In a parking lot near Block C, Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) here recently, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) successfully launched the #SayaDigital campaign at the national level.
The event was a roaring success despite strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the government. Participants and locals in attendance seemed eager to improve their respective digital literacy skills.
The launch was graced by guests of honour, including the Secretary General of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia, Datuk Seri Hj. Mohammad Mentek.
An especially notable feature of the event was that it was launched by the YAB Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin through a video of his speech which was broadcast at the event.
What is #MyDigital? The #SayaDigital campaign introduced by MDEC aims to improve the digital skills of the people, especially the elderly, youths and the B40 group and socio -economic vulnerable groups, so that they may seize opportunities in the digital economy.
This year’s #SayaDigital campaign focuses on four components, namely training young people to become #SayaDigital Gang volunteers, creating awareness through digital literacy activities, conducting digital readiness assessments as well as providing basic digital skills training to the community. A total of 25 members of Geng #SayaDigital have been appointed to train participants with basic digital skills.
This campaign as a whole targets to benefit 10,000 people nationwide. Prior to the launch, three physical pilot programs were held to raise digital literacy awareness, involving 301 participants with the most recent being held at Kampung Desa Temuan in Bukit Lanjan at the end of March.
Geng #SayaDigital helps target group, serving as a ‘digital teacher’
One of the Geng #SayaDigital members, Muhammad Zulhusmi Feizal, 27, shared his experience teaching senior citizens and housewives about digital literacy based on a basic module, which included the use of WhatsApp, Facebook, Tiktok, Gmail and Google applications.
According to Muhammad Zulhusni, he started duty in February after completing a two-day course organized by MDEC in January. A graduate in the field of Mathematical Science Education, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) said his involvement as an instructor to contribute to MDEC’s aspirations in providing Malaysians with digital skills has been an interesting experience.
On the challenges faced, Muhammad Zulhusmi, who is currently working as an executive in a private company, said the participants, especially senior citizens, needed more time at times, to understand digital technology.
“I often emphasize the digital advantage tat is before them, saving them from things like going out to buy food. I instead defer to ordering on platforms that offer delivery services and financial transactions – such as say, paying bills. This may help reduce the risk of the elderly contracting COVID-19 as it reduces the need to step out of the house during the pandemic, ”he said.
Agatheeswary digitizes senior citizens in Selayang
The opportunity to become a member of the #MyDigital cohort was used by Agatheeswary Ananda Rao, 27 to explain to senior citizens about how digital facilities can assist liiving.
She said she was currently responsible for teaching six ‘students’ consisting of senior citizens in Module One, in Tamil.
“When teaching colloquially, I found that students are interested enough to continue learning about social media. In the future, I hope to continue to be involved with this program because it greatly benefits the community, “she said.
Agatheeswary said she also hoped that more senior citizens around Selayang, Batu Caves and Gombak would seize the opportunity to learn digital skills and apply them in daily life.
Learn about digital advantages, to grow your business
A #SayaDigital participant at PPR Hiliran Ampang, Aznin Bahari, 46, said he was excited to learn various social media applications since joining the first class last month.
“I was taught how to use Tiktok, Facebook and do online banking, including paying bills and ordering food through Grab and Food Panda – as well as about health applications that can be downloaded via smartphones,” said the mother of three.
Aznin said, currently he is learning to open a special Facebook page for the Malaysian ice cream business which he started in 2018.
“Previously, I promoted ice cream through my personal Facebook profile and WhatsApp status only. Maybe after this, I can promote via Tiktok. Now I am learning about Instagram, ”he said. Asked about the Malaysian ice cream business, Aznin said he produces around 100 to 200 sticks of ice cream every day, depending on demand. He said the ice cream produced consists of two flavors, namely sugar and milk, and is sold at RM0.50 and RM1.00 each.
“After actively promoting through social media, I found that the demand has increased to 2,000 a month. The proceeds from the sale are used to cover daily expenses, especially since my husband who works as a masseuse is now unable to work as usual due to the Conditional Movement Control Order (PKPB) which is still in force, ”he said.
Meanwhile, another participant Yap Yun Ling, 47, said she was grateful to her instructor she refers to as Cikgu June, who helped her understand the functions in social media and other online applications.
“I learned to order food through Food Panda and how to share locations through WhatApps. It took me a long time to learn this but the teacher was very good – he was so patient and helped me at every step of the way, ”said Yun Ling who lives at PPR Desa Rejang, Setapak.
Yun Ling, a housewife and a volunteer in her community, said she currently wants to learn how to pay bills online to make things easier.
“Before this, my son used to teach me how to open a Facebook account, but it took me time to learn online banking as I had to understand the steps apart from having to contact the bank,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s strong support for #SayaDigital
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, through a video speech on the launch day said he welcomed the campaign for the sake of Malaysia’s digital future as intended by the Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL). The blueprint was introduced by the government in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030.
“I hope all program participants can take advantage of the opportunities available to acquire suitable knowledge and skills in this field,” he said.
According to the Prime Minister, in order to realize the vision of the digital economy, the country must improve digital literacy among the people.
“In this regard, the #SayaDigital campaign launched by MDEC is a continuation of the MyDIGITAL initiative which aims to accelerate the growth of the digital society in the country,” he said.
Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said, #SayaDigital supports MyDIGITAL’s comprehensive strategy which formulates a roadmap to achieve the vision of making Malaysia a regional leader in the digital economy by 2030.
“Through this, the government aims to create 500,000 jobs, implement digital features for 875,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and micro SMEs, subsequently catalysing 5,000 start -up companies. In this regard, #SayaDigital which was officially launched today shows the government’s clear commitment to involve people from various groups so that they can benefit from the flourishing digital economy in line with SPV 2030, “he said.
MDEC’s CEO, Surina Shukri said the agency, which was mandated to accelerate digital transformation and national investment, had combined #SayaDigital with various key objectives to ensure successful implementation.
“MDEC understands that the people of various walks of life, including residents in PPR, also need to be involved in the initiatives implemented so that the digital leap experienced by the country as a whole, leaves no one behind. This is MDEC’s effort to digitize the socio–economically vulnerable in our efforts to become the Digital Heart of ASEAN and achieve Malaysia 5.0, ” she said.
SayaDigital which was introduced in August last year, has benefited a total of 1,606 participants through a pilot project implemented from December 2020 to March this year.
“#SayaDigital has also implemented a total of eight programs online through Facebook live which managed to reach more than 16,000 views. This year, MDEC will expand #SayaDigital nationwide to 12 designated locations and target the participation of 10,000 senior citizens, youths and socio -economically vulnerable groups who will greatly benefit from learning digital skills, ”she said.