MALAYSIA MENGORAK LANGKAH DOMINASI E-DAGANG ASIA TENGGARA

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Sekiranya dalam masa terdekat akan berlangsung satu kejohanan bola sepak yang melibatkan negara- negara di rantau ini, peserta- pesertanya yang terdiri daripada Malaysia, Singapura dan Indonesia kini sedang sibuk membuat persiapan rapi supaya dapat mara sejauh mungkin dan seterusnya memenangi pertandingan ini.

Bagaimanapun, pertandingan yang dimaksudkan bukanlah melibatkan sukan nombor satu di muka bumi sebaliknya merujuk kepada persaingan sengit untuk muncul sebagai pasaran e-dagang paling dominan di rantau ini.

Sebenarnya, bukan hanya tiga negara yang disebutkan sahaja yang ingin menjadi ‘raja e-dagang’ di rantau ini kerana ekonomi Thailand, Filipina dan Vietnam juga telah memberi tumpuan terhadap sektor ini dengan mengambil kira populasi penduduk yang melebihi 600 juta di ASEAN.  Satu pasaran yang cukup besar untuk dimanfaatkan.

Baru-baru ini, agensi berita antarabangsa, Bloomberg melaporkan Google dan Temasek bersetuju untuk membuat pelaburan mencecah RM1.5 bilion dalam syarikat berteraskan e-dagang Indonesia, Tokopedia.

Perancangan Google dan Temasek untuk menjalinkan kerjasama erat dengan ekonomi terbesar Asia Tenggara itu sudah pasti terkait dapatan data seperti unjuran firma McKinsey yang menjangkakan  Indonesia akan mencatatkan jumlah pembeli e-dagang mencecah 44 juta menjelang 2022 dengan hasil  jualan dijangka mencecah USD 65 bilion atau sekitar RM269 bilion!. Cukup besar.

Bagaimana pula dengan Malaysia, adakah kita hanya berpeluk tubuh melihat tindakan agresif yang sedang dilaksanakan negara – negara jiran untuk melonjak sektor e-dagang masing -masing ?

Sudah tentu tidak kerana Malaysia telah melaksanakan pelbagai inisiatif untuk mengembangkan sektor ini malahan telah menunjukkan beberapa kejayaan awal dan berterusan merancang beberapa strategi terbaharu.

Sebelum ini Malaysia menduduki tangga teratas dalam penggunaan e-wallet berbanding negara-negara lain di Asia Tenggara, menurut kajian yang dijalankan oleh MasterCard.

Syarikat teknologi dalam industri pembayaran global, Mastercard itu melaporkan Filipina berada di kedudukan kedua dengan 36 peratus, sementara kedudukan ketiga dan keempat masing-masing adalah Thailand (27 peratus) dan Singapura (26 peratus).

Ini memberi gambaran bahawa rakyat negara ini sememangnya sudah mengamalkan transaksi tanpa tunai yang merupakan salah satu daripada elemen e-dagang.

Usaha ini sentiasa berterusan malah kerajaan turut menunjukkan komitmen jelas bagi mengembangkan lagi sektor e-dagang tempatan menerusi peruntukkan yang dibentangkan dalam Belanjawan 2021 baru -baru ini.

Seperti diperincikan oleh Menteri Kewangan, YB Senator Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz,  sekitar RM300 juta akan diperuntukkan kerajaan untuk melonjakkan lagi sektor ini iaitu dengan perinciannya ialah RM150 juta bagi program latihan dan bantuan penjualan serta peralatan digital kepada 100 000 usahawan tempatan untuk beralih kepada khidmat digital di bawah Kempen e-Dagang PKS dan usahawan mikro

Sebanyak RM150 juta  bagi inisiatif Shop Malaysia Online melalui kerjasama dengan paltfirm e-dagang utama untuk menggalakkan perbelanjaan secara dalam talian yang akan 500 000 usahawan tempatan.

Sebenarnya, MDEC turut mempunyai pengalaman dalam mengembangkan e-dagang menerusi kerjasama dengan Kementerian Kewangan. Lebih menarik, jalinan ini dilaksanakan ketika negara masih diancam pandemik Covid-19 .

Apa yang membanggakan, program dijalankan iaitu Kempen E-Dagang untuk Perusahaan Mikro dan Perusahaan Kecil dan Sederhana (PKS) dan Shop Malaysia Online yang digerakkan menerusi Pelan Jana Semula Ekonomi Negara (PENJANA) berjaya meraih jualan dalam talian sebanyak RM1.2 bilion dalam tempoh yang singkat.

Pada masa sama, inisiatif berkenaan menarik penyertaan sebanyak 115 000 usahawan mikro dan PKS baharu dan sedia ada menyertai sektor e-dagang dan memberi manfaat kepada lebih 7.8 juta pengguna di seluruh negara.

Dalam keadaan ketidaktentuan pasaran disebabkan pelbagai halangan yang wujud ketika ini, sudah pasti MDEC akan terus berusaha bersama agensi -agensi lain untuk mengembangkan lagi e-dagang.

Angka membuktikan kita di landasan tepat malahan tidak mustahil prestasi baik e-dagang akan berterusan sekaligus memanfaatkan rakyat pelbagai golongan serta memahirkan rakyat secara digital seperti teras MDEC.

Imbas kembali, pada 2018, sektor e-dagang di Malaysia merekodkan nilai jualan sehingga AS$2.4 bilion (RM10 bilion) dan dijangkakan akan membantu perkembangan sektor teknologi maklumat dan komunikasi (ICT) domestik yang bernilai RM40 bilion seperti didedahkan dalam satu laporan oleh Kementerian Kewangan pada tahun lalu.

Akhir kata, MDEC akan sentiasa bersama -sama rakyat Malaysia menempuhi perjalanan digital yang telah kita mulakan untuk mencapai impian menjadi Nadi Digital ASEAN. Salah satu sektor yang harus kita pimpin ialah e-dagang yang mana ketika ini Malaysia sedang menunjukkan prestasi baik sekaligus  memastikan rakyat Malaysia sentiasa peka dalam merebut peluang digital.


Should there be in the near future there will be a football tournament involving countries in the region, with participants consisting of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, they would now be busy making thorough preparations to advance as far as possible and subsequently win the competition.

However, the competition in question does not involve the number one sport on earth but rather refers to the fierce competition to emerge as the dominant e-commerce market in the region.

In fact, it is not just the three countries mentioned that is competing to be the ‘king of e-commerce’ in the region as the economies of Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam have also focused on this sector taking into account the population of over 600 million in ASEAN. A market large enough to take advantage of.

Recently, international news agency Bloomberg reported that Google and Temasek agreed to invest up to RM1.5 billion in the Indonesian e-commerce company Tokopedia.

Google and Temasek’s plans to work closely with Southeast Asia’s largest economy are certainly related to the data findings from such projected by the McKinsey firm which predicts Indonesia to record an approximate online buyers reaching 44 million by 2022 with sales expected to reach USD 65 billion/around RM269 billion!

What about Malaysia, are we just leaning back to watch aggressive actions being taken by our neighboring countries to boost their respective e-commerce sectors?

Certainly not! Malaysia has implemented various initiatives to expand this sector and has shown some significant success.

Malaysia has previously ranked higher in e-wallet usage compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, according to a study conducted by MasterCard.

A technology company in the global payment industry, Mastercard, reports that the Philippines ranks second with 36 percent, while third and fourth place respectively are Thailand (27 percent) and Singapore (26 percent).

This gives the impression that the people of this country are already practicing cashless transactions which is one of the elements of e-commerce.

This effort is continuously ongoing and moreover, the government has shown a clear commitment to further expand the local e-commerce sector through the provisions presented in the recent 2021 Budget.

As detailed by the Minister of Finance, YB Senator Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, around RM300 million will be allocated by the government to further boost this sector with RM150 million allocated for training and sales assistance as well as the allotment of digital equipment for up to 100,000 local entrepreneurs as they switch to digital services under the SME e-Commerce Campaign and micro entrepreneurs.

A total of RM150 million for the Shop Malaysia Online initiative through collaboration with major e-commerce platform to encourage online spending that will be given to 500 000 local entrepreneurs.

In fact, MDEC has experience in developing e-commerce through collaboration with the Ministry of Finance. More interestingly, this alliance was implemented when the country was still threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Consequently, the program was carried out, namely the E-Commerce Campaign for Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Shop Malaysia Online; launched through the National Economic Regeneration Plan (PENJANA) managed to achieve online sales of RM1.2 billion in a short period. At the same time, the initiative attracted 115,000 new participants and existing micro-entrepreneurs/SMEs to join the e-commerce sector and has benefitted more than 7.8 million consumers nationwide.

In the face of market uncertainty due to current obstacles, it is certain that MDEC will continue to work with other agencies to further develop e-commerce.

Figures have proven that we are on the right track and it is not impossible that the e-commerce will continue and benefit various groups of people.

Looking back, in 2018, the e-commerce sector in Malaysia recorded a sales value of up to USD2.4 billion (RM10 billion) and is expected to help the development of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector worth RM40 billion as revealed in a report by the Ministry of Finance last year.

Finally, MDEC will always be with Malaysians on this digital journey which we have started in becoming the ASEAN Digital Pulse. One of the sectors that we must lead is e-commerce where we are currently performing well to ensure that Malaysians are always aware of seizing digital opportunities.

Digitally-Skilled Malaysians

By Dr. Sumitra Nair, Vice President of Digital Talent Development,
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC

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As digital technologies have notably begun playing an even more critical role in the economy, it is increasingly clear that there is a real need to prepare talents – newly graduated or now in the workforce – for digital jobs. More companies are becoming digital by default with 91% of organisations having to adopt or have plans to adopt a ‘digital-first’ business strategy. In fact, an average of $15.3 million over the next 12 months will be spent on digital initiatives, says IDG Digital Business Survey 2019. SMEs’ employment comprises 48.4% of Malaysia’s employment and 48% of SMEs recognise the lack of digital skills

In Malaysia, eight of the top ten emerging jobs will require digital tech skills; This includes jobs in Data Analysts and Scientists; Internet of Things (IoT) Specialists; Digital Transformation Specialists; and Cybersecurity Specialists, says the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s “The Future of Jobs Report 2020”. The same report forecasts that 50 percent of all employees will need reskilling by 2025.  

On the supply side, according to a 2018 Randstad survey, close to 90 percent of the workforce in Malaysia believe they do not have skills for a digital workplace, while graduate unemployment has also seen an increase for reasons including the lack of digital skills.  The Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) Graduate Tracer Study 2018 states that 1 out of 5 graduates are unemployed and acquiring digital skills have been clearly acknowledged as part of the solution.

The question now arises whether “Do Malaysians have the right skills to survive and thrive in the digital economy ?”

A Holistic Talent Pipeline to Face a K-shaped Economic Recovery

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) thus has been quick to recognise the need for a holistic talent pipeline that serves to digitally upskill Malaysians as the nation accelerates towards becoming a digital society. A holistic approach is required, simply because digital literacy and skills will be required by all strata and segments of society as the nation becomes increasingly digital by default; from the future and emerging talent pipeline to underserved – rural communities, differently-abled and the lower B40 populace, to those looking for opportunities on an intricately landscaped suite of careers that can only be filled by the most specialized digital talents.

Bearing these features, our particularly diverse workforce calls for opportunities which are offered through nothing short of a movement with spokes and hubs that reach out to each category of society seeking digital upskilling, through specific pipelines.

Building Talent Pipelines for Emerging Jobs

At the end of the spectrum that serves the future talent pipeline, movements such as MDEC’s #mydigitalmaker are aimed at cultivating digital innovation, creativity and problem-solving skills amongst Malaysian students. In partnership with the MOE, the edtech and maker ecosystem, the movement has impacted more than 1.6 million school students nationwide. Similarly, MDEC also works with the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) and the Premier Digital Tech Institutions (PDTIs) to ensure that industry-relevant content is integrated into the curricula of the 11 universities and 5 polytechnics that are in this programme. The value of building a talent pipeline that cuts across the entire spectrum starting with the next generation is key in creating a resilient future workforce.

At the other end of the spectrum are those seeking employment through upskilling and reskilling digitally, for future jobs. MDEC’s COVID-19 Impact Survey 2020 yielded that 70% of companies will have retraining needs post-COVID; a further 83% mentioned retraining would be in the areas of Digital Marketing and Digital Productivity Tools, the latter of which includes remote working skills.

MDEC’s Role

MDEC’s role in digitally upskilling and reskilling Malaysians has been evident throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with some of its earliest efforts surrounding the Let’s Learn Digital platform which had been rolled out in partnership with Coursera. Providing free online courses for the unemployed, more than 21,000 successful applications have been received to-date. Let’s Learn Digital offered 3,800 courses for free until the end of September 2020 and has been instrumental in upskilling many knowledge-hungry Malaysians, vying for digital upskilling opportunities to access better job prospects.

