A Ramadan of Resolve

Firstly, to all Muslims, Salam Ramadan.

This year’s spirit is about braving adversity and showing resolve.

Ramadan is a time for reflection and good intentions. Never has there been a time more uncertain than what the world is going through today, and it has made us question our collective priorities and empathy for our fellow human beings. But, it has also been a time to strengthen our resilience.

The whole world has been operating on survival mode, and when the dust of COVID-19 settles, we can be quite sure the world we live in will never be same. MDEC, in carrying out our mandate to lead Malaysia’s digital economy forward, has activated all its platforms and programmes with more gumption than ever before! As the nation deals with the serious challenges of lost jobs, declining revenues, separated families and disrupted education system – MDEC has been doing our best to provide a ‘soft-landing’ to mitigate against some of the negative impact of COVID-19 on the various communities via innovative digital and tech solutions.

With the support of KKMM, we are working diligently to prepare the nation as it rebounds from the COVID-19 imposed slowdown. MDEC has been proactive with the legwork:

1.Training and education – webinars on digital adoption, investment, digital talent, e-Commerce, etc. These very informative online events are meant to upskill and reskill businesses and local talents so they can learn how to diversify and adapt to a post-MCO and COVID-19 world. Do follow the MDEC social media channels closely for the promotions and links to these online events. Most recently, MDEC partnered with online learning platform Coursera to upskill and certify unemployed Malaysians. This is a great chance for Malaysians who are considering career pivots or upgrades within the digital space, with high-quality courses brought to your fingertips as the restrictions in movement continue. Already, we are experiencing heightened interest to access these courses, especially in Data Science, Information Technology and Businesses themed courses. In just 2 weeks since the launch, 5000 unemployed Malaysians have signed up under this initiative. This is as good a time as any for workers to upskill and reskill to benefit from an increased demand for digitally-oriented jobs.

2. Ministry and industry engagements – Digital must be a national agenda, and I have conveyed this to the Prime Minister and the Economic Action Council recently. Following that, I am very happy to report that MDEC has been appointed the focal point for the National Digital Economy Task Force that will be led by KKMM with the support of MOSTI.  We have also been engaging the industry, for example the recent digital creative content industry engagement where YBM KKMM was the Guest of Honour. We collaborated with the industry to discuss the on-the-ground issues the sector faces and what to expect from a post COVID-19 era.

3. Business transformation post COVID-19 – The pandemic has forced businesses to either evolve or exit. Businesses are hungry for new ideas of innovation or diversification and the government has committed to support local businesses post the Movement Control Order (MCO). MDEC is gearing up to manage the large demand for digital transformation and ensure that our resources are adequate to support that. Depending on where various entrepreneurs are on their digital journey, MDEC has been training people to familiarise with e-Commerce for instance. The reliance on eCommerce is high now and if an entrepreneur is not digitally enabled, then the business is sub-optimal. Just last week, we conducted the nation’s first and largest e-Dagang expo (eDX) which was held over 5 days, offering 20 webinars and was attended by over 5000 registered participants, garnering more than 65,000 views. We partnered with Shoppee, Lazada, Carousell, Alibaba, Blibli, eBay and more. Entrepreneurs from the SME and MSME sectors could attend classes online to get the latest content to begin digitally enabling businesses as well as onboard with e-commerce, through the introduction to apps and tools. In fact, 97.7% of participants said that eDX has brought positive impact to their businesses. As a business aspiring to break digital barriers, this was a great opportunity to seize and take action to improve.

4. Investment Opportunities Post-COVID – MDEC has initiated a virtual platform recently to bridge local start-ups with global investors. Gobi Partners and MDEC have partnered to launch a pitching competition, called SuperSeed II Championship, for start-ups affected by COVID-19. The winning companies will get the opportunity to secure equity investment from Gobi Partners, or be a potential MDEC grant recipient. I recall investment decisions which used to transpire over chats with start-ups. Recently however, online-matching to accelerate start-ups has gained momentum. Malaysia’s first Digital Accelerator programme, the Alpha Startup Digital Accelerator (ASDA), successfully concluded on 5 May 2020, whittling down 15 finalists to three chosen startups; BlueDuck, Internspoon and Nanobar. Each received US$4,600 (RM20,000) to fulfil their business ideas. The programme was a collaboration between 1337 Ventures and MDEC. In addition to these efforts, MDEC is working intensively to assure the investors that Malaysia is indeed the Heart of Digital ASEAN and a very viable location for investment.

