The national 4IR policy at 1: Connecting Malaysia to the future
01 Jul 2022
THE Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the global economic landscape.
Indeed, this was a process that had already started with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the advent of disruptive technologies.
While recovering from the pandemic will take time and is challenging, that’s no reason why we should be lax on the transformation of our economy. In fact, the chances of economic recovery for Malaysia will be low if we fail to make the leap.
Our government launched the National 4IR Policy on 1 July 2021, with the aim of ensuring the country is truly able to ride the wave of the 4IR.
Given that it has now passed its first anniversary, it is important to recap what it is about and what has been accomplished thus far.
While the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MDEB) is a roadmap towards becoming a high-income nation by accelerating digitalisation in all aspects of the economy, the 4IR Policy will facilitate the embrace of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data and blockchain in all aspects of our lives.
It identifies key focus areas so that the rakyat, businesses and government, will be able to seize growth opportunities and address potential risks.
It drives policy coherence and supports the delivery of national interests, provides guidelines to address risks from 4IR technology while preserving Malaysian values and culture; and creates conducive ecosystems to accelerate digitalisation through the convergence of technologies, disciplines and facilitating the emergence of new business models.
At the heart of the National 4IR Policy are four policy thrusts.
These include equipping the rakyat with 4IR knowledge and skill sets, forging a connected nation through digital infrastructure development, future-proofing regulations to be agile with technological changes, and accelerating 4IR technology innovation and adoption.
MyDIGITAL Corporation, which has been tasked by the Federal government to deliver the initiatives under both Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint and the National 4IR Policy, has been working towards ensuring its successful implementation.
What are the direct benefits for Malaysians?
Successfully executed, the 4IR Policy will give Malaysian better access to learning methods and skills-enhancement powered by edutech, enabling them to not only land well-paying jobs but also compete with their regional if not global peers.
Social enterprises will also be able to utilise 4IR technology to address socio-economic issues and facilitate digital onboarding to bridge the rural-urban digital gap.
Businesses can further develop industry-led and sectoral based 4IR-powered capacity.
Even the public sector could gain by leveraging on big data to improve public service delivery towards a fit-for-future government.
Engagement with the private sector is crucial to accelerate the growth of digital economy in Malaysia, just as it is important to leverage on emerging technologies to drive innovation.
As such, we have established a MyDIGITAL Catalytic Projects Task Force to cultivate constructive public-private partnerships.
Catalytic Projects can be broadly understood as private sector driven projects that give focus on new technologies such as 5G, AI, blockchain or Internet of Things to create an innovative digital ecosystem.
The Government takes on a proactive role of a facilitator to further enhance the enabling ecosystem, particularly for policy and regulatory reforms cutting across ministries and agencies, and facilitating discussions to debottleneck key challenges.
There are many exciting prospects in the future.
It has been decided in the last Digital Economy and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Council meeting, chaired by Prime Minister YAB Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, that Malaysia will develop a National Robotics Roadmap (NRR) that aims to push the country’s robot density of merely 55 units for every 10,000 workers in 2019 to 195 robots for every 10,000 workers by 2030.
The NRR, in turn, is Malaysia’s push to lift robotics technology into mainstream usage, consequently stepping up productivity, reducing the country’s reliance on foreign labour and minimising currency outflow.
Meanwhile, it was recently announced that a Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR), an affiliated centre with the World Economic Forum (WEF), will be established to support the vision of the 4IR Policy that was launched a year ago.
It is hoped that technology adoption facilitated by these initiatives will be accelerated to help secure a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable growth for Malaysia as the country transitions into the endemic phase.
The establishment of WEF-C4IR is especially exciting as it is the first in Southeast Asia and puts the spotlight on the country’s commitment towards prioritising technology as the key catalyst for economic growth and post-pandemic recovery.
As part of a global network of 15 centres spanning four continents, the WEF-C4IR in Malaysia will also support the MyDIGITAL aspiration to transform the country into a digitally-driven, region-leading high-income nation, as well as unlocking Malaysia’s full potential.
Moreover, the National 4IR Policy steers strategic socio-economic transformation through the ethical use of 4IR technologies towards a balanced, responsible, and sustainable growth.
On the anniversary of its launch, the National 4IR Policy continues to aid Malaysia in building back and transforming itself for the better. Much work remains ahead, but the end result will hopefully be a more digitally connected, technologically advanced, inclusive and prosperous Malaysia.
Chief Executive Officer
Source: The Star