Budget 2021: Enhance digital communication service for better security, reliability


ENHANCING security and reliability of digital communication services in the country ought to be one of the key areas of focus in the upcoming Budget 2021 as the health pandemic has hastened digitalisation and need for trustworthiness.

Experts and industry players believed that the adoption of e-commerce has been increasing tremendously since the pandemic and as such, digital infrastructure, including the internet, industrial revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0), and 5G need to be refined for better usage.

Thought Partners Group Consulting (TPG) founder and group managing partner Abi Sofian Abdul Hamid hoped the government will look at getting the key players to enhance digital communication services to ensure security and reliability.

“The problem of drop calls is still existing even though it should not be the way these days,” he told Bernama, recently.

Hence, he said there are huge safety and security factors that need to be considered as well.

Digital consumers would have to face severe e-commerce scams in the long run if security is not being positioned well, he said.

A recent news report also said that criminals had widely taken advantage of the movement control order period in which cases of e-commerce scams spiked to 2,500 with victims losing RM17 million between March 18 and Aug 4.

Commerce.Asia Enterprise data also showed e-commerce transactions soared by 1,380 per cent in August 2020 compared with a year ago as restrictions imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19 has hastened the adaptation of online shopping and consumption among Malaysians.

Therefore, with more Malaysians embracing the digital lifestyle, especially for essential items in the time of crisis, Abi pointed out that the technology transformation for IR 4.0 must continue and has to be accelerated.

According to GlobalData’s E-Commerce Analytics, Malaysia’s e-commerce market is estimated to register 24.7 per cent growth this year.

The market is expected to reach RM51.6 billion by 2024, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 14.3 per cent between 2020 and 2024.

On another note, Malaysian Institute of Transport (MITRANS) deputy director (Industry Network & Commercialisation) Dr Shahrin Nasir said digitalisation should also be implemented in public transport with the assistance of the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence in compliance with mobility of users.

“Since many organisations have adapted to work from home as a new norm, the mobility of people has slightly changed.

“Hence, a new concept of mobility needs to be in place,” he said, adding that Budget 2021, which will be tabled on Nov 6, should also look into introducing the concept for the transportation service to match mobility of users.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Aziz had said enhancing public service delivery through data and digitalisation to improve efficiency of execution will be among the four key principles of Budget 2021.

Greater focus towards accelerating transition to a digital economy, particularly in the area of improving infrastructure for investments nationwide is one of the key strategies, he said at the Malaysian Economic Summit 2020.

The strategies include initiatives such as the National Digital Network or JENDELA and the National Digital Identity, he added.