As people ponder on the possibilities of a new normal that will impact the nation and beyond over the coming months, the world hopes that COVID-19 may actually precipitate a better world for all of us. The advantage is that, the digital economy continues to spur jobs and opportunities, as shared above. Step up and take them!

The extraordinary upheaval that is COVID-19, has hits us hard. It is a time to stay safe, calm and civil, but it is not the time to retreat! Look challenges in the eye and boldly fight back, holding on to the strength of your spirit to overcome the odds.

Here’s to a blessed and peaceful Ramadan. Let us all stay positive and remember the values that this holy month espouses, in our on-going journey to try impact positive outcomes on all those around us. Let’s remain strong and resilient, for ourselves and our loved ones, taking positive resolutions in our lives and in our work, as we usher in Syawal this year.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

#Maaf Zahir dan Batin #LetsBuildTogether #DigitalMalaysiaForward #DigitalVsCovid #KomunikasiKita

COVID-19: CIO of the Year?

Source: BSP, MDEC Files

There has certainly not been a shortage of anecdotes on how COVID-19 should be declared the CIO of the year. I have been in many conversations that have variously blamed or credited the pandemic as being the single most significant event that has got organisations scrambling to rethink business models and accelerate their digital transformation – something that had previously been at the back of the mind, now pushed to the forefront of every business decision.

The old adage – necessity is the mother of invention – seems more apt than ever, as the world starts to reconfigure its approach to work, education, entertainment and, more fundamentally, well-being. Businesses have begun experimenting with previously untested methods and mechanisms – and this in turn opened the floodgates to accessing digital tools for solutions. Beyond business operations and Work-From-Home initiatives, it has expanded to on-demand food and services, telemedicine and online financial services.

As the dust settles after COVID-19, questions will arise as to how businesses and the workforce will bounce back into the new normal. In fact, the first question to arise will be what the new normal looks like.

For organisations that have boxed themselves in with operations-as-usual at the expense of digitalising their business and long-term resilience, the current pandemic is a bolt from the future. Businesses that have shifted to digital platforms will better mitigate the effect of the outbreak and will more likely ensure smooth operations immediately after the MCO and over the long term.

Remote Working

A remote workforce is no longer a novelty. In May 2018, Zug, Switzerland service office provider, IWG, found that 70% of professionals worldwide are already working remotely.

While working from home is seen as advantageous by many employees, on the contrary, companies may lack the technological infrastructure to run without disrupting operations. Continued success not only rests on the ability to pivot processes but also company cultures. In China, when the government encouraged millions to remain at home, Chinese companies could immediately adapt due to technological capabilities. Even so, company cultures were simply not ready, resulting in other unexpected social and mental health issues.

In Malaysia, as the gig economy continues to gain momentum, employers will have to reassess rigid work policies that would have been crafted in times when work was centralised. In the interest of long-term effectiveness, even organisations that revert to pre-COVID-19 work practices must transform so they are prepared for a whole new environment.

Innovations in Telehealth, Telemedicine

One of the first instance of innovation I noticed during the early stages of the pandemic was the CoronaTracker app, created by a team of researchers in Malaysia.

Telehealth and telemedicine are now getting attention as well. The government’s move to quickly adopt technology and transform by developing virtual health advisories and using live chats and webinars is in line with this.  Malaysia’s telemedicine blueprint, crafted in the late 90s, envisioned a time when patients could receive remote healthcare. In the wake of the pandemic, a Malaysian tech startup, DoctorOnCall, has offered a virtual health advisory platform for people to consult doctors amid the coronavirus outbreak. Innovation, being cited as one of the areas of emphasis of Malaysia’s future health care system in the blueprint, is now in full effect.

Moving forward, solutions in telehealth and telemedicine will require the promise of better data management and security. The public also expects platforms for these purposes are designed to protect the safety of all personal data. Internationally, organisations involved in contact tracing apps or devices have ensured all data collected will be stored privately and anonymised on their platforms. Their approach also includes the data being held in trust until requested by relevant local authorities who will, with their respective contact tracing protocols, choose to contact users.

