PM: A 2nd wave for MSC

By P PREM KUMAR / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

The government plans to reignite a second wave of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) to fuel the country’s economy to become a developed economy.

The MSC, which was mooted in the mid-1990s by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he was also the prime minister (PM) then, had mixed fortunes. While some segments of the country’s tech firms have flourished, the country’s national information technology initiative failed to ride the global growth in mobile application, electronic payments, e-commerce and social media.

Dr Mahathir said the MSC will be revived to promote digitisation of the country’s economy due to its importance in the current era.

“Yes, there will be (a second-wave of) MSC to suit the current digital needs,” he told a press conference yesterday.

He said the initial role of Cyberjaya as a multimedia hub will also be renewed.

Speaking after opening a conference on Cities 4.0 and Business 4.0 in Kuala Lumpur, Dr Mahathir said Cyberjaya will continue to attract and host technological-based investments, according to its primary objective.

“Cyberjaya will be revived to be more focused on technological-based industries and their applications…now it is just like another township with a lot of tall buildings,” the PM said.

The MSC programme was officially launched by Dr Mahathir in February 1996, which was then perceived as a crucial element to accelerate the objectives of Vision 2020 and to transform Malaysia into a modern state by 2020, with the adoption of a knowledge- based society framework.

It was created as a special economic zone and high-technology business district, with Cyberjaya being the heart of the corridor.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said recommendations made by the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) will not be revealed to the public as its function is to report to the country’s PM.

“It is government business. When we make a decision in the government, some of it does not need to be made public,” he said.

The report contains information that he could utilise in the decision-making process, said Dr Mahathir.

“The CEP has volunteered the time to do work that I otherwise have to do. The work that I have to do, I cannot even finish,” he said, adding that the primary recommendations would be on whom the new government should be taking disciplinary actions, or otherwise.

The CEP, which had been established after the 14th General Election in order to advise the new government on economic and institutional reforms, had recently submitted its 100-day report to the PM.

Dr Mahathir had said the CEP will continue its advisory role to the government, despite its initial mandate being only to run for the first 100 days of the new administration.

The CEP is led by former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin and includes former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petroliam Nasional Bhd CEO Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican, billionaire Robert Kuok and economist Prof Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram.