Malaysia Digital Minister Fahmi: Malaysia on course to become an Asian digital tiger
By Yogesh Hirdaramani
At AWS Public Sector Day Malaysia held in August, the Malaysian Minister of Communications and Digital shared that cloud computing has been a critical enabler towards supporting Malaysia’s digital growth.
At the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Public Sector Day Malaysia, Fahmi bin Mohamed Fadzil, Minister of Communications and Digital of Malaysia, shared that cloud computing will be a critical enabler towards supporting Malaysia's digital growth. Image: GovInsider
“Malaysia is fast approaching a ‘golden digital decade’ and becoming an Asian digital tiger,” announced Fahmi bin Mohamed Fadzil, Minister of Communications and Digital of Malaysia, during his opening keynote address at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Public Sector Day Malaysia.
During the speech, he highlighted that the country’s digital economy is on track to achieve its goal of contributing more than a quarter of the nation’s gross domestic product by 2025. He noted that cloud computing provider AWS had earlier announced a USD6 billion investment in the country by 2037, the largest international technology investment to date.
“The good impact on our burgeoning digital economy was nearly instantaneous as a result of AWS' investment, as companies in the region agreed to invest in Malaysia [and to provide] ancillary services,” said Fahmi.
Now, the country is “doubling up” on efforts to attract investments in emerging fields such as artificial intelligence and big data analytics, and such investments will be critical to accelerate the country’s vision to become a high-income nation and a leader in the region’s digital economy by 2030.
Public sector digitalisation a critical enabler
Digitalisation that can improve the efficiency of public service delivery will be a critical enabler for these ambitious plans, he said.
He highlighted that the Government’s hybrid cloud model, MyGovCloud, combines the government’s private cloud, the Public Sector Data Centre, with public cloud computing environments hosted by AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and TM Cloud Alpha.
This cloud framework agreement will help “accelerate cloud adoption in the public sector and help agencies save cost, boost digital skills, drive innovation and digitise government services for citizens through a streamlined procurement model,” he explained.
Agencies can host more sensitive data and applications on-premises, while less sensitive applications can be run on the public cloud. This will give agencies the opportunity to tap on cutting-edge analytics and machine learning tools available on public cloud platforms, said Eric Conrad, Regional Managing Director of ASEAN, Public Sector at AWS.
During the event, leaders from RTM Klik, the digital arm of Malaysia’s public broadcasting station, shared that migrating to the cloud enabled them to provide media services to end-users directly over the Internet seamlessly and cost-effectively.
For their digitalisation efforts, RTM Klik won the Excellence Award for OTT Application and the Innovation Award for News Digital Archive at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Awards in June 2023.
At the event, AWS announced the launch of the AWS Malaysia Public Sector Quick-start, which allows civil servants to access free training and certification, develop pilot cloud projects, and establish sandbox environments for learning. The quick-start programme can also help agencies in cloud migration efforts.
A regional leader in the digital economy
As it grows its own digital economy, Malaysia also aims to take an active leadership role in the region.
To achieve its aspirations, the country will need to nurture “a strong digital workforce equipped with up-to-date skills”, said Fahmi.
In January, Malaysia signed an agreement with Singapore to collaborate in personal data protection, through exchanging knowledge and sharing best practices for data protection policies, capacity building programs, and mechanisms to facilitate cross-border data flows.
Fahmi shared that Malaysia is currently reviewing the country’s Personal Data Protection Act to ensure it remains up-to-date to meet emerging challenges. It is also drafting a cybersecurity bill to enhance the country’s cybersecurity capabilities. This will be necessary as the frequency and complexity of cyber threats grow, he said.
The Government is also considering making Malaysia a hub for sustainable and resilient data centre investment.
During the event, Conrad shared that AWS will be setting up an AWS cloud computing infrastructure region in Malaysia, enabling government agencies and businesses to have faster access to over 200 cloud services. This will also enable agencies to run applications and store government data securely within Malaysia’s borders.