PHOTO - Woon Tai Hai, Chairman, PIKOM [National Industry Association of Malaysia].
Malaysia's new national ICT programme 'Digital Malaysia' was announced on 5 July 2012 by the Malaysian ministry of science, technology & innovation (MOSTI) and national ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC). This initiative is to encourage the local ICT industry raise its contribution from 9.8 percent in 2010 to 17 percent of gross national income (GNI) by 2020, and so help realise an advanced digital economy ecosystem and high income status.
During the announcement, MOSTI deputy minister YB Datuk Haji Fadillah bin Haji Yusof said an estimated investment value of RM31.2 billion (US$9.86 billion) is expected to be generated from Digital Malaysia based on a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model, which is expected to create 160,000 jobs and make the overall contribution from the digital economy (17 percent) to GNI of RM294 billion (US$92.96 billion) by 2020. The goal to achieve developed status by 2020 is also known as Vision 2020 in Malaysia.
Computerworld Malaysia asked Malaysia's National ICT Association PIKOM chairman, Woon Tai Hai, to offer his broad perspectives in a recent interview.
Does PIKOM consider that the targets outlined in the Digital Malaysia programme are achievable and realistic?
Digital Malaysia [DM] programme has come at an opportune time and certainly is the last piece of an important jigsaw puzzle of the overall architectural framework encompassing the other programmes such as the Economic Transformation Programme [ETP], Government Transformation Programme [GTP], 1Malaysia, Rural Transformation Programme [RTP], Politics Transformation Programme [PTP], etc. in driving towards a developed nation status by 2020.
Since the MSC [Multimedia Supercorridor Malaysia] status concept was mooted in the 90s and implemented during the last two decades, DM is perhaps the second major wave of significant transformation for the ICT industry wherein well thought out and structured programmes are designed to prepare Malaysia to not only embrace the world of digital transformation but also target specific focus areas to increase our GNI [gross net income] and move up higher value chain.
It is indeed comprehensive and covers a broader scope than the MSC; and the ICT industry is expected to play a pivotal role in this transformation. In essence the DM initiative endeavour is to generate the demand part of the equilibrium by identifying specific projects and jobs generations and also to move the nation from consumption to a creation centric culture.
Statistics have shown that ICT contributions to GDP [gross domestic product] has declined from 12.9 percent in 2000 to 9.8 percent in 2010; and we do not rank competitively in the Innovation Index ranking, only achieving an overall ranking of 24, according to The Global Competitiveness report 2011-2012 by the World Economic Forum.
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