Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operations Officer of the national ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation Berhad (MDeC) (pic) said:
Though 2014 has been a challenging year for all from an economic perspective, Malaysia still managed to achieve impressive economic growth and productivity. We are pleased that Malaysia's digital economy has shown marked advancement with the ICT sector contributing RM160.8 [US$45.95] billion to the nation's 2013 GDP of RM968.7 [US$276.81] billion, an increase of 38 percent from 2012.
MSC Malaysia [national ICT initiative] recorded another year of strong growth, as there were healthy performances in export sales and GDP contribution across the board. Revenue grew to RM34.55 [US$9.87] billion, a 3 percent jump from 2012 while new investments increased to RM3.0 billion [US$860 million], a 3 percent increase from the previous year. MSC [Multimedia Supercorridor] Malaysia companies also strengthened their export sales to RM12.41 [US$3.55] billion, representing a 7.4 percent year-on-year increase, while 9,221 jobs were added from 2012.
While this year's continued strong and consistent trajectory bodes well for MSC Malaysia, the next six years will see further extensions of already-established ICT segments such as Shared Services and Creative Content, as well as growing new niche segments such as Big Data Analytics and Internet of Things.
We will see a further influx of major investments in Malaysia's ICT sector next year, mainly in the funding of sustained infrastructure expansion, private sector training and more support for both research and development (R&D).
2015 will also see further improvements in productivity as the Government's increased allocation for High-Speed Broadband, especially in areas of high economic impact, will further accelerate the contribution of key sub-sectors as Malaysia continues to transform into a high-income nation by 2020.
Budget 2015 will also continue to drive the nation's ICT creative sector as the new funds and tax exemptions announced then will enable us to continue grow as an ICT hub. This growing ecosystem will ensure that 2015 will be another successful year, where ICT will play an increasing role as an intrinsic part of transformation strategies for the government, businesses and the "rakyat" [the people].
We will continue to take MSC Malaysia companies to the next level with new regional and global go-to market opportunities by ensuring our citizens are more digitally savvy to improve their standard of living through our Digital Malaysia initiative.
MDeC is eager for the following initiatives which were approved by the Prime Minister during the recent Implement Council Meeting, ICM to officiate in 2015:
1. MSC Malaysia Liberalisation: The liberalisation of MSC Malaysia location requirement which effectively allows MSC Malaysia Status companies approved after 1st January 2015 to operate at any location without the need to maintain an office within designated areas in an MSC Cybercity or Cybercentre. This liberalisation is expected to increase the number of MSC status companies by 8,000 in addition to the 3,215 existing companies today.
2. eRezeki: A project connecting the Malaysian B40 community with domestic and global digital income, to earn average additional income of RM6,000 [US$1700] per year by 2020. The pilot project will be rolled out over eight Digital Work Centres nationwide to impact rural and urban low-income households via crowdsourcing. This will also include a series of Digital Capability Programmes which will eventually train and match 400,000 empowered B40 community members with micro tasks from domestic and foreign sources.
3. Malaysia as a global hub for cloud and content services: A data traffic hub will be created to leverage the data centre ecosystem in Cyberjaya, the international data connectivity gateways in Cherating and Mersing and creating a new cloud content and services cluster in Iskandar, Johor.
4. Creation of Content Malaysia Creative Centre: Creation of a one-stop coordinating body to spur further development of Content Malaysia. This will enable content creators and industry players to exchange ideas, pitch for funding and take their ideas to the next development level, which will ultimately help us realise the potential of our young people towards monetising their creative talents.
5. Malaysia as a regional games and interactive media hub: MDeC to spur the growth of the industry in Malaysia by establishing a regional games and interactive media hub. Actions to be taken include attracting anchor companies to serve as industry drivers, building local games capacity and capability and raising global market access through publishing platforms.
6. Investing in Big Data Analytics: MDeC to implement three high-impact projects, around talent development which will see the setting up of the Asian Institute of Data Science in collaboration with leading global universities; the opening up of Government Open Data through data.gov.my; and the setting up of a BDA Innovation Centre of Excellence led by the private sector to nurture Malaysian talent in data science to drive usage and growth of BDA in the country.
7. Digital Government Transformation Government (3.0): An initiative that will push new frontiers in online service delivery, telecommunications infrastructure and human capital development. A shift from the current provider-based internal rating to user-based satisfaction "rakyat" centric assessment.
8. World Congress on IT (WCIT): Co-organised by PIKOM, the WCIT 2020 will serve as a strategic platform to promote and enhance the development of the ICT industry and digital economy locally and internationally.
Our hopes and aspirations on the road ahead are tied to the rapid development of MSC Malaysia and Digital Malaysia and the host of global opportunities that come with it. Advancing the Malaysian Digital Economy is a path we must take and a challenge we must exuberantly embrace in moving Malaysia rapidly forward towards achieving our 2020 aspirations.
The time has come for us to commit to digitally transforming the Government and enterprises in ways that will benefit the country and the rakyat and as Digital Malaysia is put into place, I am confident that it will play an ever more important role in Malaysia's progress, specifically in our journey towards becoming an Innovative Digital Economy.
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