Tan Jia Er who successfully completed a course on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) on Coursera learnt about the upskilling opportunity during the MDEC’s #MyDigitalWorkforce Week, and shared her experience that she had pursued the course to raise her profile for a job in the field of public relations.

Like Tan, mother of two, Devi (not her real name) set out to skill herself digitally. She was gearing herself to re-enter the working world after a five-year hiatus and stumbled upon an MDEC advertisement offering digital courses a few months ago. She started with the course on Tableau and progressed to a few other courses along the way. This month, she will assume the role of a human resource at a multinational consulting services company.

The most pronounced event of late under the #MyDigitalWorkforce movement was the #MyDigitalWorkforce Week that brought Malaysians to a focal point that was populated with webinars, satellite events and a job expo which MDEC launched in August this year in response to COVID-19. The event was an offshoot under the #MyDigitalWorkforce movement, the latter of which has been dubbed the catalyst for talent to get on the K-shaped economic recovery (by Digital News Asia).

Not merely fizzling out after the week’s event that ended on September 4th, and with COVID-19 infection spiking over the last few weeks, two initiatives MDEC recently introduced under the overall #MyDigitalWorkforce movement catering to digital jobs- and skills-needs, were the MyDigitalWorkforce Jobs Platform and Digital Skills Training Directory. These are key enablers in the country’s efforts to help mitigate jobs impacted by the pandemic.

The digital jobs portal, an ongoing collaboration with recruitment firms, WOBB and Hays Malaysia now offers more than 2,000 vacancies in jobs related to digital technology.

As for the Digital Skills Training Directory, MDEC introduced it in collaboration with SOCSO, with the latter providing an incentive subsidy, under the SOCSO Employment Insurance Scheme and PENJANA Hiring Incentive of up to RM4,000 per pax for unemployed Malaysians seeking to beef-up with new digital skills.

The directory is a catalogue of courses that address in-demand digital skills. These courses and trainers have been reviewed and endorsed by a panel of digital industry experts to guide Malaysians in selecting courses that meet the requirements for jobs related to digital technology. Featuring 173 courses to-date, it comprises in-depth training and certification at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels in data sciences (50), cybersecurity (44), software development (55), animation (19) and game development (5).

Closing the Skills-Gap in the Digital Era

“As Malaysia, and the world, continue to contend with the disruptions that this pandemic has wrought, it’s now more critical than ever for the workforce to raise their game. This includes learning new skills and abilities that can meet the demands of the digital era. The #MyDigitalWorkforce Jobs Platform and Digital Skills Training Directory is our effort to address the gap between talent fulfilment and workforce demands. They are necessary building blocks for Malaysia to kick-start and develop a digitally ready workforce. Only then can we truly accelerate ongoing efforts to grow the digital economy,” shared Pn. Surina Shukri, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MDEC.

Currently, the digital careers platform has received close to 23,000 applications with almost 700 being shortlisted for interviews. Similarly, the directory is now experiencing a surge in interest from youths, fresh graduates and the workforce. The number of applications and jobs continue to climb on a daily basis. Today the tech sector contributes 18.5 percent to Malaysia’s GDP (highest in the region) and 30 percent to ASEAN’s Internet economy, making it truly the heart of digital ASEAN- and talent is a crucial component in the nation’s digital ecosystem and the digital competency among these talents are catalysts for digitalization across SMEs, industries and among the rakyat at large.

MDEC’s various digital economy initiatives are centered towards Digitally-Skilled Malaysians, Digitally-Powered Businesses and Digital Investments – the three pillars under the agency’s strategic framework. Among those parked under the Digitally-Skilled Malaysians are the #MyDigitalWorkforce Jobs Platform and Digital Skills Training Directory that aspires to address gaps between talent fulfillment and workforce demands with strong digital competencies.  MDEC’s initiatives under the pillar of Digitally-Skilled Malaysians have impacted more than 2 million Malaysians from the year 2016 to Q3 of 2020. MDEC’s initiatives are aimed to help Malaysia accelerate the digital economy towards becoming a digitally-skilled society as the nation embraces the Fourth Industrial Revolution and steers itself to Malaysia 5.0 to achieve shared prosperity for all.

More details are available at:

Screenshot of the Digital Skills Training Directory site
Digital Skills Training Directory lists 5 digital technology focus areas
MDEC’s initiative on digital skills has impacted more than 2 million Malaysians from 2016 to Q3 2020

RAKYAT MALAYSIA YANG BERKEMAHIRAN DIGITAL

Oleh Dr Sumitra Nair, Naib President Bahagian Pembangunan Bakat Digital , Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC

Ketika ini teknologi digital memainkan peranan yang sangat penting dalam ekonomi.Oleh itu, wujud keperluan mendesak untuk menyediakan graduan baharu atau tenaga kerja sedia ada untuk sektor berkenaan. Pada masa sama, kajian mendapati lebih banyak syarikat ‘menjadi’ digital apabila sebanyak 91 peratus organisasi telah mengadaptasi digital dalam operasi masing -masing atau sekurang -kurangnya mempunyai perancangan untuk berbuat demikian. Mengikut kajian IDG Business Survey 2019, secara purata sebanyak RM15.3 juta akan dilaburkan untuk inisiatif digital. Sektor Perusahaan Kecil dan Sederhana (PKS) merangkumi sekitar 48.4 peratus pekerjaan di negara ini namun 48 peratus menyedari pekerja mereka kekurangan kemahiran digital.

Dalam konteks di Malaysia, lapan daripada sepuluh pekerjaan baharu akan memerlukan kemahiran teknologi digital termasuklah penganalisis data dan saintis,  pakar Internet Kebendaan (IoT), pakar transformasi digital dan pakar keselamatan siber seperti  Laporan Masa Depan Pekerjaan 2020 oleh Forum Ekonomi Dunia (WEF). Laporan sama juga meramalkan bahawa 50 peratus daripada semua pekerja akan memerlukan penambahan semula kemahiran baharu menjelang 2025.

Melihat aspek penawaran pula, menurut tinjauan Randstad 2018, hampir 90 peratus tenaga kerja di Malaysia percaya mereka tidak mempunyai kemahiran untuk tempat kerja digital sementara pengangguran siswazah juga meningkat disebabkan faktor ini. Kajian  yang dilaksanakan oleh Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia pada 2018 pula mendapati bahawa satu daripada lima siswazah menganggur mengakui kemahiran digital merupakan penyelesaian kepada masalah yang dihadapi mereka.

Persoalannya ialah “ Adakah rakyat Malaysia mempunyai kemahiran yang tepat untuk bertahan dan berkembang dalam ekonomi digital?”

Saluran Bakat Holistik untuk Menghadapi Pemulihan Ekonomi berbentuk K

Dalam soal ini, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) pantas menyedari perlunya saluran bakat holistik  untuk meningkatkan kemampuan digital rakyat Malaysia pada ketika negara kita semakin laju meluncur ke arah menjadi masyarakat digital. Pendekatan ini sangat penting memandangkan kemahiran dan literas digital diperlukan oleh semua lapisan  masyarakat termasuklah di luar bandar, golongan B40 serta pencari peluang dalam kerjaya yang memerlukan kemahiran tertentu.

Menerusi ciri-ciri ini, tenaga kerja tempatan menjadi sangat berkebolehan untuk mengisi peluang digital yang ditawarkan sekaligus menjadi hab yang menjangkau setiap kategori masyarakat yang sedang mencari peningkatan digital melalui saluran tertentu.

Membangun Talian Bakat untuk Pekerjaan yang Muncul

Matlamat akhir spektrum yang membantu saluran bakat masa depan ini dapat dilihat menerusi gerakan  #mydigitalmaker yang dilancarkan oleh MDEC dengan tujuan memupuk inovasi digital, kreativiti dan kemahiran menyelesaikan masalah di kalangan pelajar Malaysia. Bekerjasama dengan Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, usaha memantapkan ekosistem teknologi pendidikan dan pembuatan, gerakan ini telah memanfaatkan lebih 1.6 juta pelajar sekolah di seluruh negara. Selanjutnya, MDEC juga bekerjasama dengan Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi dan Institusi Teknologi Digital Premier (PDTI) untuk memastikan bahawa kandungan berkaitan  industri ‘dimasukkan’ ke dalam kurikulum 11 buah universiti dan 5 politeknik yang terlibat dengan program ini. Usaha untuk membina saluran bakat yang merangkumi keseluruhan spektrum harus membabitkan penglibatan generasi pelapis kerana ia merupakan kunci untuk mewujudkan tenaga kerja masa depan yang berdaya tahan.

Matlamat akhir program ini ialah untuk membantu golongan yang mencari pekerjaan meningkatkan kemahiran secara digital untuk pekerjaan di masa depan. Tinjauan Impak COVID-19 yang dilaksanakan MDEC menunjukkan bahawa 70 peratus syarikat akan mempunyai keperluan untuk latihan semula selepas COVID manakala 83 peratus syarikat akan melaksanakan latihan semula membabitkan bidang pemasaran digital dan peralatan untuk produktiviti digital serta akhir sekali merangkumi kemampuan bekerja secara tidak di pejabat.

Peranan MDEC

Peranan MDEC dalam meningkatkan kemampuan dan mendidik rakyat Malaysia telah terbukti ketika pandemik COVID-19 masih berlarutan. Antara usaha awal ialah menerusi platform Let’s Learn Digital atau Mari Belajar Digital yang telah dilancarkan dengan kerjasama Coursera. Inisiatif ini antaranya menyediakan kursus dalam talian secara percuma untuk penganggur dan telah menunjukkan hasil yang cukup memberangsangkan apabila menerima lebih 21,000 permohonan. Mari Belajar Digital menawarkan 3,800 kursus secara percuma hingga akhir September 2020 .Ia juga berperanan membantu rakyat tempatan yang ingin menambah pengetahuan bagi membolehkan mereka bersaing untuk mendapatkan peluang pekerjaan digital serta prospek kerjaya lain yang lebih baik.

Antara yang berjaya menamatkan kursus berkenaan ialah Tan Jia Er yang mempelajari latihan Pengoptimum Enjin Carian (SEO) di Coursera. Pada masa sama, Jia Er juga mendapat pengetahuan mengenai  peluang peningkatan kerjaya ketika berlangsungnya Minggu #MyDigitalWorkforce anjuran MDEC. Jelasnya, dia mengikuti kursus untuk meningkatkan profilnya bagi mendapatkan pekerjaan di bidang Perhubungan Awam.

Sementara itu, Devi (bukan nama sebenar) yang merupakan ibu kepada dua cahaya mata berupaya melatih dirinya secara digital. Devi berkata, dia telah berusaha untuk memasuki semula dunia pekerjaan setelah lima tahun bercuti . Iklan oleh MDEC mengenai kursus Coursera telah menarik minatnya dan seterusnya dia mendaftar untuk mengikuti  kursus di Tableau selain turut berpeluang mempelajari beberapa modul lain sepanjang tempoh berkenaan. Bulan ini, Devi akan memulakan kariernya dalam bidang pengurusan sumber manusia di sebuah syarikat multinasional.

Acara yang paling menonjol menerusi gerakan #MyDigitalWorkforce ialah Minggu #MyDigitalWorkforce yang memberi peluang kepada rakyat Malaysia menyertai pelbagai acara maya seperti siri -siri webinar,  acara satelit dan ekspo kerjaya  pada Ogos tahun ini. Ini juga merupakan tindak balas MDEC dalam membantu rakyat yang terkesan akibat COVID-19. Acara ini yang merupakan salah satu cabang gerakan #MyDigitalWorkforce dianggap sebagai pemangkin kepada bakat digital supaya proses pemulihan ekonomi berbentuk K dapat dilaksanakan (oleh Digital News Asia).

Tidak berhenti setakat itu, MDEC baru – baru ini melancarkan  dua inisiatif baharu  di bawah gerakan  #MyDigitalWorkforce iaitu Platform Pekerjaan MyDigitalWorkforce dan Direktori Latihan Kemahiran Digital  untuk memenuhi keperluan pekerjaan digital dan kemahiran. Usaha ini dilaksanakan bagi membantu golongan yang hilang pekerjaan akibat penularan wabak berkenaan.  Portal pekerjaan digital iaitu WOBB dan Hays Malaysia kini menawarkan lebih daripada 2,000 kekosongan pekerjaan berkaitan dengan teknologi digital.

Bagi Direktori Latihan Kemahiran Digital pula, MDEC melancarkannya dengan kerjasama PERKESO. Ianya antara lain memberikan subsidi  di bawah Skim Insurans Pekerjaan PERKESO dan Insentif Pengambilan PENJANA sehingga RM4,000  untuk individu yang hilang pekerjaan mempelajari kursus-kursus baharu dan menambah kemahiran digital. 

