Govt to set Cyberjaya back on track with new measures

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

The government will announce the measures to get Cyberjaya back to its original creation and boost Malaysia’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the government is working on some initiatives to make Cyberjaya the multimedia hub that was envisioned by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad 20 years ago.

“We are in the process to announce some initiatives of what we will do at Cyberjaya. When we are ready, we will tell the public what we want to do and what the next initiatives are,” Gobind said at the National ICT Association of Malaysia (Pikom) Leadership Summit yesterday.

“We want it to be a vibrant hub for start-ups and a place where our local tech companies become the envy of the region, if not the world,” he added.

Gobind urged ICT players to work together with the government to be one of the industry’s global market leader.

He said 20 years ago, Malaysia was known to be the potential leader in the ICT global industry via the establishment of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC).

“The MSC showed that we could do it. People looked at us as one of the leading nations in this field, but now we seem to lag behind.

“So, I urge the local industry such as Pikom to look at this, gather our players and propose to us on how we can be back on track,” he added.

“This is indeed a difficult task but one that is certainly achievable and not to mention — not without precedent. To those of us old enough to remember the early days of the MSC, you would remember that Malaysia was already recognised during that time as a leader in the ICT space.

I think this is the best time for this country to lead again,” Gobind said further.

In 2000, IT icon Bill Gates described the MSC in Cyberjaya as fastest developing IT centre in the world.

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

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.

Meanwhile, Pikom launched its 10th edition of ICT Strategic Review which covers a range of thought-leadership topics — such as economic outlook, a feature on digital tax, blockchain technology and ICT salary trends in the country.

Pikom chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah also said the local ICT industry would not be affected much from the implementation of digital tax.

“I think it will target foreign content providers such as Netflix. So, I do not see that affecting the (local) digital economy substantially at this time,” he said.

“Instead, we hope it can help the local industry to compete better because as local companies are subjected to the Sales and Services Tax. We hope the details of the implementation will help to support the local industry to compete better, locally and globally,” he added.

Pikom projects ICT contribution to GDP to reach RM192 billion this year, based on an average annual growth rate of 7.8% in the respective years, which RM96.5 billion would be contributed by the small and medium enterprises.

Last year, the total share of ICT segment to the whole economy stood at about 18.3%.

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