E-Learning

90% of future jobs will require digital literacy. However, the world has fast-forwarded to the future in a matter of weeks. The call for schools, institutions and universities worldwide to instantly begin offering virtual learning options is gaining momentum. Malaysian institutions offering online courses in areas such as cybersecurity, data analytics, coding, artificial intelligence and other digital skills, have received very good response.

Meanwhile, many varsities have shifted to online classes to minimise the spread of infection, said Universiti Malaya’s Academic Enhancement and Leadership Development Centre (ADeC) e-learning Head, Dr Zahiruddin Fitri Abu Hassan.

To ensure effective learning continues, institutions in Malaysia offering online courses include MDEC’s Premier Digital Tech Institutions (PDTIs).

Fundamental challenges prevail in elearning, all of which need to be addressed if Malaysia wishes to accelerate the digital economy. In a recent report by a local newspaper, Professor Dr Abdul Karim Alias, Director of the Centre for Development of Academic Excellence (CDAE), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) states that there is a dire need for an efficient system to be developed. He stresses on the challenges like the experience and skill of those imparting education online, the readiness of connectivity and devices, as well as resistant mindsets towards adopting technology. This will be the next barrier to break.

Digital Banking Services and Fintech

The population of the unbanked in Malaysia stood at 8% or two million of the country’s 24 million adults, according to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)’s Financial Stability and Payment Systems Report 2017. Essentially, they are unserved or underserved.

There has been a rise in fintech activity of late, rightly canvassing to be inclusive. After all, the marketplace will adjust to new realities and fintech is already adapting to these changes since the start of the pandemic. Perhaps, ultimately, the fintech companies who are able to tweak their solutions to solve today’s problems will emerge strong after the crisis, according to Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, COO of MDEC.

Concurrently, the present observation is that digital payment players that service e-commerce platforms have a strong position in this MCO scenario. This is due to the surge of online purchase brought about by millions of Malaysians who are staying at home.

As businesses and consumers turn to digital banking services, traditional financial institutions will be compelled to hasten their digital innovation efforts. Consequently, many traditional banks may seek fintech to bring more inclusive digital banking solutions to the economy. This will, possibly, make the visit to a bank an increasingly rare occurrence.

Recovery with the Digital Economy

We may be bent by COVID-19, but we will not be broken. At a dialogue session organised by Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) recently , discussions focused on engaging our local tech startups and tech funding agencies.  Such efforts from the government and its agencies show strong commitment to continue to work and find ways how it can help mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 on various communities.

Over the past weeks, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has collaborated with various industries and ministries to bring tech assistance to businesses and entrepreneurs whose source of income have been affected by the pandemic and MCO.

In line with the government’s announcement of the People-Centric Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) and the subsequent enhancements, MDEC launched the #DigitalVsCovid movement to support businesses and consumers by providing a list of e-services, e-learning and e-businesses for their convenience, and to obtain information and benefit from our digital ecosystem

Malaysia may be in the thick of battle, but as a nation, we are prepared to emerge victorious as various efforts are made to accelerate the development of digital tools and solutions and thus, hasten Malaysia’s healing.

#DigitalVsCovid

# LetsBuildTogether

Malaysia: App Innovation in Tough Times

Necessity is said to be the mother of invention. The digital economy, which has been on a winning streak over the last decade or so, is also not exempt. The result is that many techpreneurs are seeing their startups facing tough challenges, and techies are back at the drawing board, thinking up the next big thing.

Still, isn’t it possible that the world is at the crux of a renaissance in innovation?

As people adapt to spending more time indoors, creative solutions for real life problems will come from repurposed home tech laboratories. The Movement Control Order (MCO) has moved many folks online, including the younger tech-savvy entrepreneurs, who are quietly etching out their own, and likely the nation’s digital futures.

Malaysia Leveling Up

In February this year, a team of Malaysian researchers was officially recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for developing a website that provides accurate public information concerning the Covid-19 outbreak. The website, https://www.coronatracker.com, allows the public to keep track of the latest developments on COVID-19, while collecting data for further analysis. 

Malaysian Made Apps To Tide Over the MCO

We can be sure that the CoronaTracker won’t be the only instance of innovation from Malaysia during this pandemic. Data presents a huge opportunity for businesses attempting to solve problems in customer experience, eCommerce and eBanking, and the need for urgent solutions will trigger demand-led innovations, even as the economy looks to all form of assistance to recuperate over the year.

