PUTRAJAYA, Oct 13 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today outlined five strategic catalysts to make 2017 ‘The Year of the Internet
Economy’ for Malaysia.
The catalysts — physical microcosms, risk capital funding, connectivity, talent and regulatory framework — were keys to the agenda, he said.
“Digital revolution is upon us at lightning speed, so we must embrace and adapt to change,” he said at the closing of the 28th MSC Malaysia Implementation Council Meeting (ICM) here today.
Najib, who is also ICM Chairman, said of the five, the creation of physical microcosms catalyst stood out.
“It is a cluster, or community of digital hubs, where a new bread of internet economy, mainly start-ups, scale-ups and small and medium enterprises connect, converge, share and create ideas,” he said.
Najib said even Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, had clearly articulated the urgency to create these digital hubs to cater to the growing needs of these ‘born digital’ firms.
“The cool generation like hipster cafes and unconventional office space like warehouses. The ICM today endorsed the proposal to establish and promote ‘Malaysia Digital Hub,” he said.
Under MDEC, Najib said, the digital economy’s contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) had increased over the years.
“As a result of MDEC’s relentless commitment, Malaysia’s digital economy’s contribution to the GDP has already reached 17.8 per cent in 2015. We have almost hit the 18.2 per cent target which we set for 2020,” he added.
To-date, Najib said, MSC Malaysia had recorded RM304 million in investments since its inception and created close to 160,000 jobs, a marked increase of 16 per cent from the previous year.
To encourage the setting up of these hubs, Najib had ensured a simpler and faster approval processes by introducing a new category under MSC Foreign Knowledge Worker, which will complement the establishment of the Malaysia Digital Hubs.
The new category, to be known as Tech Foreign Knowledge Entrepreneur, which will be approved by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, would facilitate the entry of global entrepreneurs into Malaysia.
Najib said another catalyst to grow the nation’s Digital Economy was building the talent pool, which the ICM today endorsed the Human Resources
Development Fund’s pool fund allocation.
The allocation would be used for Big Data Analytics (BDA) Talent Development and Empower Women Leadership through data science and information and communication technology (ICT).
“BDA is a key driver of the Digital Economy and we forecast that we need 20,000 data professionals and 2,000 data scientists by 2020. Presently, we have about 350 data scientists.
“To meet the market demands of 2020, we will be developing data scientists via two tracks — formal university initiatives and professional development,” he said.
As the people were the key drivers to the larger economy, Najib had emphasised the eUsahawan and eRezeki programmes which were started last year.
He said these programmes had empowered the nation to increase its income and improve the quality of life, and at the same time, expect the programmes to grow further next year.
Najib also said the ICM had also agreed that there would be allocation of JPA scholarships for digital technology related tertiary courses, similar to
those being offered for engineering courses.
At a separate event, Najib launched the National e-Commerce Strategic Roadmap.
It was reported that the roadmap was aimed at doubling the country’s e-commerce growth to 20.8 per cent by 2020 from the current 10.8 per cent.