MDEC aims targeted communities to accelerate digital progress

#SayaDigital is aimed at increasing digital literacy among B40, youth, senior citizens and vulnerable groups nationwide


MANY are still sceptical about digitalisation, thus become a stumbling block in the country’s move towards being a more inclusive digital nation.

Noticing the problem at hand, Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) has laid out various plans and programmes under its #SayaDigital programme to raise awareness among targeted communities to ensure they are not left behind in the digital shift.

MDEC CEO Surina Shukri (picture) said the main challenge is overcoming fear of the digital realm.

“Many within the disenfranchised communities see ‘digital’ as something out of their reach, and it is a huge challenge inculcating a more inclusive digital society.

“Through the #SayaDigital movement, we hope to reach targeted communities who are looking to accelerate their digital progress as well as those who are still anxious and sceptical about going digital,” she told The Malaysian Reserve recently.

MDEC has formulated 12 digital adoption programmes, which is expected to draw over 10,000 participants nationwide with the help of 100 volunteers known as Geng #SayaDigital, she said.

Launched in April, the #SayaDigital movement is aimed at increasing digital literacy among targeted groups such as the bottom 40% (B40), youth, senior citizens and vulnerable groups nationwide.

Surina said MDEC’s vision of Malaysia 5.0 is a nation that is deeply integrated with technology that empowers inclusivity, sustainability and shared prosperity.

In line with the government’s MyDigital blueprint, which was launched in March, MDEC will continue to lead the country’s digital transformation for equitable digital economy opportunities, which will drive a globally competitive digital nation, she added.

To achieve the desired digital transformation, Surina believes the initiative begins with human transformation.

Therefore, MDEC initiated change and transformation at all levels to focus on four key thrust areas, which are new skills, adoption, disruptors and investments.

“The mindset of embracing change is crucial for micro small and medium enterprises and SMEs — it must come from the heart, then mind for the success of the organisation.

“We want to develop communities and businesses digitally with the focus on creating digital leaders and creators,” said Surina.

Among the successful programmes conducted by MDEC last year include eRezeki, which enabled citizens, especially low-income groups, to generate additional income by doing digital assignments via online crowdsourcing platforms.

Through the programme, 339,000 participants earned income via reskilling and upskilling effort by MDEC, generating RM1.1 billion of income.

Last year, 489,000 SMEs adopted e-Commerce, an online entrepreneurial platform by MDEC, while 378,000 SMEs were trained to utilise the platform.

Companies that utilise e-Commerce for export grew from 1,800 to 27,000. It also saw an investment worth RM1.5 billion in the establishment of regional e-fulfilment hubs.

“As the world’s economy recovers from the pandemic, digitalisation will be a key growth driver that will result in the proliferation of jobs requiring digital skills.

“MDEC’s ‘no one should be left behind’ approach will help build a more resilient digital economy for Malaysia,” said Surina.

She stated MDEC had looked into all avenues to ensure it creates digital leaders who thrive in IR4.0.

In support of the MyDigital blueprint, which aims to increase the share of the digital economy in the GDP to 22.6% and create 500,000 jobs by 2025, Surina said MDEC is ready to work towards creating a fully digital inclusive nation.

To achieve this, MDEC will leverage its international and domestic partnerships as it spearheads initiatives that empower businesses to go digital, digitally upskill the public and attract investments to strengthen the digital ecosystem as a way to mitigate the economic malaise caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The power to shape our digital future rests in the hands of the people. We cover the entire spectrum, from the underserved to potential unicorns. We have programmes that cater to them all.

“We will continue to encourage digital adoption among businesses and provide policy recommendations to drive the digital economy as a National Economic Agenda to build the digital economy ecosystem together,” she said.