There are more stories of innovativeness in the Malaysian app scene. And in challenging times like these, they may be our next favourite go-to app:

Health is everyone’s primary concern at present – and pilot programme, a Malaysian-developed app has been introduced to help monitor the spread of Covid-19; The app allows users to perform health self-assessment on themselves and their families. Launched on 6 April 2020, it enables the MOH to monitor users’ health condition, and then take immediate action in providing required treatment to those in need. MySejahtera is available in the Galeri Aplikasi Mudah Alih Kerajaan Malaysia (GAMMA), Apple App Store, Google Play Store and the Huawei AppGallery. The MySejahtera app is free and everyone is encouraged to register.

Using digital technology to curtail and control the pandemic in Malaysia, the app is managed by administrators within the Ministry of Health (MOH), with the assistance of National Security Council (NSC) and Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu).

Hospitalisation expenses are on the mind of every household head now, and for good reason – Covid-19!

Rare indeed, has an event otherwise seen as force majeure, been covered by insurers. In AXA’s case however, the eMedic plan for hospitalisation has been tweaked so that customers do not have to wait for 30-120 days to use the plan for Covid-19. Purchasing this insurance on the Vsure.life app, the plan will now cover customers regardless of waiting time. The Vsure Malaysian app “brings insurance protection right into the hands of the people, especially to the masses in the M40 & B40 groups”, according to its Malaysian founders Eddy Wong and Jason Ho. 

As we get used to life indoors, wouldn’t it be great to also get our health back on track?  Naluri, which is co-founded by Dr. Jeremy Ting, Dr. Hariyati Shahrima Abdul Majid and Azran Osman-Rani, Naluri is a digital therapeutics solution. It provides professional health and life coaching services, connecting the app’s users to health professionals such as psychologists, dieticians, and fitness coaches. During the MCO period, it is important to keep your mental health as strong as your physical strength. Having access to professional medical support is an important consideration.

Just when the MCO was extended, out came Apple with the news that they are making several premium mobile games free to download during the MCO. This include’s Malaysian developer Kurechii’s brainchild! If knights and dragons can keep you occupied, this is your go-to.

And if not, there are other Malaysian made options; Perhaps Tiny Guardians or Kaigan Games’ SIMULACRA. Aside from these, Ejen Ali: Emergency or Mak Cun’s Adventure may be your pleasure, among many other Malaysian game app creations!

The number of users in the mobile games segment in Malaysia is expected to reach 7.3m by 2024. However, that statistic could increase significantly boosted by the current spike in home-bound customer base. With video games serving as a great motivation to ‘stay at home’, chances of both, demand and supply for games increasing, is pretty good!

Boost is a Malaysian homegrown lifestyle e-wallet app. While the QR scanning function is not going to be Boost’s most used function as people may have temporarily reduced visits to brick-and-mortar stores, “Malaysia’s award-winning homegrown e-wallet with an edge”, can still be used for settling bills and grocery-delivery!  Meanwhile, ringing up those rewards and cashbacks as you pay, is a nice-to-have too.

The Future of Malaysian Apps

So exactly where are our youngsters starting their app creating journeys?

Malaysian teen, Lim Wern Jie confided a few years ago in a local news report, that he had learnt how to develop apps by watching tutorials on YouTube. With 50 app creations to boast of, his most successful application was the Phone Security Alarm, his first iOS-based app that was successfully published on the App Store. It tracks lost phones.

He subsequently caught the attention of MDEC’s #mydigitalmaker programme, which develops future digital makers by exposing Malaysian youths to the fun parts of digital technology – including coding, app development and data analytics. He was then able to be a part of the accelerator sessions held by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Malaysian app creators like Lim Wern Jie are testimony to Malaysia’s creativity “bug” making its way through Malaysia’s youngest minds.

One thing is for sure; regardless of how tough the times are, Malaysians like the team or researchers behind the CoronaTracker, are constantly working in digital spaces, bringing Malaysia the apps we need, when we need it the most.

by Raymond Siva, CMO of MDEC

#MYDIGITALMAKER GOES ONLINE : KEEP ON LEARNING!

The current Covid-19 situation has taken all of us by surprise. Many of us did not expect it to have the wide-reaching impact we are seeing across all dimensions of our lives.

