MDEC Gets RM162 Million Budget Allocation

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MDEC has been handed the trust to spearhead the country’s digital economy initiatives and get the nation up and be prepared for what experts term as the Industrial Revolution 4.0. Internet and connectivity will be the key driver on a global scale and will transit from people to people to machines to machines. The world is changing and human endeavors will backed and supported by big data and automation.

Where does Malaysia stand and how prepared are we towards achieving these goals, CEO Dato Yasmin Mahmood tasked to get both the public and private sector coorparete has been busy these couple of years getting MDEC on the right track.  She believes for Malaysia to build a vibrant Digital Economy, digital inclusivity is vital as the people are the key drivers to the larger economy. Getting community to embrace the philosophy and idea was the first step, programs like eRezeki and eUsahawan  were launched last year targeting key communities such as youth, SMEs, digital entrepreneurs and the B40 (the bottom 40% of the population). These initiatives have benefited 100,000 Malaysians and expects more people to benefit in the coming years.

During Budget 2017, Prime Minister clearly aware of the role MDEC has to play allocated RM162 million to the agency to drive these initiatives further and encourage greater cross collaboration.

Yasmin, reveals that the country needs one million digital workers, such as coders, application developers and software engineers, by 2025. And will support Digital Maker Movement an initiative to identify and nurture young talents to be future digital innovators. It includes the move by Ministry of Education to incorporate computational thinking and computer science in schools from January next year, and private sector and academia support to further nurture these bright young talents.

For a robust digital economy to thrive infrastructure is essential, recognising that broadband is one of the key components that contributes to the growth, the allocation of RM1 billion to increase the coverage and quality of broadband to Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) was a welcome sign. During the budget the PM also announced the decision to double the broadband speed at half the price in 2 years’ time.

MDEC has been hard at work pushing towards a Silicon Valley like environment where start-ups, corporation and big tech company can freely participate and operate by setting up new digital hubs and more MSC status spots. And also will be the first country in the world to introduce the Digital Free Trade Zone where for the first time, the world will have a physical and virtual zones with additional online and digital services to facilitate international eCommerce and invigorate internet based-innovation.

With these measures, Yasmin wants to make the most out of the Internet Economy next year; and take a step closer to becoming a fully sustainable developed digital economy nation.

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