Various initiatives put in place to spur nation’s creative industry in 2022

THE year saw various initiatives put in place to create more jobs and opportunities as well as curate talents in Malaysia’s creative industry. 

There has been a nationwide approach to provide greater benefits to arts industry practitioners as well as encourage the local community to participate in the digital economy. 

The programmes were in line with the government’s efforts to raise the creative industry’s contribution to the country’s GDP to 20%, estimated at RM31 billion, by 2025. 

Initiatives 

Among others, the MDEC Creativity @ Schools programme has evolved since 2016, targeting school children’s exposure to game development, animation and creative skill sets. 

As of 2022, the programme has reached 3,400 registered participants. The programme also reached a tipping point when it was officially adopted by the Ministry of Education as part of the official co-curriculum syllabus for all four million Malaysian school children aged seven to 17. 

On a wider scope, the Malaysian government also supports the rapid pace of upskilling and reskilling through multiple programmes, such as the Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) which offers free or at-cost courses that have seen over 1,500 participants enrolled over the last three years. 

Another developmental programme is the Creators Studio, which provides Malaysian-based studios with the opportunity to hire Malaysians and provide real-world, on-the-job training. 

To further support the industry players’ development, a digital content grant (DCG) was provided for them to develop new intellectual properties (IPs) and existing market IPs. 

Among other initiatives are the Virtual Buyer Fly-in (focused on buyers or investors), My Game Connect (focused on publishers or investors), Kre8tif Conference (animation platform) and LEVEL UP KL Conference (focused on interactive media). 

Employment in Digital Content

Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) CEO Mahadhir Aziz said the employment market for the digital content industry is very competitive with many job vacancies available due to the tight talent pool, owing to the high-density world-class studios set up in Malaysia and the remote working opportunities. 

“Technical skills are in high demand such as creativity, storyboarding, game concept design and quality assurance testing skills, programmer, animator, VFX compositor, effects artist, modeller, 3D artist, 2D artist and technical directors, among others,” he told Bernama. 

He added that the demand for talent is expected to rise at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.59% per year over the next three years. 

MDEC aims to boost talent development, business access and community building in these areas so that more individuals will embrace and use new technologies in the creative industry. 

Shortage of 2D Talent 

Streamline Studio Richard Cheah MD said Malaysia needs to establish its legitimacy in the technical creative industr y despite its advantages in terms of location, cost, language and ease of running business compared to many of its neighbours. 

“However, we are not taken as seriously as we should be because we need more institutions of higher learning (IHLs) or technical and vocational education and training (TVETs) to offer courses to build our talent pool and ensure our talent is ready to join the workforce,” he noted. 

Overall, there is a shortage in the supply of 2D talent in the industry as only a few local higher institutions are offering the course as most local IHLs in Malaysia are offering 3D courses, according to South-East Asia (SE Asia) Digital Content Industry Talent Report 2022. 

“In response to the industry growth, there has also been an increase in the number of IHLs offering courses relevant to the digital content industry. However, due to the smaller population in Malaysia, the talent supply is similarly scarce,” it said. 

The report also urged the industry players to work closely with IHLs to keep their curriculum up to date as it would assist in developing talent’s potential. 

E-commerce Growth 

Mahadhir said the e-commerce industry recorded impressive growth last year at RM1.09 trillion total income for the fourth quarter of 2021, a growth of 21.8% compared to RM896 billion in the same time in 2020. 

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM), as of the second quarter of 2022 (2Q22), total e-commerce income was recorded at RM566.4 billion, registering a growth of 7.7% compared to 2Q21. 

According to Lazada’s “Transforming South-East Asia — From Discovery to Delivery” report, the user penetration of e-commerce in Malaysia is 47.1% in 2022 and is expected to hit 53.2% by 2025. 

The report also revealed that the active-selling sellers in Malaysia have grown by 32% on Lazada within the first seven months of 2022, while 76% of online consumers in Malaysia shop at least once per month. 

“E-commerce marketplaces have grown in popularity as discovery channels along with social media and Google search. 

“As the sector evolves, the need for speedy delivery services has grown in demand in SE Asia, with more shoppers unwilling to wait for more than three days,” said the report. 

E-commerce Boost 

Shopee has driven Malaysia’s creative economy by supporting local talents to scale up their businesses and grow together with technology. 

Through its latest “Shopee Super Awards 2022 Milestones” study, Shopee has unveiled that Malaysian celebrityand influencer-owned brands are gaining greater visibility in an increasingly saturated e-commerce landscape. 

The leading e-commerce platform said in reviewing the past year’s performance, the study found that celebrityand influencer-owned brands on Shopee had a 59% year-on-year (YoY) growth in revenue from October 2021 to September 2022 compared to the year before. 

“Shopee Celebrity Squad sellers actively engage with their viewers on livestream by offering interactive content, bringing a more personal touch to their audience. 

“Sellers that conduct livestream sessions had over 166,000 cumulative unique viewers joining the sessions and over 20,000 peak continuous users watching the stream at any one point of time, over the past year,” the report said. 

Outlook for E-commerce 

“E-commerce should not be regarded as the end game. Instead, e-commerce should be the springboard toward digital trade. 

“Underpinning digital trade is the seamless and end-to-end movement of data to enhance the efficiency, accuracy and reliability of transactions across sectors and industries,” said Mahadhir. 

He added that in an increasingly globalised world, Malaysian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) should accelerate the digitalisation of their operations and strive towards end-to-end supply chain interoperability. 

These would improve business efficiency and increase the speed and agility of Malaysia’s MSMEs to compete globally, he said. 

“Moving forward, MDEC will be driving e-commerce as the springboard for businesses to embrace digital trade, drive interoperability and will be working closely with relevant stakeholders, both locally and regionally, towards greater harmonisation of standards and regulatory approaches, as well as facilitate trade within and across borders,” he said. — Bernama


  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition