MDEC on Astro Awani: Youth and the Digital Economy
MDEC’s Vice President of the Creative Content & Technologies Division, Hasnul Hadi Samsudin, who was part of the panel, pointed to the pioneering behaviour of Malaysia’s young generation when it came to mobile connectivity.
Even back in 2016, according to a study by Norwegian communications company Telenor Group, Malaysia was already leading Asia as the nation with most advanced smartphone users. Malaysia chalked up 79.2 percent of smartphone users and a mobile penetration rate of about 140 percent, according to Analysis Mason's Emerging Asia-Pacific telecoms marker: Trends and forecast 2015-2020.
Most users - especially our young generation - were having their first experience of the internet through their mobile devices. Almost everything you want and need today is at your fingertips. Mobile internet has become an essential and a companion for everyone who has access to it. They've grown up with the internet, said Hasnul.
The show’s discourse ranged from the social impact of youths proclivity to digital technologies - to the economic potential stemming from the interconnectedness between youths and the rest of the world.
Many examples of how the younger generation - the digital natives - raised with technology at their fingertips, are leading to new ways of working and innovating. There is much more potential for the growth of new socio-economic practices such as the rise of digital nomads, people who do work remotely from their laptop, said the panel.
Hasnul noted that online leisure activities are being capitalized by today’s youth to create profitable ventures and fuelling a growing local content and games industry. One such example of this is the rise of e-sports. What once was considered as a time-wasting leisure activity is now becoming one the fastest growing industries, he said.