Direktori ini merupakan katalog kursus untuk menangani permintaan kemahiran digital yang diperlukan. Kursus ini telah mendapat pengesahan pakar industri digital untuk membimbing rakyat Malaysia memilih modul yang memenuhi syarat untuk pekerjaan berkaitan  teknologi digital. Mengandungi 173 kursus ,  ia merangkumi latihan dan pensijilan untuk peringkat pemulaan, menengah dan lanjutan membabitkan sains data (50), keselamatan siber (44), pengembangan perisian (55), animasi (19) dan pengembangan permainan (5) .

Mengecilkan Jurang Kemahiran dalam Era Digital

” Ketika  Malaysia dan dunia terus menghadapi gangguan disebabkan oleh wabak ini, keperluan tenaga kerja menjadi lebih kritikal berbanding sebelumnya. Keperluan yang dimaksudkan termasuklah mempelajari kemahiran dan kebolehan baharu yang dapat memenuhi tuntutan era digital. Platform #MyDigitalWorkforce Jobs dan Direktori Latihan Kemahiran Digital merupakan usaha MDEC untuk mengatasi jurang yang wujud membabitkan penawaran  bakat dan permintaan tenaga kerja. Ini merupakan asas yang perlu bagi Malaysia untuk memulakan dan mengembangkan tenaga kerja yang bersedia secara digital. Hanya dengan itu kita dapat mempercepatkan usaha berterusan untuk mengembangkan ekonomi digital, ”kata Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MDEC, Pn. Surina Shukri.

Pada masa ini, platform kerjaya digital telah menerima sekitar 23,000 permohonan dengan hampir 700 telah disenaraikan untuk temuduga. Direktori ini terus menerima peningkatan kunjungan membabitkan golongan belia, graduan baharu dan tenaga kerja sedia ada. Jumlah permohonan dan pekerjaan terus meningkat setiap hari. Hari ini sektor teknologi menyumbang sebanyak 18.5 peratus kepada KDNK Malaysia (tertinggi di rantau ini) dan 30 peratus kepada ekonomi digital ASEAN sekaligus menjadikannya sebagai Nadi Dgital ASEAN. Bakat merupakan komponen penting dalam ekosistem digital negara dan kecekapan digital yang dimiliki merupakan pemangkin digitalisasi di seluruh PKS, industri dan di kalangan rakyat secara amnya.

Pelbagai inisiatif ekonomi digital oleh MDEC yang membabitkan rakyat Malaysia yang berkemahiran digital, perniagaan dipacu secara digital dan pelaburan digital merupakan tiga teras strategiknya. Menerusi teras rakyat Malaysia berkemahiran digital, usaha dapat dilihat menerusi  Platform Pekerjaan #MyDigitalWorkforce dan Direktori Latihan Kemahiran Digital bagi mengatasi jurang  yang wujud membabitkan lambakan bakat dan tuntutan tenaga kerja dengan kecekapan digital. Teras MDEC membabitkan  rakyat Malaysia yang berkemahiran digital telah memberi kesan kepada lebih daripada dua juta rakyat Malaysia sejak 2016 hingga suku ketiga tahun ini.  Inisiatif MDEC bertujuan untuk membantu Malaysia menghadapi Revolusi Industri 4.0 (IR 4.0) dan menuju ke Malaysia 5.0 untuk mencapai hasrat kemakmuran bersama untuk semua.

Maklumat lanjut boleh didapati di:

https://mdec.my/mydigitalworkforcejobs/ untuk Platform Pekerjaan #MyDigitalWorkforce

https://mdec.my/digitalskillstrainingdirectory/ untuk Direktori Latihan Kemahiran Digital

Malaysia, Heart of Digital ASEAN

Scroll down for Malay version/Skrol ke bawah untuk versi Bahasa Melayu

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has been a force to be reckoned with for nearly 25 years. Established in 1996 as the leading agency to lead the MSC Malaysia initiative, it has evolved in the last decade to being a key agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia (KKMM) with a track-record of successfully leading the digital economy growth in Malaysia.

MDEC has been spurring the nation’s digital economy through three key thrusts – empowering digital skills, enabling digitally-powered businesses and driving digital sector investments. The initiatives lead by MDEC have had a positive impact on the nation’s economy; according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia the digital economy accounted for 18.5% of Malaysia’s GDP in 2018 and the growth continues to be bullish with the increase in digital adoption nationwide.

We met with Surina Shukri, CEO of MDEC, for a quick chat.

“Digitalisation of the workforce” has always been a key mandate for MDEC since its inception. How has this mantra shaped MDEC’s journey thus far?

Talent has been a key component of the nation’s digital ecosystem. The digital competency of Malaysians is essential to facilitate digitalisation at all levels of society and businesses as well as to support the development of our digital industries. This thrust is focused on up-skilling Malaysians via initiatives and programmes targeted at different segments of society, so they are equipped to thrive in the various digitalised occupations.

One example is #MyDigitalMaker. Launched in August 2016, it is an initiative that encourages and provides opportunities for students to become digital creators, producers and innovators. The initiative is also in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Malaysia to train teachers on programming, micro controller and computational skills.

To date, 1.3 million students and 88,000 teachers have been empowered with digital skills. For the period Jan-June 2020, 2,000 teachers were trained for computational thinking skills certification and Science Teaching Certificate. Digital Maker Hub is now being scaled-up by the Ministry of Education, resulting in the surge of interest for digital skills among students.

Digital Ninja is another leadership and digital skills enhancement programme that hones the youths’ innate know-how, provides exposure and inspires change-makers. As of 2019, 20 new projects were conceptualised and developed involving 407 students nationwide.

To prepare graduates, we launched the Premier Digital Tech Institutions (PDTI) in August 2017, an initiative we started in recognition of 16 top institutions of higher learning that can deliver first-class training in digital technology. In June 2019, we also began a campaign called Empowering Women in Cyber Risk Management, a reskilling programme to encourage women to return to the workforce. 26 women were trained in 7 different sessions which ultimately saw 42% return to the workforce.

eRezeki is another programme designed to open-up opportunities for Malaysians to leverage on their idle time, under-utilised physical assets or certain knowledge and skills via crowdsourcing and sharing economy platforms. Launched in June 2015, 333,130 participants (till end 2019) have benefited from this initiative and have reported earning an additional income. From Jan-June 2020, 585,662 have gained additional digital skillsets to earn supplementary income.

When MDEC was first established, e-commerce was still fairly new . It has since grown to become one of the key strategic drivers of the digital economy. How has MDEC nurtured e-commerce over the years?

In the late 1990s, we saw the launch of internet companies such as Amazon and eBay as e-commerce slowly made its way to the mainstream. For this revolution in retail to reach Malaysian shores, MDEC had to facilitate an improvement in the country’s internet infrastructure. The rest as they say, is history. Fast forward to the early 2010s, we saw a proliferation of local e-commerce players that have set the benchmark for the industry worldwide.

In 2016, we launched the National Ecommerce Strategic Roadmap (NESR) which has become the primary reference and cornerstone for many e-commerce initiatives. In that vein, we viewed the digitalisation of retail businesses as an opportunity for SMEs and other businesses to diversify their income stream.  As such, we started programs to help them, essentially, go digital.

eUsahawan was launched in November 2015 as a digital entrepreneurship programme that helps onboard micro enterprises onto various e-commerce platforms. From Jan-June 2020, 41,789 entrepreneurs have been trained with a total of sales value of RM65.4 generated.

Launched in July 2017, Go-eCommerce is an online learning platform with internationally recognised curriculum for beginner, intermediate learners and advanced entrepreneurs. From Jan-June 2020, a total of 112, 803 participants from across the country benefited from this initiative. Under the ambit of this platform, we also launched Project DESA which encouraged rural-based merchants to shift their businesses online and continues to drive cross-border trade for all merchants.

As of June 2020, we have had 322,834 SMEs adopting e-commerce with 17,372 actively exporting goods to other markets.

As the country prepares to embrace the “new normal”, how has the COVID-19 pandemic shifted MDEC’s priorities?

The pandemic of 2020 has underscored the urgency and relevancy of digital transformation for the Government, businesses and all socio-economic facets to confront and overcome the challenges of this new era of digitalisation. This includes acknowledging and embracing the digital new norms, gaining access to the right tools and support services that can help all Malaysians, including businesses, make that digital leap.

Specifically, what did programs did MDEC embark upon to answer this clarion call to go digital?

When the first phase of the MCO was enforced on 18 March 2020, MDEC immediately went into triage-mode to attend to the distress calls from the rakyat and businesses that were affected by the regressing economy. The #DIGITALvsCOVID movement was launched on 24th March 2020 with a loud rally call for tech companies to extend digital solutions and services to those who are affected by the MCO.

In just weeks, MDEC’s #DIGITALvsCOVID campaign garnered over 2000 digital solutions offered by 561 homegrown tech companies, which was systematically catalogued in an online directory to aid the unemployed and struggling entrepreneurs.

From the onset of the MCO, MDEC has been resolute to combatting the effects of the pandemic and pivoted its operations and initiatives to ensure Malaysia continues to make the ‘digital leap’ despite any odds.

Recently, we launched the #SayaDigital movement, which aims to improve digital literacy among Malaysians amid the new normal. In the month of August, #SayaDigital featured several MDEC-led capacity-building programmes, providing businesses with various means to go digital and enabling Malaysians to be digitally skilled with speed and at scale.

We also leveraged on our existing Global Online Workforce (GLOW) program which assists those in need of crowdsourcing platforms to generate digital revenue. From the months of January to June this year, the programme generated an income totalling RM190.8 million.

SMEs are the backbone of our economy. How has MDEC worked to empower SMEs that have taken quite a hit during this pandemic?

The transformation of businesses through the adoption of digital tools and platforms is a critical step towards improving their business sustainability, operational efficiency and potential to tap new growth opportunities. Initiatives under this digital adoption pillar are aimed at growing start-ups, digitalising MSMEs and globalising scale-ups.

For example, the SME Business Digitalisation Grant was introduced in February 2020 by MDEC, in partnership with Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), to provide digitalisation advisory and technology solution providers. The 50% matching grant offers up to RM5,000 per company for subscription of services to go digital. A total of 498 SMEs have been recipients of this grant.

In May 2020, we organised e-Dagang Expo (eDX) a week-long virtual event which engaged over 500,000 micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs looking to take their offline operations to the online space. Partnering with global e-commerce giants, we aimed to address the urgent needs for MSMEs to adopt e-commerce to better mitigate the immediate impact of COVID-19 and beyond.

At the same time, we also launched eBerkat, a platform to increase SME and B40 awareness and access to SLIP (Savings, Lending, Investment, Payment) digital financial services and instruments. We onboarded 2,000 MSMEs and 13% successfully secured funding.

SMEs were also advised to look beyond Malaysia, in search of new markets to expand into. Through the Digital Free Trade Zone, we enabled 4,367 SMEs to engage in cross-border e-commerce. In a similar vein, The Global Acceleration & Innovation Network (GAIN) helped grow 130 local digital companies into global players.

The new normal has thrown digital industries like animation, esports and game development into the spotlight. How robust are investments into such industries which are still very much nascent here in Malaysia?

The digital creative industry in Malaysia is set for a meteoric rise for the next few years thanks to a proliferation of high-quality animation and video game development from local studios. Compounded by pandemic-induced demand, jobs in this sector are skyrocketing in popularity due to their flexibility and “work-from-home” nature.

Malaysia aspires to be a hub of digital creation and innovation by attracting investment in niche areas such as animation; games development and esports; being the regional hub for data centres; and as a test bed for emerging technologies.

At the same time, MDEC is also actively cultivating and tapping e-commerce, Big Data Analytics (BDA), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) as sources of economic growth.

Our efforts didn’t just begin at the start of the pandemic but in 2016 when we launched the National IoT Framework to create a national Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem to facilitate industrialisation of next-gen network platforms as a new source of economic growth. There are a total of 283 companies in this network that are driving-up the demand for next-gen network transformation, with a cumulative revenue of RM233.8 million and RM121.5 worth of export value.

The focus on the digital content industry kickstarted with the establishment of the Digital Content Ecosystem (DICE) in 2019. Previously, DICE had been a long-running effort to stimulate digital content creation and production with the goal of growing the local digital content sector. Since Jan-June 2020, DICE has benefited 324 companies by enhancing their digital content development. Just this year alone, DICE has generated RM1.6 billion total revenue and RM260 million worth of exports.

We are also aware of the interest that the gaming industry provokes among the younger generation. Level Up @ School is a program we began targeting school students to nurture future talents for the games industry. Thus far, we have discovered and cultivated 1,220 students from 330 schools who are keen on gaining first-hand experience with developing games.

MDEC turns 25 next year. Taking stock of MDEC’s achievements over these years, where do you see MDEC heading in the next decade?

