Malaysia well poised to be heart of digital Asean

by S BIRRUNTHA / pic credit:

MALAYSIA is well-positioned to be the “heart of digital Asean”, as the country has the right and balanced sort of views, languages, people, and industries to promote the nation as a future regional digital hub, said Malaysian Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) chief marketing officer Raymond Siva.

“Based on the latest data by the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the country’s digital economy had contributed 19.1% to the national economy, which is up from 18.7% in 2018.

“I believe we can definitely take it up further in the coming years. We have seen the numbers in e-commerce growing exponentially during this pandemic,” he said in the Malaysia Tech Month 2020 (MTM 2020) virtual press conference yesterday.

Raymond noted that the recent eDagang Ekspo (eDX) organised by MDEC in June had tremendous and tangible results in terms of getting the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro SMEs onto the e-commerce platform.

Raymond said MDEC will be focusing on improving digital literacy among Malaysians, especially those in the rural areas and bring it forward for the next couple of years.

“In the urban areas, digital literacy is high. But if we move 20km outside of urban centres, we will get into areas that may not have as high of a literacy in all things digital.

“That speaks to the SMEs which are spread across Malaysia, where 60% of them are in the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur areas, while the remaining 40% of other SMEs are outside of a city centre,” he said.

He believes that digital literacy in Malaysia still has a long way to go and it will reduce a lot of inefficiencies and frictions faced by businesses due to the pandemic.

Digital adoption, he said, will be a new norm in the country, where people and businesses will internalise rather naturally.

Meanwhile, MDEC officially opened the virtual doors to its highly anticipated month-long campaign, MTM 2020 yesterday.

The campaign aims to emphasise and fortify Malaysia’s role in expanding the digital economy and its first-mover position in Asean, while drawing attention to the country’s readiness in leveraging opportunities that the IR4.0 will spur and inspire.

MTM 2020 will demonstrate the nation’s robust and versatile digital ecosystem, as well as provide a platform for a wide-ranging array of events, highlighting multiple collaborations with industry partners that are taking place throughout November.

Global industry leaders, such as Zuckerberg Media Inc CEO and founder Randi Zuckerberg, Zoom Video Communications Inc CIO Harry Moseley, and former Finland Prime Minister Alexander Stubb are among those expected to participate in the campaign’s panel discussions.