Malaysia’s digitalisation speeding up, experts say

Malaysians spend 3.7 hours on the Internet per day pre-Covid-19, spiking to 4.8 hours at the height of the lockdown and 4.2 hours per day currently

by LYDIA NATHAN / Pic source:

DIGITALISATION in Malaysia is expected to take place rapidly, driving sectors to match each other as they chart a path to the future in terms of Internet usage.

Google Malaysia MD Marc Woo said in the recent e-Conomy SouthEast Asia 2020 report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Co, three main elements stood out.

According to Woo, more than one in three Malaysians used digital services for the first time ever, including for healthcare, education, shopping and others.

“The second finding noted that e-commerce has been a driving force in Malaysia, at 87% year-on-year, which is also the highest number in South-East Asia.

“The third was that digital talent will be the key enabler in how successful the nation is,” he said at the Breakfast Series: Peering into Malaysia’s Digital Future virtual event yesterday.

The gross merchandise value is expected to reach a total value of RM121 billion by 2025.

The report noted that Malaysians spend 3.7 hours on the Internet per day before the pandemic, spiking to 4.8 hours at the height of the lockdown but has dropped to 4.2 hours per day.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corp CEO Surina Shukri said it has been working with the Education Ministry to begin bridging the digital gap.

“In secondary schools, coding is now taught as a subject. We do not want to just teach but we want to create digital maker movements.

“The next move is ensuring schools are equipped with maker labs so students can learn things like robotics. So far, we have managed to reach 2.17 million students in the country. To develop skills for the future, it takes a holistic approach,” Surina said.

Meanwhile, Surina said experts are optimistic about the changes that can take place, particularly because of how fast Malaysians adopted technology into everyday routines.

“The pandemic accelerated so many movements into digitalisation, proving that Malaysians can do it.

“The country needs to focus on talent and equipping themselves to be ready for what is coming in the future,” she noted.

Read our earlier report

MDEC expects 20% growth in e-commerce