With MDEC turning 25 next year, I envisage it taking on a larger role as the forerunner of the nation’s digital economy, setting the course forward to thrive in the 4IR era by empowering digitally-powered talent, enabling digitally-powered businesses and driving digital-sector investments.

MDEC will embrace the concept of Malaysia 5.0 – a human-first society in a tech-age, where digital innovations will capably resolve societal problems while building a sustainable and inclusive economy where Malaysians of all walks-of-life will enjoy shared prosperity.

We are ready to reinvent!

MDEC will run parallel to the tech trends that are evolving at warp-speed, ensuring:

  • Malaysians make the digital-leap and elevate their IR4-readiness
  • Phenomenal acceleration in digitalisation and scaffolding businesses to be global tech champions
  • Malaysia is primed to be a fertile ground for investments and global test bed for emerging technologies

By 2025, the reinvented MDEC will firmly establish Malaysia as the Heart of Digital ASEAN.

First published in the Edge on 26th of October 2020


Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) telah menjadi agensi kerajaan yang diiktiraf peranannya selama hampir 25 tahun. Ditubuhkan pada 1996 sebagai agensi utama untuk menerajui inisiatif Koridor Raya Multimedia (MSC), ia kemudian telah berkembang pesat dan kini menjadi agensi utama di bawah Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (KKMM) serta mempunyai rekod kejayaan dalam memimpin hala tuju ekonomi digital di Malaysia.

MDEC telah memacu ekonomi digital negara melalui tiga teras utamanya iaitu rakyat Malaysia berkemahiran digital, perniagaan dipacukan secara digital dan menarik pelaburan sektor digital. Inisiatif yang diterajui oleh MDEC telah memberi kesan positif kepada ekonomi negara. Menurut Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia, sektor ekonomi digital menyumbang 18.5 peratus kepada Keluaran Dalam Negara Kasar (KDNK) Malaysia pada 2018 dan terus melonjak selaras dengan peningkatan penggunaan digital di seluruh negara.

Kami berkesempatan bertemu dengan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MDEC, Surina Shukri  untuk sesi temubual.

Pendigitalan tenaga kerja sentiasa menjadi ‘mandat’ utama MDEC sejak awal lagi. Bagaimana ia memacu perjalanan MDEC sehingga hari ini berdasarkan ‘ungkapan’ berkenaan?

Bakat telah menjadi komponen utama dalam ekosistem digital negara. Nilai kompetensi digital bagi rakyat Malaysia sangat penting untuk memfasilitasi pendigitalan pada semua peringkat masyarakat dan perniagaan  yang seterusnya akan menyokong pengembangan industri digital negara.  Dorongan ini difokuskan kepada peningkatan kemampuan rakyat melalui inisiatif dan program yang disasarkan kepada  segmen masyarakat yang berbeza sehingga mereka bersedia untuk pelbagai pekerjaan digital.

Salah satu contoh adalah Gerakan #MyDigitalMaker. Dilancarkan pada Ogos 2016, inisiatif ini bertujuan untuk mendorong dan memberi peluang kepada pelajar kita untuk menjadi pencipta kandungan digital, pengeluar dan inovator.  Inisiatif ini dilaksanakan dengan kerjasama Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia(KPM) bagi melatih para guru mengenai pengaturcaraan, pengawalan mikro dan kemahiran komputasional.

Sehingga kini, seramai 1.3 juta pelajar dan 88, 000 guru telah diperkasakan dengan kemahiran digital. Bagi tempoh Januari hingga Jun 2020, sejumlah 2,000 orang guru telah dilatih untuk pensijilan kemahiran komputasional dan Sijil Pengajaran Sains. Hab Digital Maker ini turut disokong oleh KPM telah menunjukkan hasil apabila berlaku peningkatan minat di kalangan pelajar terhadap kemahiran digital.

Digital Ninja pula merupakan  satu lagi program peningkatan kemahiran kepemimpinan dan digital yang mengasah pengetahuan belia. Ia memberi pendedahan dan inspirasi kepada pencetus perubahan. Sehingga 2019, sebanyak 20 projek baharu telah dikembangkan dengan melibatkan 407 pelajar di seluruh negara.

Bagi ‘mempersiapkan’ graduan berdepan cabaran pekerjaan semasa, MDEC juga telah melancarkan Premier Digital Tech Institutions (PDTI) pada Ogos 2017. Inisiatif ini bermula dengan mengiktiraf 16 institusi pengajian tinggi  supaya dapat menyediakan latihan kelas pertama dalam bidang teknologi digital. Pada Jun 2019, MDEC melancarkan pula kempen Empowering Women in Cyber ​​Risk Management iaitu sebuah program menambah kemahiran sedia ada bagi menggalakkan wanita kembali ke alam pekerjaan. Menerusinya, seramai 26 wanita dilatih dalam tujuh sesi berbeza dengan menyaksikan sebanyak 42 peratus kembali ke alam pekerjaan.

Kepelbagaian inisiatif MDEC turut dapat dilihat menerusi program eRezeki yang dirancang untuk membuka peluang kepada rakyat Malaysia memanfaatkan masa terluang dengan memanfaatkan pengetahuan dan kemahiran tertentu dan berkongsi di platform ekonomi. Dilancarkan pada Jun 2015, seramai  333 130 peserta (hingga akhir 2019) telah mendapat manfaat dan menjana mendapat pendapatan tambahan. Untuk tahun ini sehingga Jun, sejumlah 88,662 telah memperoleh kemahiran digital tambahan sekaligus membantu mereka menjana pendapatan tambahan.

Ketika MDEC mula ditubuhkan, peranan sektor e-dagang tidak seperti hari ini. Walau bagaimanapun, ia telah berkembang sehingga menjadi salah satu pemacu utama yang strategik bagi ekonomi digital. Bagaimana MDEC memupuk e-dagang selama ini?

Pada akhir 1990-an, kita menyaksikan kemunculan syarikat berasaskan internet seperti Amazon dan eBay . Sektor e-dagang mengalami evolusi dan pada hari ini boleh dikatakan menjadi sektor ekonomi ‘perdana’. Perubahan ini telah memberi kesan kepada sektor peruncitan negara apabila jumlah pemain industri tempatan mula menerapkan e-dagang  dalam operasi mereka malahan saban tahun jumlahnya terus meningkat. Di pihak MDEC, kami menyedari keperluan memfasilitasi kemudahan  infrastruktur internet negara ke tahap yang lebih baik. Selebihnya , seperti ungkapan popular, ia merupakan sejarah. Bergerak pantas pada awal 2010 pula, kita menyaksikan peningkatan pemain e-dagang tempatan yang pada hari ini telah menjadi penanda aras bagi industri ini di seluruh dunia.

Pada 2016, MDEC telah melancarkan Pelan Hala Tuju Strategik E-Dagang Kebangsaan(NESR) yang menjadi rujukan utama kepada pelbagai inisiatif e-dagang. Menerusinya, kita dapat memahami bahawa pendigitalan perniagaan runcit merupakan peluang kepada Perusahaan Kecil dan Sederhana (PKS) untuk mempelbagaikan pendapatan mereka. Oleh itu, MDEC memulakan program untuk membantu kumpulan ini ke arah digitalisasi.

Seterusnya, inisiatif eUsahawan yang dilancarkan pada November 2015 merupakan program keusahawanan digital yang membantu syarikat mikro memasuki pelbagai platform e-dagang. Bagi tempoh Januari hingga Jun tahun ini, seramai  41,789 usahawan telah dilatih dengan nilai jualan yang dicatatkan mencecah RM65.4 juta.

Selanjutnya, program Go e-Commerce dilancarkan pada Julai 2017 pula merupakan platform pembelajaran dalam talian. Modul pembelajarannya diiktiraf di peringkat antarabangsa dan sesuai dipraktikkan oleh syarikat atau individu kategori pemula, pertengahan serta mereka yang telah mencapai kejayaan untuk  terus mengasah kemahiran masing -masing. Bagi tempoh separuh pertama tahun ini, data menunjukkan seramai 112 803 peserta di seluruh negara telah mendapat manfaat. Di bawah platform ini, MDEC juga melancarkan projek DESA yang mendorong usahawan di luar bandar untuk ‘menukar’ model perniagaan mereka iaitu dengan memasuki pasaran dalam talian. Seterusnya, usaha ini telah mendorong kumpulan sasar terlibat dalam perdagangan rentas sempadan.

Sehingga Jun 2020, MDEC telah melatih seramai 322 843 usahawan PKS dan mikro mengadaptasi e-dagang. Data juga menunjukkan seramai 17, 372 usahawan kategori ini aktif mengeksport produk masing – masing.

Pada Mei 2020, MDEC berjaya menganjurkan Ekspo e-Dagang (eDX) secara maya selama seminggu yang melibatkan penyertaan lebih daripada 500 000 usahawan mikro dan PKS yang ingin membawa operasi ‘tradisional’ mereka ke dalam talian. Menerusinya, MDEC bekerjasama dengan pelbagai gergasi e-dagang global dengan tujuan membantu keperluan mendesak usahawan PKS dan mikro mengadaptasi e-dagang sekaligus mengurangkan kesan yang ditanggung akibat pandemik COVID-19.

Menerusi  eBerkat pula , ia merupakan platform untuk meningkatkan kesedaran dan akses PKS dan golongan B40 ke perkhidmatan dan instrumen kewangan digital SLIP (Penjimatan, Pinjaman, Pelaburan, Pembayaran). Menerusinya, sebanyak 2,000 PKS dan usahawan mikro terlibat dan 13 peratus berjaya mendapat pembiayaan.

PKS juga disarankan untuk melihat pasaran baharu di luar negara untuk terus berkembang. Melalui Zon Perdagangan Bebas Digital atau Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), MDEC berjaya membawa 4,367 PKS tempatan terlibat dalam e-dagang rentas sempadan. Jaringan Percepatan & Inovasi Global (GAIN) pula membantu mengembangkan 130 syarikat digital tempatan menjadi pemain global.

Ketika negara bersiap untuk menerapkan ‘norma baharu, bagaimana pandemik COVID-19 mengubah keutamaan MDEC?

Pandemik yang melanda ketika ini telah memberi isyarat tentang keperluan mendesak untuk melakukan transformasi digital bagi kerajaan, perniagaan dan semua sektor sosial ekonomi untuk menghadapi dan mengatasi cabaran era digitalisasi baharu ini. Ini termasuk mengakui dan menerapkan norma-norma baharu digital, mendapatkan akses kepada peralatan yang tepat serta perkhidmatan sokongan  yang dapat membantu semua rakyat Malaysia termasuk perniagaan melaksanakan lonjakan digital.

Apa program secara khusus oleh MDEC menjelaskan pendigitalan?

Sewaktu Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP) dilaksanakan pada 18 Mac 2020, MDEC segera mengaktifkan pasukan untuk menerima panggilan dan pertanyaan daripada rakyat dan perniagaan yang terjejas akibat langkah pemberhentian banyak sektor ekonomi ketika itu. Kemudian, MDEC melancarkan Gerakan #DigitalvsCOVID pada 24 Mac 2020 dengan kerjasama syarikat teknologi untuk memberikan penyelesaian dan perkhidmatan digital kepada kumpulan yang terkesan akibat PKP.

Dalam tempoh singkat , Gerakan ini berjaya mengumpulkan lebih 2,000 penyelesaian digital yang ditawarkan oleh 561 syarikat teknologi tempatan. Ia kemudian dilampirkan secara sistematik menerusi direktori dalam talian untuk membantu usahawan yang terjejas dan seterusnya bangkit untuk mengatur semula operasi perniagaan masing – masing.  

Sejak awal PKP, MDEC bertekad untuk memerangi kesan pandemik dan mendorong operasi dan inisiatifnya untuk memastikan Malaysia terus melakukan lonjakan di sebalik pelbagai kemungkinan.

Baru-baru ini, MDEC melancarkan pula gerakan #SayaDigital yang bertujuan untuk meningkatkan literasi digital di kalangan rakyat Malaysia ketika amalan norma baharu mula dipraktikkan oleh rakyat. Pada Ogos, #SayaDigital menampilkan beberapa program pengembangan yang dipimpin MDEC serta menyediakan perniagaan dengan pelbagai cara untuk memulakan proses pendigitalan. Ia juga akan membolehkan rakyat Malaysia mahir secara digital dengan pantas dan berskala.

Pada masa sama, MDEC turut memanfaatkan program sedia ada iaitu Global Online Workforce (GLOW) yang diwujudkan untuk membantu rakyat yang memerlukan platform crowdsourching untuk menjana pendapatan secara digital. Sejak Januari hingga Jun , program ini telah menjana pendapatan berjumlah RM190.8 juta.

PKS merupakan tulang belakang ekonomi kita. Bagaimanakah MDEC berusaha untuk memperkasakan PKS yang sangat terkesan akibat pandemik ini.

