Communications Ministry and MDEC told to learn from other countries for digital transformation

KUALA LUMPUR :The Communications and Digital Ministry and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) have been asked to study the digital transformation experiences of other countries to avoid negative consequences, including issues related to inequality.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that the country cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes of the initial players.

"I would implore that you (MDEC) do more because every time we accelerate the pace of change and development at times, the negative impact is of course growing inequality and inequality is a major concern.

"There are strengths in the American economy, the basic weakness is of course the issue of inequality and I don't think that through the Madani concept of things, we should allow this to happen," he said, adding that our digital transformation must also cover areas that other countries may not be able to address satisfactorily.

Anwar today launched the Malaysia Digital Expo 2023 Grand Finale.

He said Malaysia's established reputation as a premium business and investment destination is well-acknowledged, but we must continue to enhance it.

"We have a consistent ranking among South Asia's top countries for launching startups and three of our cities have secured places in the top 1000 of the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023.

"I don't understand why we can't have 10. Why must we be confined with seven and be lulled into the source of complacency?

"Yes we have achieved three. My next question is why not 10?," he said, adding that Malaysia, which is currently ranked 43 in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index, aims to break into the top 20 by 2030.

Though some suggested that Malaysia was rather too ambitious, Anwar believed that it could be achieved with clear policies, discipline, determination and good governance.

"That's why I stressed the moment I assumed office on the issue of governance.

"We have the capacity only if we are prepared to adjust or make major adjustments from the old ways of doing things and apply terms.

"You see the old business as usual, the leakages, the corruption and the slow pace of approvals.

"Although we talk about accelerating the process and even about a one-stop agency- which I was really familiar with since the 80s and 90s- you know what it means. One-stop agency; it stops there.

"That's why in last week's cabinet (meeting), I was suggesting that why don't we change this term one stop one stop agency by putting some (name that was suggested) to accelerate the process or whatever so that it gives a real meaning," he said.

He said Malaysia has also firmly established its position as a global leader in the global business services sector which is evidenced by the recent visits by prominent leaders including the Netherlands and Japanese prime minister.

However, he reiterated the need for Malaysia to expedite the commercialisation of research and innovation.

"Entities such as Khazana Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad, Cradle Fund, Penjana Capital have consistently provided assistance and investment opportunities.

"Corporate giants like Petronas and Maxis are actively supporting both seed stage and rising star companies.

"Funding and mentorship opportunities are abundant through venture capital firms and accelerators which collaborate closely with international entities," he said, adding that our digital economy stands as one of Malaysia's key economic pillars that has contributed significantly to our GDP.

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