Malaysia bets big on digitalisation with ‘MyDigital’ economy blueprint

Malaysia bets big on digitalisation with ‘MyDigital’ economy blueprint

The 10-year roadmap aims to transform Malaysia into a regional market producer of digital products and services, and for the government to be fully data-driven

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Malaysia will be investing RM70 billion (US$17 billion) investment in digitalisation by 2025 with a goal of getting the digital economy to contribute about a quarter or 22.6% of the nation’s GDP.

Announcing a ‘MyDigital’ Digital Economy Blueprint that sets the direction for Malaysia’s digital economy over the next 10 years, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he wants all 1.7 million civil servants to be digitally literate by 2025 and for all government agencies and ministries to use cashless payments by 2022.

About 80% of end-to-end online government services will be integrated by 2025 and there will also be a target for 80% usage of cloud storage across government agencies by 2022.

Other milestones include Malaysia having the highest number of submarine cables landing in Southeast Asia, data centres to churn out a revenue of RM3.6 billion (US$890 million), all homes to have internet access, growing the number of start-ups to 5,000 and pushing the adoption of e-commerce by at least 875,000 micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by 2025.

"The MyDigital initiative aims to empower every Malaysian, from Perlis to Sabah, to improve their lives in all aspects,” said Prime Minister Muhyiddin at the virtual launch of the blueprint.

"It also serves as a digital transformation direction plan that is able to drive the business sector to compete on the global arena by enhancing expediency and efficiency of their operations."

Another goal on the wishlist is to attract two unicorn start-ups, either home-grown or foreign, to be Malaysia-based by 2025.  A unicon is described as a start-up with a valuation of US$1 billion.

Three digital blueprint objectives

The Malaysian government listed three objectives in the blueprint:

  • To encourage industry players to become creators, users and adopters of innovative business models
  • To harness human capital
  • To nurture an integrated ecosystem to allow adoption of digital economy by society. 

The blueprint will be implemented in three phases over nine years starting from 2021.

Under the first phase, which is between 2021 and 2022, the focus is on strengthening the digital foundation with the government taking the lead to create a conducive regulatory framework that can expedite digital infrastructure development. 

Phase Two (2023 - 2025) is to drive digital transformation and inclusion. This phase will see a faster and increased rollout of broadband infrastructure projects, equitable access to opportunities and agile regulations for the gig economy through unhindered business innovation. 

There will be a push for more extensive use of e-government services while local champions of the digital economy will be groomed to become regional leaders. 

The final phase, from 2026 to 2030, is to position Malaysia as a regional market producer for digital products and digital solutions providers, and for the government to be fully data driven. 

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