Transformasi perniagaan melalui penggunaan alatan sesuai dan platform digital merupakan langkah penting untuk meningkatkan kelestarian perniagaan untuk kecekapan operasi dan potensi dan seterusnya memanfaatkan peluang pertumbuhan baharu. Inisiatif di bawah teras penggunaan digital ini bertujuan untuk mengembangkan syarikat pemula, pendigitalan PKS dan usahawan mikro dengan sasaran peningkatan global.

Sebagai contoh, Geran Pendigitalan PKS diperkenalkan pada Februari 2020 oleh MDEC dengan kerjasama Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) bertujuan untuk menyediakan penyedia penyelesaian digital dan khidmat nasihat. Pemberian geran padanan 50 peratus sehingga RM5,000 untuk setiap syarikat melanggan perkhidmatan untuk menjadi digital. Sebanyak 498 PKS telah menerima geran ini.

Norma baharu telah menjadikan industri digital seperti animasi, e-sukan  dan pengembangan permainan semakin mendapat perhatian. Adakah pelaburan untuk industri ini sedang berkembang pesat di Malaysia?

Industri kreatif digital di Malaysia dijangka akan mengalami peningkatan pesat untuk tempoh beberapa tahun akan datang dengan disokong kemunculan pemain industri animasi dan permainan video berkualiti tinggi oleh studio -studio tempatan. Berdasarkan permintaan yang semakin meningkat akibat pandemik yang melanda, pekerjaan di sektor ini semakin popular kerana fleksibiliti dan pekerjanya dapat melaksanakan tugasan dari rumah.

Malaysia berhasrat untuk menjadi pusat kepada penciptaan digital dan inovasi dengan menarik pelaburan di bidang seperti animasi, pengembangan permainan dan e-sukan. Kita juga ingin menjadi pusat serantau untuk pusat data dan sebagai pusat menguji teknologi baharu.

Pada masa yang sama, MDEC juga aktif mengembangkan dan memanfaatkan e-dagang, Analitik Data Raya (BDA), kecerdasan buatan (AI), blockchain, automasi dan internet kebendaan (IoT) sebagai sumber pertumbuhan ekonomi.

Perlu dijelaskan bahawa usaha MDEC terhadap bidang-bidang yang dinyatakan bukan mula dilaksanakan ketika pandemik ‘menyerang’ sebaliknya sejak 2016 lagi. Ketika itu, MDEC melancarkan Kerangka Utama IoT Kebangsaan untuk menyokong pertumbuhan industri ini ke arah pertumbuhan sumber ekonomi baharu. Terdapat sejumlah 283 syarikat yang terlibat dalam inisiatif ini yang mana mewujudkan  permintaan untuk transformasi rangkaian berikutnya dengan pendapatan terkumpul berjumlah RM233.8 juta dan nilai eksport bernilai RM121.5. juta.

Fokus kepada industri kandungan digital bermula dengan terbentuknya Digital Content Ecosystem (DICE) pada 2019. Sebelum ini, DICE telah lama berusaha untuk mendorong penciptaan dan pengeluaran kandungan digital supaya hasrat untuk mengembangkan sektor kandungan digital tempatan dapat dijayakan. Sejak Januari hingga Jun 2020, DICE telah memberi manfaat kepada 324 syarikat yang berjaya meningkatkan pengembangan kandungan digital mereka. Bagi tahun ini, DICE telah menjana pendapatan keseluruhan sebanyak RM1.6 bilion dan nilai eksport sebanyak RM260 juta.

MDEC juga menyedari minat mendalam yang ditunjukkan oleh industri permainan kreatif di kalangan generasi muda kita. Bersesuaian dengan ini, program Level Up @ Schools diperkenalkan oleh MDEC yang menyasarkan pelajar sekolah untuk memupuk bakat untuk industri permainan. Setakat ini, MDEC telah melatih 1,220 pelajar dari 330 sekolah yang berminat untuk mendapatkan pengalaman langsung berkaitan pengembangan permainan.

MDEC akan mencapai usia 25 tahun penubuhan pada tahun depan. Mengimbas kembali pencapaian MDEC dalam dua dekad lalu, bagaimana anda ingin membawa hala tuju MDEC berdepan dekad berikutnya ?

MDEC akan mencapai usia yang dinyatakan pada tahun depan dan saya membayangkan ia akan memainkan peranan yang lebih besar sebagai peneraju ekonomi digital negara dengan membuka laluan untuk negara bergerak maju pada era Revolusi Industri 4.0 (IR 4.0). Ia berpandukan teras memperkasakan rakyat berkemahiran digital, perniagaan dipacu secara digital dan menarik pelaburan digital.

MDEC akan menerapkan konsep Malaysia 5.0 sebagai masyarakat yang saling berhubung dalam era teknologi di mana inovator digital dapat menyelesaikan masalah sosial. Ia seterusnya akan membina ekonomi yang lestari dan inklusif supaya rakyat Malaysia pelbagai lapisan akan menikmati kemakmuran bersama.

Kami bersedia untuk mencipta semula.

MDEC akan bergerak selari dengan trend teknologi yang berkembang dengan memastikan

– Rakyat Malaysia membuat lonjakan digital dan meningkatkan kesediaan IR4.0  

– Pecutan dalam digitalisasi perniagaan untuk untuk menjadi juara teknologi global.

– Malaysia menjadi landasan yang mekar untuk pelaburan dan hab ujian global bagi teknologi baharu.

Menjelang 2025, MDEC yang ‘dicipta semula’ dengan penuh semangat akan mencapai impian meletakkan Malaysia sebagai Nadi Digital ASEAN.

DONUT RM26 000 BIKIN PENGUSAHA TERSENYUM

Jangan terkejut apabila nilai RM26 000 diletakkan pada tajuk di atas. Ini kerana ‘kuih’ yang dipercayai mula wujud sejak abad ke-18 hasil cetusan idea seorang kapten kapal itu dari Belanda itu masih dijual pada harga yang mampu dinikmati kita semua.

Yang dimaksudkan ialah pendapatan bulanan diraih oleh Noor Azliza Ab Aziz, 32, di Kampung Rabbana, Jeli, Kelantan yang menyara hidup dengan menjual pelbagai jenis donut dan kek.

Menyedari dunia perniagaan hari ini mempunyai hubungan kimia yang sangat rapat dengan pemasaran digital, wanita itu juga menyahut cabaran untuk ‘mendigitalkan’ perniagaannya.

Menyingkap kembali pembabitan selaku chef kek dan donut ‘tersohor’ di kampungnya, Noor Azliza berkata, pada mulanya operasi perniagaan hanya dilakukan pada skala kecil sambal dibantu oleh ahli keluarganya.

“ Ketika awal operasi, Aleeza Bakery menjual donut dengan pendapatan sekitar RM400 hingga RM500 sebulan. Kemudian, saya mula membuat kek bagi memberi lebih pilihan kepada pelanggan,” cerita bekas pelajar bidang bakeri di Kolej Komuniti itu.

Menurutnya, selepas setahun, donut dan kek yang dihasilkan mula menjadi sebutan apabila permintaan meningkat dengan mendadak sehingga tidak menang tangan untuk menyiapkan tempahan.

“ Oleh itu, saya membuat keputusan untuk menyewa sebuah kedai dan mengupah empat pekerja supaya dapat memenuhi permintaan,”katanya ketika ditemui wakil blog Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) baru – baru ini.

Noor Azliza yang turut mendapat ‘sentuhan’ MDEC dalam program pemasaran digital berkata, perkembangan Aleeza Bakery turut membolehkan syarikatnya menawarkan peluang pekerjaan kepada penduduk sekitar.

“ Ini kerana saya memerlukan khidmat ramai runner bagi menghantar pesanan di sekitar Jeli , Gua Musang, Tanah Merah dan Pasir Mas,” katanya.

Ditanya tentang kaedah pemasaran digital, Noor Azliza berkata, kemajuan pesat media sosial seperti Facebook dan Instagram dimanfaatkan sepenuhnya untuk mempromosikan donut dan kek keluaran syarikatnya kepada penduduk setempat.

“ Pada peringkat awal, saya juga tidak begitu mahir sehingga terpaksa menyertai beberapa bengkel keusahawaan digital anjuran pihak swasta dan agensi kerajaan seperti MDEC dan sebagainya. Menerusinya,  pelbagai ilmu baharu yang dipelajari untuk mengembangkan lagi perniagaan,” katanya.

Noor Azliza memberitahu, syarikatnya turut kehilangan pendapatan pada minggu pertama kerajaan melaksanakan Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP) pada Mac lalu kerana dia menutup operasi.

“ Bagaimanapun, selepas dua minggu, Aleeza Bakery kembali beroperasi malahan saya lebih agresif melakukan pemasaran secara digital. Hasilnya, syarikat mendapat tempahan donut dan kek lebih banyak, mungkin kerana waktu itu masih ramai yang tidak keluar rumah,” katanya

Nor Azliza berkata, hasil pemasaran digital, dia berjaya mengekalkan momentum jualan.

“ Sehingga kini, jualan RM1,000 secara konsisten dijana setiap hari atau bersamaan sekitar RM26,000 sebulan,” katanya yang tidak beroperasi pada setiap Jumaat.

Berkongsi  rahsia donut dan kek yang dihasilkan begitu mendapat sambutan , Noor Azliza berkata, dia menggunakan bahan-bahan bermutu untuk menjaga kualiti produk.

“ Saya pernah membuat bancian terhadap 5,000 penduduk di Jeli dan maklum balas yang diterima ialah , majoriti memberi markah sembilan per sepuluh terhadap donut dan kek yang syarikat saya hasilkan,”katanya.

Katanya lagi, telur ayam yang digunakan pula kategori gred AA yang dibasuh supaya bebas virus samonila manakala bahan-bahan topping pula menggunakan jenama terbaik.

Untuk maklumat lanjut mengenai pendigitalasi peniagaan anda, sila layari https://www.go-ecommerce.my/

Oleh Mohd Firdaus Ismail

SYARIKAT PERMAINAN KREATIF TEMPATAN ‘RM100’ DIBANTU INISATIF DC3 MDEC UNTUK LAKUKAN LONJAKAN DIGITAL KE PERINGKAT ANTARABANGSA

Firma penganalisis bagi sektor permainan kreatif digital, Newzoo menganggarkan nilai pasaran global industri berkenaan mencecah sekitar RM660 bilion pada tahun ini dengan  kadar pertumbuhan tahunan terkumpul (CAGR) sebanyak 11.8% (2015-2019) . Menakjubkan!.

Turut diramalkan mencapai pulangan lumayan ialah segmen permainan telefon pintar yang dijangka mencecah RM359 bilion atau peningkatan CAGR sebanyak 21.2 peratus bagi tempoh 2015-2019.

Menariknya, jumlah ini ialah lebih empat kali ganda lebih tinggi berbanding pendapatan industri pawagam global iaitu sekitar RM186 bilion.

Dalam soal ini, Malaysia sebagai negara yang terkedepan dalam industri kreatif animasi di Asia Tenggara sebenarnya turut memberi tumpuan serius terhadap bidang ini dengan melihat kepada potensi besar terhadap pertumbuhan ekonomi sekaligus boleh memanfaatkan rakyat.

Sejak 2006, kerajaan memberi mandat kepada Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) untuk melonjakkan sektor kandungan kreatif digital ini menerusi pelbagai inisiatif yang dirancang dan telah dilaksanakan.

Sehingga kini sebanyak 303 projek telah dibiayai oleh MDEC membabitkan agihan geran keseluruhan bernilai RM11.35 juta untuk pelbagai projek termasuk yang berjaya menembusi pasaran global menerusi program Cabaran Pencipta Kandungan Digital (DC3) (dahulu dikenali sebagai Cabaran Pencipta Harta Intelek (IPCC) .

Sekadar memberi contoh, Opneon Games Studio menerusi program ini telah menghasilkan permainan Mehabolt Battle Arena yang telah dilancarkan pada tahun ini serta memasuki  pasaran Filipina dan Greece.

Turut membanggakan ialah Why Creative Sdn. Bhd menerusi projek Iteno yang turut mendapat sambutan di Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Korea Selatan, Amerika Syarikat dan Eropah.

Di sebalik lonjakan yang dicatatkan, kehadiran tetamu tidak diundang iaitu pandemik Covid-19 awal tahun ini yang masih belum ‘surut’ menyebabkan banyak negara termasuk Malaysia melaksanakan ‘perintah berkurung’ dalam usaha memutuskan rantaian virus maut ini sekaligus memberi impak kepada ekonomi.

Menyedari kesan yang ditanggung, kerajaan melancarkan beberapa pakej rangsangan ekonomi termasuk Pelan Jana Semula Ekonomi Negara (PENJANA) yang turut memberi ‘talian hayat’ kepada industri kandungan kreatif digital tempatan dengan peruntukkan sebanyak RM35 juta.

