What will Malaysia’s RM100 million investment mean for its digital economy?


Hong Kok Cheong, Managing Director of SAP Malaysia, discusses the next steps for Malaysia’s digitalisation journey.

Malaysia is fast-tracking its digitalisation goals, with its most recent budget allocating RM 100 million (US $24.9 million) to its digital economy.

Today’s unprecedented speed of technological change has shifted people’s expectations of public services. Citizens are demanding high-speed, efficient, and readily accessible service on their terms.

Governments are expected to modernise and streamline the way citizens access public services. Tapping on innovative technologies, creating personalised services, and laying the right foundation will be key.

Tap on machine learning and AI

AI and analytics are a powerful tool in helping governments identify loopholes and enhance public service delivery.

SAP has worked with Queensland’s Office of State Revenue to use machine learning to predict which taxpayers were likely to incur debt. The office is responsible for collecting and enforcing unpaid fines and penalties.

187 million records were evaluated with the help of SAP’s machine learning capabilities to provide early indicators of land taxpayers who may default on payments. That helped the office to provide the right amount of support and reduce debt levels.

AI and data also hold a wealth of potential in transforming Malaysia’s services. University Malaya Medical Centre, a public Malaysian hospital, is already using data to predict the number of Covid-19 test kits and masks needed ahead of time.

The Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit will also establish a framework for the use of blockchain, AI and IoT in the public sector, its Principal ICT Consultant told GovInsider.

Personalised, accessible services

Every day, society creates an astounding amount of data that is becoming increasingly diverse and detailed. The key to turning this data into insights lies in removing silos and integrating disparate datasets. This will help governments work more efficiently while improving citizen trust and engagement.

By 2025, leading governments will harness data to simplify complicated processes and provide more personalised, self-managed services for citizens on all channels.

Organisations will employ intelligent technologies for better delivery of services. Agencies will deliver more end-to-end customer journeys across departments.

Digitising does not necessarily mean the extinction of physical services. Rather, with some services going online, resources can be reallocated to physical channels that require increased citizen support.

SAP is focused on supporting data-driven citizen services. Its services turn data into precious insights that help employees operate with increased visibility, focus and agility. This way, governments can better respond to individual citizen needs.

Lay the digital foundation

To harness the power of data, government agencies will have to redefine core processes and modernise legacy systems.

That will lay a digital foundation for everyday tasks to be automated, so government workers can focus on work that requires human engagement.

RISE with SAP, a Business Transformation as a Service, was launched to help governments transform operations. It offers more flexibility to address disruption without higher initial investment.

SAP’s resource planning system, S/4HANA, can also help governments create the right environment in the cloud and on premise. All its applications are interconnected, helping it able to access and use detailed data from anywhere in real time without information loss.

Integration-ready applications; AI and machine learning; and a platform to manage data in any format will be crucial for governments to transform legacy processes and enhance data sharing.

With the right tools and policies in place, Malaysia will be well on its way to becoming a digitalised country.