As Malaysia embraces its digital future, it must adapt and innovate to sustain economic growth. Information and communications technology (ICT) services play a key role in driving this digital transformation, opening opportunities in local and regional markets as digital becomes the new norm for individuals, businesses, and the government.
Innovative technology-driven business sectors create high-skilled jobs and boost productivity across communities. Our New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) focuses on reinvigorating economic growth and ensuring resiliency amidst growing challenges and megatrends.
Technologies like AI, IoT, big data analytics, cloud computing and blockchain are reshaping the global economy and society. Businesses are urged to embrace digitalisation and capitalise on these emerging opportunities.
Management of Data
Data Security & Big Data Analytics
Software & System Design
Integration of system
(develop & design and research & development)
Creative & Digital Content
Gaming & Animation
On 22 April 2009, the ICT services sub-sector was liberalised to encourage foreign participation and further strengthen the competitiveness of the sub-sector.
The Government’s proactive measures for the country’s digital economy span infrastructure expansion, policy development, investment promotion, sustainability, and talent development. MIDA and MDEC’s collaborative Digital Investment Office (DIO) aids investors in realising business expansion plans in Malaysia. Targeting RM70 billion in sustainable digital investments by 2025, the DIO aligns with the global shift toward digitalisation and Industry 4.0, offering appealing opportunities for projects including data centres and Industry 4.0 technologies.
The DIO also guides talent needs, advances policies, and addresses post-pandemic operational challenges. MIDA’s efforts, in conjunction with partner agencies through digital facilitation platforms, are set to serve the expanding digital industry’s demands. To fortify the digital ecosystem, Budget 2022 introduced the Digital Ecosystem Acceleration scheme (DESAC), adapting regulations for dynamic digital investments and fostering the digital value chain.
The Malaysia Digital (MD) initiative, succeeding MSC Malaysia, is launched on July 4, 2022, aiming to drive equitable digital access, knowledge, and economic growth, thereby shaping the country’s digital landscape.
In 2021, the ICT industry’s contribution to the country’s GDP witnessed a significant growth of 12.1%, amounting to RM359.3 billion (compared to RM320 billion in 2020). This surge constituted 23.2% of the GDP (up from 22.6% in 2020), comprising 14.0% from Gross Value Added of ICT and 9.2% from e-commerce in other industries.
Source: Department of Statistics’ (DOSM) Information and Communication Technology Satellite Account
In 2023, the ICT sector is projected to grow by 4.6%, driven by widespread digital adoption across industries. The National Digital Network’s Phase 2 (JENDELA) will enhance digital connectivity through fixed wireless access. By June 2022, 95.8% of populated areas have 4G access under JENDELA. Broadband speed has exceeded the Phase 1 target, reaching 47 Mbps against the 35 Mbps goal set for December 2022.
5G will cover 80% of populated areas by 2024. Satellite broadband is operational at 839 sites, with 5G in select zones. Investments in digital infrastructure like data centres and e-commerce growth will further boost this sub-sector.
As digital transformation accelerates, the demand for computing and digital solutions is surging. The Malaysian data centre market is anticipated to expand by US$2.08 billion (RM8.8 billion) from 2021 to 2026, driven by investments in new facilities.
To address the substantial electricity consumption and resulting carbon emissions of data centres, industry players are pursuing innovative energy-efficient and ESG strategies. Building environmentally-friendly data centres aligned with government policies will be pivotal for managing carbon footprints.
Recognising data centres’ significance in the nation’s digital infrastructure, the government announced the allocation of 1,200 MW of renewable energy for solar power, including data centre electricity supply during the 5th International Sustainable Energy Summit on August 29, 2022.
Global data centre firms are actively aiming to reduce carbon footprints, placing significant importance on the availability of renewable energy to attract such investments. YTL Power, a Malaysian MNC, sets an example by utilising solar energy for its data centre campus. ESG practices yield benefits for the environment and society, and Malaysia’s data centre industry can effectively fulfil its global role by proactively championing sustainability. ESG practices benefit the environment and society. Malaysia’s data centre industry can best serve its global role by proactively promoting sustainability.