Dana Kandungan Digital PENJANA (DKD PENJANA) ini akan memperluaskan dua program kandungan digital sedia ada yang dikendalikan MDEC serta memperkasakan dua program iaitu Cabaran Pencipta Kandungan Digital PENJANA (PENJANA DC3+) dan Geran Kandungan Digital PENJANA (PENJANA DCG).

Inisiatif ini diwujudkan untuk membolehkan bakat tempatan mengasah kreativiti dan kemampuan mereka dalam mengembangkan idea kandungan baharu dan seterusnya mempercepatkan pembangunan serta penkomersialan karya.

Baru – baru ini sempena program Kre8tif!, MDEC telah mengumumkan senarai lima syarikat tempatan yang berjaya memperoleh geran untuk kategori micro indie games membabitkan RM50,000 setiap satu.

Wakil blog MDEC berkesempatan menemubual empat daripada lima syarikat berkenaan untuk mengetahui visi mereka dalam mengembangkan operasi dan seterusnya menjadi pemain utama dalam bidang penciptaan kandungan kreatif digital.

1.      Wombatman Games Bagi Projek Cramped Room of Death.

Diasaskan oleh dua beradik, Hafiz Mohd. Rozlan,31 dan Uqbah Mohd. Rozlan ,28, pada pertengahan tahun lepas, Wombatan Games kini sedang mengorak langkah untuk menjadi syarikat pencipta permainan digital kreatif yang diterima di peringkat tempatan dan antarabangsa. 

Kedua-duanya menyerahkan jiwa dan raga untuk  membangunkan projek Cramped Room of Death (CRD) iaitu permainan puzzle 2D yang menumpukan audience casual.

Menurut Hafiz, permainan ini dijangka akan dilancarkan di Steam pada suku pertama 2021 serta diikuti versi iOS. Versi Android akan menyusul kemudian. Ketika ini CRD sudah boleh diwishlist di Steam.

Ujarnya, geran yang diperolehi akan digunakan untuk membiayai pembangunan projek itu yang dianggarkan menelan kos sebanyak RM30,000 membabitkan kerja animasi, muzik dan trailer.

“ Bakinya pula akan digunakan untuk melakukan pemasaran supaya kehadiran produk kami kelak disedari peminat game,” katanya ketika dihubungi baru – baru ini.

Pada masa sama katanya, mereka juga sedang berusaha untuk menyiapkan satu lagi projek yang melibatkan permainan menerusi telefon pintar yang dijangka akan dilancarkan hujung tahun ini.

Berkongsi penglibatan dalam bidang ini, Hafiz berkata, pada mulanya dia belajar sendiri kaedah programming menggunakan engine unity sejak 2012. Mereka kemudian mendapat peluang melanjutkan pengajian Diplomasi Animasi Digital di Universiti Lim Kok Wing menerusi tajaan MDEC.

“ Sebenarnya, kami pernah menyertai pertandingan ini pada tahun lepas di bawah kategori commercial ready namun gagal memikat hati juri dan tahun ini merupakan percubaan kali kedua,” katanya.

Hafiz turut mendedahkan, projek CRD nyaris ‘tidak jadi’ dikembangkan apabila dia mendapat tawaran kerja di Singapura pada March lalu.

“ Bagaimanapun, disebabkan peningkatan kes Covid-19 serta keputusan kerajaan melaksanakan Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP), saya membatalkan hasrat bekerja di Kota Singa dan meneruskan projek CRD ini sepanjang tempoh kuarantin,” katanya.

Ditanya peranan MDEC dalam membantu syarikat kecil sepertinya untuk mengembangkan potensi permainan digital tempatan, anak kelahiran Gombak, Selangor ini menyambut baik langkah berkenaan.

“ Program MDEC sangat membantu syarikat tempatan untuk berkembang kerana kandungan industri digital boleh diakses oleh seluruh dunia. Bakal pelanggan dapat membelinya dengan kos yang rendah,” katanya mengakhiri perbualan.

2.      ENDURA oleh IFIO Studio

Berbekalkan modal RM100, Muhammad Irfan Hadi,26, yang ketika itu masih menuntut di Kolej Universiti Damansara Utama (KDU) mengambil langkah berani menubuhkan syarikat ini untuk menterjemahkan idea kandungan permainan digital kreatifnya sejak 2008 ke dalam bentuk projek nyata.

Anak jati Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu ini membuktikan walaupun masih ‘hijau’ , dia mampu mengembleng tenaga untuk meningkatkan reputasi syarikat  ‘RM100’ itu supaya terus berkembang.

Pada April lepas , ‘taraf’ IFIO berjaya ditingkatkan menjadi IFIO Sdn. Bhd. dengan modal berbayar sebanyak RM50,000 serta menggaji dua pekerja.

“ Projek ENDURA yang berjaya memenangi geran MDEC mula tercetus dua tahun lepas.

“ Secara ringkasnya, permainan ini mempunyai unsur-unsur aksi pengembaraan di alam Bunian sebagai penghantar ‘benih’ bagi membantu penduduk Yagra yang sedang berada dalam kesusahan. Pemain juga perlu menjiwai kisah protagonis utama, Jack J. Rahman,” dedahnya.

Mengulas lanjut, Muhammad Ifran Hadi berkata, IFIO Sdn. Bhd. juga mempunyai tiga projek lain ketika ini yang berada pada peringkat prototype namun keutamaan mereka adalah untuk menyiapkan ENDURA.

“ Geran yang diterima akan digunakan untuk melaksanakan verticle slice bagi ENDURA. Syarikat juga telah membuat penyelidikan pasaran tempatan dan China yang mana kami mendapat maklum balas positif dari pemain-pemain luar dan dalam negara,” katanya.

Berkenaan penyertaan dalam program MDEC, dia berterus terang bahawa syarikatnya tidak meletakkan harapan untuk terpilih pada tahun ini kerana gagal pada dua percubaan pertama.

“ Alhamdulillah rezeki berpihak kepada IFIO Studio pada tahun ini. Ini memberi harapan baharu kepada kami untuk merealisasikan projek ini. Apa yang dilakukan oleh MDEC sangat membantu kelangsungan industri permainan digital kreatif tempatan,” katanya.

– oleh Mohd Firdaus Ismail

China-ASEAN Digital Economy Cooperation: Malaysia’s Win-Win Story

The year 2020 is a year that will be remembered as the most surreal year in modern history, due to the unprecedented Covid-19 global pandemic. While the coronavirus crisis is wreaking socio-economic havoc around the world, it has its silver linings. Governments and businesses are putting digitalization at the forefront of their efforts to survive Covid-19, creating opportunities for more international collaborations.

Accelerated Digitalization

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), has long been touted as the new frontier of the Internet economy. Already the world’s third largest population and fifth largest economy, ASEAN is a key market for investors looking for growth and expansion to remain resilient.

According to a recent study by Facebook and Bain & Company, 70% of consumers in ASEAN will go digital, five years ahead of previous forecast, with higher spending power and increased preference for contactless transactions amidst physical distancing efforts as key drivers. Malaysia leads the region, where 83% of its population are already digital consumers, the highest in ASEAN.

Malaysia has emerged to be a more attractive location for business continuity, amidst lockdown pressures necessitated to dampen the spread of Covid-19. For many companies that made Malaysia their regional/global business services hub, the transition from business-as-usual to remote working arrangement that happened almost overnight, was a smooth experience, enabling them to continue operations with minimal disruptions. This is largely due to the country’s reliable and affordable digital connectivity and infrastructure, as well as the agility and digital-savviness of its talent with a prevalent culture of working from home.

The Malaysian government also has ramped up efforts to drive digital adoption among businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and its citizens, through various economic stimulus and recovery plan. Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), tasked to lead Malaysia’s digital economy forward, is playing a critical role to accelerate the growth of the nation’s digital economy post-Covid19.

For example, 100 Go Digital is an initiative to rally brick-and-mortar enterprises to move towards digitalization by providing in-depth assistance for them to start their digital journey. The Smart Automation Grant is a matching grant under the PENJANA short-term economic recovery plan for services companies to kickstart automation of their business processes. ePENJANA is an initiative to enhance consumer spending and drive e-wallet adoption, impacting 15 million Malaysians.

Enhancing Digital Talent

The accelerated digitalization and the stability as a location for business services has created more digital jobs in Malaysia, outpacing the growth pre-Covid19 times. The demand for digital talent has spurred MDEC to launch the #myDigitalWorkforce movement, an initiative to marshal local talent to upskill/reskill themselves with digital skillsets and grab digital job opportunities, in collaboration with the private sector and academia.

The Global Online Workforce (GLOW) is a national program to train and provide free training for Malaysians affected by Covid-19 to compete for global freelancing opportunities and earn high income through digital work platforms.  

Malaysia’s young, multilingual, multicultural, agile, and digitally-savvy talent pool makes the country stand out as a location of choice for foreign direct investments.

Malaysia on the Digital Silk Road

Malaysia, strategically located at the centre of ASEAN alongside the Maritime Silk Road, has always been a major trading gateway between the West and the East since antiquity. Today, Malaysia continues to play a vital role in the Digital Silk Road, well-poised to be the heart of Digital ASEAN. Collectively, ASEAN’s digital economy is expected to increase from 1.3% of GDP in 2015 to 8.5% by 2025.

A rising number of Chinese tech giants and digital enterprises are leveraging the ASEAN opportunities for win-win cooperation. Market leaders such as Alibaba, China Mobile, ChinData and Beyondsoft, are expanding into this region, making Malaysia their technology and digital services operations hub.

Malaysia is also home to a thriving pool of fast-growing tech companies with regional and global footprint, spanning sectors such as cloud, big data, artificial intelligence, internet of things, e-commerce, cybersecurity and drone technology, making them invaluable partners for Chinese investors who are looking for opportunities outside of China.

For example, Aemulus Corporation, a leading provider of R&D and design services for the Automotive Test Equipment (ATE) industry, has setup a joint venture with China’s Tangren Microtelligence. Last year, Feitian Technologies acquired a stake in digital security solutions provider, SecureMetric, to form strategic partnership for the ASEAN market. Tencent has selected homegrown technology group, Green Packet, to be its local partner for the AI-enabled cloud computing solutions. Just recently, Huawei and Serba Dinamik, Malaysia’s international engineering services provider, have teamed up to bring 5G, Cloud and AI solutions to develop digital industry and smart campuses in Malaysia.

The growing wave of collaboration between Chinese and Malaysian digital enterprises is a prime testament to Malaysia’s strength in Digital Economy ecosystem, which prioritises greater growth, innovation, and shared prosperity.

Malaysia: Your Digital Home

The year 2020 is also the year of China-ASEAN Digital Economy Cooperation. ASEAN became China’s largest trading partner in the first quarter of 2020, overtaking the European Union.

The commitment of member countries to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement between ASEAN and China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, expected to be the world’s largest FTA, will further cement the region’s attractiveness for foreign investors keen to enter the ASEAN market.

As the specialist Investment Promotion Agency for Malaysia’s digital economy, MDEC is well-versed in facilitating and easing the entry of companies into Malaysia, supporting growth and expansion at all stages and as a springboard into ASEAN. Please reach out to MDEC (www.mdec.my)  and learn how to get started on this process.

MDEC welcomes you to make Malaysia your digital home.

The author is the Vice President of Investment Development at Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation. He oversees the investment attraction to client development and supporting Malaysian digital services companies to go global.

Digital Talent Series Powered by MDEC #MyDigitalWorkforce movement, catalyst for talent to get on the K shaped economic recovery

By Karamjit Singh

  • Take advantage of many govt incentives to take various digital skills courses
  • LinkedIn describes hiring demand as “very high” in Malaysia vs Indon and Phil

As so many employment trends have shown, for instance the 2020 LinkedIn Emerging Jobs Malaysia, the digital economy is already upon us and employers increasingly expect that the talent they hire, can use digital tools to augment their non-digital skills, be it in finance, supply chain, journalism, customer experience or manufacturing.

This was the impetus for the launch of a key new initiative by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the #MyDigitalWorkforce movement, which catalyses action from public and private sectors with the goal of re-skilling the Malaysian workforce for the rising number of roles being created in the country’s fast expanding digital economy.

#MyDigitalWorkforce movement, catalyst for talent to get on the K shaped economic recovery

“The MyDigitalWorkforce Movement is yet another initiative catalysed by MDEC in line with our focus on ensuring Malaysians are digitally-skilled for the rising number of job opportunities that require digital tech skills” says MDEC CEO, Surina Shukri (pic).

The urgency of this movement is magnified by the rising belief that the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will likely be K shaped. And you guessed it, the upper half of the K represents step opportunities for all those with the right skills sets to keep moving up in their careers.

These skill sets are increasingly represented by knowledge of and familiarity with applying various digital skills such as analytics, coding, digital marketing, content creation, AI, cybersecurity and cloud, to the existing foundation of skills.

