the Malaysia Boleh spirit to take this leap, Malaysia would definitely realise the future competitiveness of the global economy.
And as Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had summed up in facing this disruptive but exciting technology: “Let us embrace change, collaborate, innovate and transform to create value and impact.”