Digital has become a critical subset of new skills that need to be combined with long existing traditional white and blue collar skills.

And, when the likes of Accenture, IBM and Amazon have publicly announced they are reskilling/upskilling significant portions of their workforce, then you know this is real and this is serious.

Being at the heart of Malaysia’s Digital Economy drive, MDEC is well aware of how important these new skills set need to be merged with long established blue and white collar careers. 

Recognising also that no one programme or initiative will meet the needs of all, a plethora of initiatives have been announced recently as part of the grand, and mostly virtual, #MyDigitalWorkforce Week, held during the Aug 24 to Aug 28 period.

With more than 60 webinars and training sessions on topics ranging from games, animation, software, cybersecurity and Global Business Services careers garnering close to 60,000 views, and more than 10,000 job applications submitted, the #MyDigitalworkforce Week was the largest and most comprehensive event organized around the rising importance for any talent, be they fresh graduates, current work force, the unemployed and even those looking to start their higher education, to also equip themselves with some manner of digital related skills to burnish their employability credentials – or to even help them rewrite their career story. This is especially relevant for those still in the early phase of their careers.

This was a point that came up during the kick-off panel session for #MyDigitalWorkforce Week when panelists advised participants to take advantage of the many government incentives to take various digital skills courses that reflect their interest and desire to be digitally savvy and in the process, redirect their career trajectory.#MyDigitalWorkforce movement, catalyst for talent to get on the K shaped economic recovery

But just don’t run off and sign yourself up for as many courses as you can handle in the hope that the more digital courses you have under your belt, the more attractive you will look to an employer. Derek Toh (pic, right), founder and CEO of job portal, WOBB, advices against that.

“Taking digital courses is a good place to start but the next step is to build a portfolio around the programmes you have taken. You need to show that you are genuinely interested in whatever digital courses you have taken.”

According to Toh, at interviews, employers are trying to figure out if the job seeker is really interested and has the right mindset for a digital role.

For Munirah Looi, CEO of Brandt International, a fast growing Global Business Services company, having the right problem solving mindset in her customer experience business is the topping on the cake but that cake has to come with all the right ingredients such as communications and English proficiency; digital interactions; tech literacy and savviness.

But CX or customer experience, which is what Munirah delivers to clients also demands critical thinking, she says. “You must be able take a structured approach to solving specific complex customer issues which do not have ready-made solutions.”

It may sound daunting but all these skills can be acquired, more so when one has the right mindset. The courses are already available, through various incentives offered by the government. And if you do not know where to look, one invaluable resource is the Digital Skills Training Directory, which serves as a reference point for industry-endorsed training programmes and mapped to in-demand career opportunities. For selected courses, Perkeso will fund up to RM4,000 per person per course for unemployed Malaysians who are subscribed to the Employment Insurance System as well as for new employees under the PENJANA Hiring Incentive and Training Programme.

Let’s Learn Digital campaign and the sweetener from Perkeso

One of the key programmes offered specially to unemployed Malaysians is MDEC’s Let’s Learn Digital campaign in partnership with Coursera. Launched in April, it offers free training and is valid until the end of 2020. Adding to the incentive here is that Perkeso will provide learning allowances for every 4 hours of training completed. This however is for qualifying members who subscribe to the Employment Insurance Scheme.

#MyDigitalWorkforce movement, catalyst for talent to get on the K shaped economic recovery

Darshini Natarajah (pic)

a former HR executive who has rejoined the job hunt since January, coming off a five year break to be a full time home maker, has relished the opportunity to take relevant online courses from the MDEC-Coursera partnership. The four courses she took, two on data science including one from Duke University, has helped her present a more current picture in her job hunt besides increasing her self confidence.

She is also practicing what Toh is talking about in building a portfolio, signing up for relevant digital courses next month, one of which is R programming.

She may not have landed a job yet but she is setting herself up for success by augmenting her HR skills with a digital overlay.

You will be mistaken for assuming that jobs are tough to come by in the current tough economic climate but guess what? Tech roles are still aplenty.  And remember that not all vacancies in tech roles demand technical knowledge.

A search of jobs on some leading recruitment sites in Malaysia for July reveals 21,700 vacancies with IT roles forming around 30% of the vacancies. To get a finger on the pulse of the current digital talent pool in Malaysia, LinkedIn data reveals there are almost 184,000 professionals in the digital sector (this includes a variety of non-tech sectors with digital roles such as telco, media, digital content) , with software engineers forming the largest category.

For a sense of the picture in Southeast Asia, LinkedIn reveals that there are 1.22 million professionals in the digital sector with Malaysian ranking behind Indonesia and the Philippines. What’s really interesting here though is that hiring demand is listed as “very high” in Malaysia compared to Indonesia and Philippines.

That’s good news for the likes of Darshini and for Aaron Raj, a fresh computer science graduate who despite his tech education still signed up for some Coursera classes.

Describing the experience as “amazing” with knowledge he didn’t learn at his time in university, Raj says, “I built myself up to prepare for the real world.” Taking some professional certificates from Google, SAS and IBM have been worth their weight in gold for his resume and not surprisingly he is happily employed and enjoying the start of his career.

The highly successful #MyDigitalWorkforceWeek was held last month to encourage and create awareness among the talent pool in Malaysia of the rich opportunities available in digital jobs.
The highly successful #MyDigitalWorkforceWeek was held last month to encourage and create awareness among the talent pool in Malaysia of the rich opportunities available in digital jobs.

The benefit of creating a 30-sec video cover letter

Clearly there are jobs and there is strong interest to hire digital oriented talent. But right now, employers are still trying to find ideal candidates who have digital experience, not just the skills set. According to Wobb’s Toh, the reality is that the talent pool in the market is not there yet in terms of its digital experience and quantity and this is where he advices employers, “to find candidates who are very interested in digital and seem to have a mind for it.”

Hire them, he advices, and then put them through courses the employer wants them to learn.
 “The advantage of the employer paying for the courses is that you get to pick who they learn from and this could be some top expert somewhere in the world and this allows your new recruits to access cutting edge skills,” says Toh.

With Wobb collaborating with MDEC in promoting the newly launched  #MyDigitalWorkforce Jobs Platform, which aggregates digital jobs to make it easier for job seekers to find those jobs, Toh offers two key pieces of advice.

For those looking to change their career story, “rewrite your CV to focus on the new thing you want to do and don’t get caught up in your previous  career.” This repositioning is important so that an employer does not question why an engineer or HR exec is applying for a data job. Instead, they will see a person very interested in a data job who happens to come with an engineering or HR background. “It becomes a completely different picture, even though you are the same person,” he says.

The second piece of advice is on making a video cover letter. “If you feel your story does not come across well in your resume, then drop a 30 second intro on who you are,” he says. “It can make a difference.”

Indeed, there are enough tools, programmes and support structures in the Malaysian digital ecosystem for any job seeker, no matter at what stage of their career, to take advantage of to give themselves that edge in the marketplace.

But as we have been hearing from webinar after webinar and from the various agencies promoting the digital economy, job seekers must have that can-do attitude and mindset to want to make a difference in their careers. No support programme can inject that into you. That has to come from within you.

Originally published on Digital News Asia, 28 September, 2020

MDEC HUBUNGKAN SYARIKAT PEMULA MALAYSIA DENGAN PELABUR GLOBAL MENERUSI #GRINDSTONEFOUNDERS

HAUZ Enterprise Sdn. Bhd kini meneroka peluang untuk bekerjasama dengan pelabur global menerusi program #GrindstoneFounder anjuran MDEC.

Dua syarikat pemula (start up) tempatan yang terpilih mengikuti program Grindstone Founders anjuran Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) yakin ianya akan membuka peluang untuk ‘memikat’ para pelabur teknologi digital global dari seluruh dunia sekaligus meluaskan lagi jaringan perniagaan.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif HAUZ Enterprise Sdn. Bhd. , Ho Di Yan berkata, salah satu pengisian yang terkandung dalam program berkenaan ialah kerjasama dengan University Draper yang terletak di Lembah Silikon, California, Amerika Syarikat.

Universiti berkenaan mempunyai reputasi hebat dalam bidang keusahawanan dan teknologi digital apabila berjaya menarik lebih 2,300 usahawan  dari 85 negara serta mengumpulkan dana pelaburan bernilai lebih AS $350 juta.

Di Yan berkata, sebagai syarikat pemula yang ditubuhkan pada 2018, beliau sangat teruja kerana terpilih mengikuti program bersama universiti berkenaan.

“ Ini akan yang menawarkan akses ke rangkaian pelabur Lembah Silikon dan program Mentor “.

“ Kami juga berpeluang untuk berhubung secara terus dengan Tim Draper yang merupakan pelabur terkenal untuk Tesla, SpaceX, Skype dan Twitter,” katanya ketika ditemubual wakil MDEC di sini baru – baru ini.

Menurut Di Yan, beliau akan menggunakan peluang itu untuk memahami bagaimana syarikat – syarikat pemula di Lembah Silikon beroperasi di pasaran Amerika Syarikat.

“ Syarikat pemula di sana (Lembah Silikon) bukan sekadar beroperasi di pasaran domestik negara mereka sahaja sebaliknya melebarkan operasi ke seluruh dunia. Ini yang ingin kami pelajari, saya percaya pendedahan berkenaan kelak akan membantu HAUZ Entreprise Sdn. Bhd.  ,” katanya.

Di Yan berkata, syarikatnya berteraskan teknologi yang memberi penyelesaian tentang pengurusan tenaga kerja dengan menawarkan satu platform digitalis dalam sektor perkhidmatan dan perusahaan.

Di Yan yang mengasaskan syarikat berkenaan bersama dua rakan kongsi iaitu Shah Fariq Aizal Shah Ghazni dan Woo Cheng Kit berkata, pada mulanya mereka hanya menawarkan perkhidmatan teknologi kepada syarikat – syarikat keselamatan.

“ Namun pada 2019, kami menyedari wujudnya masalah besar dalam pengurusan tenaga kerja. Pemilik perniagaan berdepan masalah seperti mempunyai pekerja yang ramai di pelbagai lokasi namun pengurusan operasi masih dilaksanakan secara manual,” katanya.

Jelas beliau, ketika ini syarikat berkenaan mempunyai 10 kakitangan dengan memberi perkhidmatan kepada syarikat -syarikat yang memerlukan sistem digital dalam mengawasi pekerja dengan lebih mudah, efisein dan mengurangkan kos operasi.

Ditanya mengenai perancangan masa depan syarikat itu, Di Yan yang juga pemegang Ijazah Sarjana Muda Pengurusan, Pembinaan dan Bangunan dari Univeriti Sheffield, United Kingdom berkata, HAUZ meletakkan matlamat untuk memasuki pasaran ASEAN yang mempunyai potensi cukup besar.

“ Sebelum itu, kami harus menguasai pasaran tempatan terlebih dahulu dengan menawarkan teknologi dalam menguruskan operasi syarikat dan pengurusan tenaga kerja.

“ Kami memahami banyak syarikat di rantau ASEAN ingin beralih kepada pendigitalan dan dengan pengalaman kami yang telah mendigitalkan pelbagai industri di Malaysia, kepakaran ini boleh dikongsi dengan negara – negara jiran,” katanya.

Sebelum ini katanya, mereka dipilih sebagai ahli dalam Jawatankuasa Asian Professional Security Association (APSA) yang memberi kelebihan kepada HAUZ untuk mempromosikan pendigitalan operasi kepada syarikat -syarikat keselamatan.

Mengenai kerjasama dengan MDEC, Di Yan berkata, beliau menyarankan syarikat pemula untuk berhubung dengan agensi berkenaan bagi mendapatkan pandangan tentang pendigitalan yang seterusnya mampu merangsang sektor ekonomi digital negara.

“Bagi kami , inisiatif MDEC ini membantu pengumpulan dana di samping boleh mendapatkan pandangan mengenai pembiayaan modal,” katanya.

Sementara itu , bagi  Manu Menon yang mengasaskan Youthopia bersama Nathalia Lim berkata, beliau turut teruja untuk mengikuti kursus secara maya bersama Universiti Draper.

Manu, 45, berkata, peluang untuk belajar bersama pakar di Lembah Silikon merupakan kesempatan terbaik dan mampu memberi nilai tambah dalam usaha melonjakkan syarikatnya ke pasaran global.

“ Sebelum ini, aplikasi pembelajaran yang kami bangunkan turut menarik minat dua sekolah swasta di Vietnam yang sedang menguji keberkesanan untuk pelajar mereka.

“ Kami turut menjalinkan kerjasama dengan Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) untuk mengembangkan kerangka pedagogi yang mantap bagi menghasilkan lebih banyak kandungan untuk membantu pelajar menguasai teori dan amali dalam bidang teknologi kejuruteraan,” katanya.

Berhubung program Grindstone Founders, Mano berkata, syarikatnya memohon untuk menyertai program berkenaan selepas melihat pengumuman melalui Facebook MDEC.

Ditanya mengenai perancangan Youthopia selepas ini, Manu berkata,  mereka telah melancarkan versi beta platform yang kini mempunyai lebih dari 100 pengguna.

Kami melancarkan platform berasaskan web yang direka untuk keberkesanan dengan menawarkan pembelajaran bersaiz kecil yang dikhususkan untuk kanak -kanak membina kemahiran masing – masing.

“ Youthopia  merupakan platform yang melengkapkan kanak-kanak dengan kemahiran abad ke-21 seperti pemikiran kritis, penyelesaian masalah, komunikasi dan kerjasama,” katanya.

Sebelum ini, Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia (KKMM) menyatakan komitmen untuk memperkenalkan dasar baharu bagi menyokong pertumbuhan ekosistem syarikat pemula niaga atau ‘startup’ di Malaysia.

Menurut KKMM, syarikat pemula niaga merupakan industri yang penting kepada negara pada masa hadapan dan bakal menyokong kemaraan era Revolusi Industri Keempat (RI4).

Sementara itu, Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MDEC, Surina Shukri berkata, Founders Grindstone merupakan program selama enam bulan yang merangkumi bengkel intensif yang dilaksanakan oleh rakan global dan pengendali ekuiti pendanaan awam (crowdfunding).

“ Ini  bertujuan untuk menawarkan kesempatan bagi memanfaatkan platform kerjasama yang memberikan akses kepada pengusaha di Malaysia kepada jaringan pendanaan global,” katanya.

Setakat ini, sebanyak 10 syarikat pemula telah dipilih dan mendapat akses kepada rangkaian pelabur Draper Venture Network. Program Founders Grindstone ini  akan membuka pendaftaran untuk siri kedua tidak lama lagi. Nantikan maklumat lanjut di laman www.malaysiadigitalhub.my/virtualfunding

oleh Mohd Firdaus Ismail

Father’s Passion To Teach His Kids Future Skills, Sparks Educational Startup, Gets Noticed By VCs

“I have always felt that students shouldn’t be gauged by their academic results alone.”, asserted Manu Menon, parent of two primary school-goers and founder of edtech startup, Youthopia.

“It was worrying to see that my kids, though doing well academically, lacked skills like communication and critical thinking. These and many more foundational skills are not taught explicitly in public schools in Malaysia. Unfortunately, these are the exact skills that are needed in the future”, he said.

Bent upon finding frameworks that highlighted the power of 21st-Century (C21) Skills, his research triggered a desire to then teach these skills in a fun and interactive way. Thus, Youthopia was born with the founder’s vision to equip as many students as possible with C21 Skills so that they become lifelong learners and can adapt to the fast-changing world.

The startup has built an online platform to equip students aged 10-16 with foundational skills like critical thinking and creativity in order to produce the next generation workforce who can adapt to an ever-changing future.

“I saw the announcement [of Founders Grindstone initiative] on MDEC’s Facebook page and the application process was easy to follow”, said Menon, who received an acceptance email to Batch 1 within a few days of submitting his application.

MDEC’s Founders Grindstone programme gives Youthopia a boost in achieving its vision to develop the next-gen workforce.

MDEC’s initiative – Founders Grindstone in July 2020

The Founders Grindstone is a six-month programme, launched by MDEC in July 2020. It consists of three blocks of intensive workshops conducted by global partners from venture capital firms, equity crowdfunding operators, startup-centric media and the legal practice.

It also aims to offer the opportunity to leverage funding platforms of the partners on-board, granting Malaysian entrepreneurs access to investment offerings by the global funding network.

Youthopia was one of the top 10 winning startups of Founders Grindstone’s Pitching Competition that has been onboarded to join Draper Venture Network & get connected to 23 potential VCs. The other 9 are AVANA, HelloFinance, Vechnology, Mobi, Hauz, Senang Insurance, mytruck.my, PanOpthalmics and Homecrowd.

Hauz, Senang Insurance and Youthopia were successfully chosen by the judges as three startups, to be awarded scholarships to participate in the virtual Draper University entrepreneurship programme.

Manu Menon, found MDEC’s Founders Grindstone programme useful as it helped him prepare the company for pitching to investors. Youthopia is at that stage where it is looking for strategic investors to help it scale.

“The ideas shared by the Draper Startup House and Izwan & Partners helped us focus our pitch deck and understand the legal requirements to look out for when pitching to and negotiating with potential investors. We feel this will serve as a boost in helping us raise our seed round,” said Menon.

Commenting on the success of the 10 top performers of the initiative, Surina Shukri, MDEC’s CEO said, “MDEC’s strategic priorities surrounding digitally skilled Malaysians, digitally powered businesses and digital investments, serve to accelerate local companies to become global champions. Through initiatives like the Founders Grindstone, MDEC is well-positioned to help startups like Youthopia, Hauz, Senang Insudance and the other 7 toppers, to become global champions that, together, can propel Malaysia towards being a digital nation and place Malaysia as the heart of Digital ASEAN, as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution to achieve shared prosperity.”

Heads-up to all startups!

Founders Grindstone is an MDEC initiative that empowers tech entrepreneurs to maximise their potential of gaining funding from renowned global investors. Through this programme, entrepreneurs will receive first-hand coaching and tips from the investors themselves before submitting their pitch decks. 

MDEC will open the second batch of Founders Grindstone soon. For more information, stay informed here https://www.malaysiadigitalhub.my/virtualfunding

by Shobha Janardanan

Opportunities in Times of Crisis: Why Malaysia is Still the Best Location for Digital Services

As governments across the globe rally to flatten the curve for the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses are forced to rethink and re-strategise the way they operate. In response, companies in Malaysia have quickly adopted new operational strategies once the Movement Control Order (MCO) was introduced on March 18.

This is largely due to our high-speed broadband infrastructure and mobile broadband capabilities that are in place, various robust digital services that are still operating, and the resilience of the local workforce.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently praised Malaysia for its preparedness and response in managing the COVID-19 crisis. It even selected Malaysia as one of the countries to test the effectiveness of drugs used to treat afflicted patients, a testament to the country’s ability to conduct lab work and research.

Speed Of Response

The speed and scale of how the global pandemic spread caused significant disruptions to organisations across all sectors, forcing an engagement with various digital and technology solutions to streamline their operations and re-evaluate their business priorities.

Nations and corporates are advocating and implementing various measures to stop the spread of the deadly pandemic and keep their citizens and employees safe. This includes imposing unprecedented lockdowns on businesses, schools, and other non-essential services; restricting both domestic and international travels; and forcing millions to practice home quarantine.

As companies activate their remote working capabilities and prepare to streamline it further, employees’ health and safety take vital precedence over balance sheets. What is clear is the global economy is bearing the brunt of COVID-19 and the Global Business Services (GBS)/Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector is not spared.

Many service providers are already struggling to continue operations due to logistical and technical limitations. Countries that are heavily reliant on BPO are now negatively impacted as they face significant challenges to arrange and manage remote working for its entire workforce. Beyond developing processes that can be deployed at scale, these businesses need to also consider the quality of infrastructure for broadband connectivity.

Malaysia – renowned for its offshoring capabilities, placing within the Top 3 for AT Kearney’s Best Offshoring Locations, and being first choice as the preferred business continuity hub for the world – has now emerged as a more attractive alternative for these hard-hit economies.

Competitive Digital Infrastructure

“Reliable and affordable high-speed broadband connectivity is a key catalyst to bringing in direct investments into Malaysia’s digital economy. The government is committed to ensure the implementation of the National Fiberization and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) to improve the country’s digital connectivity, with plans to roll out 5G in Q3 2020 still firmly in place. This is despite the economic uncertainties that the global pandemic brought about. One of the direct beneficiaries of this connectivity initiative is the GBS industry in Malaysia. This has undoubtedly empowered their employees to work-from-home and allowed the industry to continue to operate,” assures Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister, YB Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

Under the People-centric Economic Stimulus Package that the Malaysian government recently announced in the wake of COVID-19, RM600 million was allocated to provide free internet data usage to all Malaysians throughout the MCO period. An additional RM400 million was also invested in improving network coverage and capacity to provide high availability and quality telecommunications networks.

Other aspects of the stimulus will also help companies reduce operating costs. This includes tiered discount for electricity rates – ranging from 15% to 50% for April until September 2020, reduced rate of employer contribution to the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and wage subsidy programmes.

Malaysia, home to over 600 Global Business Services (GBS) companies, has proven its mettle in rising to the challenge of transitioning organisations into remote working arrangements. For example, contact centres – one of the main components of the nation’s GBS industry, have moved from business as usual to work-from-home mode within a short span of time.

“The key here is our high-quality digital connectivity in Malaysia.  With the internet user penetration in Malaysia now at over 85% and having already deployed the fibre network across urban and sub-urban areas, the contact centre industry has been able to quickly integrate work and home domains,” Raymond Devadass, President, Contact Centre Association of Malaysia (CCAM), remarks.

This, in many ways, reinforced the notion that the availability of high-quality digital connectivity to homes is very crucial. For Raymond, that enabled the global customer support industry to start and expand its current transformative evolution with the use of automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), has also stepped up its efforts to drive these capabilities forward for businesses. Its ongoing endeavours focus on providing leadership and critical support to various companies and industry ecosystems, enabling them to continue operations during the MCO.

“Besides ensuring communication channels are open between industry players and the government during MCO, MDEC is also rallying local and foreign tech players in Malaysia to extend their digital solutions and services to both businesses and citizens. All these come under our recently launched #DigitalVsCovid Movement – a digital platform that is wholly dedicated to mitigating the negative impacts of COVID-19,” shares Surina Shukri, CEO, MDEC.

The movement already garnered support from hundreds of tech companies. This includes global tech giants that have offered free video conferencing tools to help business owners and management to maximise their work-from-home capabilities.

Readying Future Workforce Talent

For organisations that want to activate their remote working capability, it requires quality digital infrastructure and a prevalent culture of working from home at both micro (companies) and macro (country) levels.

Malaysia is ahead in Southeast Asia as one of the early adopters for remote working arrangements.  A 2013 research report from Regus found that 53% of the country’s workforce were already on flexible working arrangement, well ahead of the global average of 48%.

Malaysia’s young, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and digitally savvy talent pool is no stranger to gig economy. Over the last few years, MDEC has been running an initiative called Global Online Workforce (GLOW). Designed to create a community of full-time high-quality freelance workers among Malaysians, it generally helps these talents generate income through digital work via crowdsourcing.

Targeting university students and young professionals, as well as latent talent such as retirees, persons with disabilities and housewives, the programme provides training on in-demand digital skills, mentoring and coaching. This also includes providing tips and tricks to compete with other global freelancers.

Shared Services and Outsourcing Network (SSON), in its 2019 State of Shared Services Market Report for Malaysia, revealed how more than half of the GBS centres in the country are working with various global Centres of Excellence. The arrangement was to focus on continuous improvement, engaging data analytics and understanding robotic process and intelligent automation to deliver higher value processes for its clients.

All these point to Malaysian digital talent’s agility and readiness for the future of work, all of which is shaped with digitalisation and the willingness to adapt to remote working capabilities.

Best Destination for Work-Life Balance

Strategically located at the heart of Southeast Asian region, Malaysia is renowned for being a top location for digital global services. Among its accolades is being ranked first in INSEAD Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2020 in the upper middle-income group and second in ASEAN for ease of doing business by the World Bank.

It’s quality of healthcare is also first-class, as evidenced by its first ranking globally in 2019 International Living Annual Global Retirement Index.

Cheah Kok Hoong, Chairman of OM, a chapter of the National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) that focuses on GBS, sums it well: “Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysia is still considered as an ideal and strategic location for investments. It is indeed a strong choice for companies looking at business continuity and resilient plans, ease of doing business, talent development, high availability for fibre bandwidth connectivity. OM members who support functional capabilities are weathering though this current MCO period, working from home and serving their clients seamlessly with the availability of efficient technology infrastructure and uninterrupted bandwidth connectivity.”

Malaysia, Heart of Digital ASEAN

“As Malaysia aspires to become the Heart of Digital ASEAN, MDEC – in playing the role of specialised investment promotion agency for digital economy, invites companies to consider this country as a prime investment destination for digital services, including global business services,” says Hew Wee Choong, Vice President, Investment Development of MDEC.

MDEC has long been working closely with industry stakeholders such as OM and CCAM, along with various GBS companies to put Malaysia on the map as a top destination for this industry. “As we continue to support the world’s GBS industry, we also will face the global crisis together. Having the support from our business-friendly government, combined with our strong digital infrastructure and talent ecosystem, we welcome you to make Malaysia your digital home,” he concludes.  

© 2020 Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn Bhd (389346-D). All rights reserved.