This is evident when one just takes a look at the 1st round of stimulus package which focused primarily on supporting the tourism and related industries. In just slightly over 1 month since that 1st announcement, the contagion has served as a huge reset button for all sectors, including education.

My team and our stakeholders have also been impacted by the current situation. Credit to our CEO Surina Shukri, MDEC who wasted no time in mobilizing our #DigitalVsCovid19 efforts. She reiterated our position as Heart of Digital ASEAN and that we must continue to contribute to the digital economy, under three pillars – digitally skilling Malaysians, digitally powering businesses and attracting digital investments. Surina encouraged the entire leadership team to re-look and take our immediate plans online, and also to extend our support in any way possible to our respective communities. She led by example by hosting MDEC’s 1st webinar session.

Training Teachers to Deliver Online Education

Taking Surina’s lead, the Digital Talent Development division at MDEC has also kicked our online plan into 5th gear. For a start, our K-12 team which leads the #mydigitalmaker movement, quickly reached out to Google-certified expert teachers and the Teacher Training College (Institut Perguruan Malaysia – IPGM)  to mobilize online training sessions on how to deliver online learning via Google Classroom for 30 IPGM lecturers. These classes are presently taking place thrice a week. Upon completion of this training on April 14th, the trained lecturers will start offering online training for teachers nationwide.

Google Classroom online training for IPGM lecturers

Getting Kids to Learn Coding

At the same time, we also worked with our partners from the Future Skills for All initiative to run webinars on coding Micro:bit micro-controllers. Parents can access video tutorials here.

We were pleasantly surprised that 500 teachers joined the inaugural online session on March 25 conducted by Alina Amir from Arus Academy. This encouraged the team to organize more sessions, this time for district-level Master Teachers who will in turn train teachers in their respective districts. By the end of this month, 300 Master Teachers will be trained in various regions across the country.

Youtube Webinar on coding Micro:bit micro controllers

This week, the team has activated the Hour of Code #dudukdirumah (Stay at home edition) campaign which runs from April 1-14, 2020. This campaign is jointly organized with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. It will be a great opportunity to get children (and families) at home to start learning how to code, through drag-and-drop coding lessons provided by Code.org. More information about this campaign can be obtained here

Not only that, many of the #mydigitalmaker movement members have mobilized quickly to support Malaysian teachers and students with online educational content on a wide range of school subjects. Our team has compiled these and other online learning content which can be accessed via MDEC’s website.

Beyond the education space, we are extremely proud of #mydigitalmaker movement partners, Me.Reka, Penang Science Cluster, Conceptual Robotics and Kaki.diy who are supporting the fight against COVID-19 by 3D printing and producing PPE for the healthcare front-liners.

Suffice to say, since the Movement Control Order started, the MDEC team and partners of the #mydigitalmaker movement have been hard at work to support our communities in whatever way possible.

A big shout-out to MDEC’s K-12 team, passionate teachers and volunteers who have stepped up their game during this #DigitalvsCovid period.

Stay home and stay safe everyone.

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About #mydigitalmaker movement

#mydigitalmaker movement is a joint public-private-academic initiative launched in 2016 to cultivate digital innovation and creativity amongst Malaysian school children. To-date, close to 1.3 million Malaysian children have learnt some form of “digital making”, such as coding, robotics and 3-D printing via this movement and its member organisations.

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Dr.Sumitra is Vice President – Digital Talent Development at Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation

E-Learning Resources For Kids, So Parents Can WFH In Peace

Working from home (WFH) has been a long-time dream for some people.

If you imagined sipping a latte on your sofa while daintily balancing the laptop on your lap and humming along to your favourite playlist, think again. WFH or remote working comes with a particular set of distractions along with its benefits. One of those distractions being your kids.

For parents like Adam and Mia, the Movement Control Order (MCO) until April 28th isn’t a bed of roses. Besides managing the office workload which has now settled itself in their living room, their two school-going kids are also home, wracking havoc.

Over the next couple of weeks, the myth that is a work-life-balance will challenge us all as parents. Adam and Mia will need to overcome all this, by keeping their two kids entertained – but also, ‘infotained’.

It is thus a blessing that we have tools in these times, to get kids online and expose them to the various educational and entertainment resources. Parent’s groups are a great place to find such resources. However, we decided to save you the time and show you those that provide learning opportunities for kids in kindergarten, primary or secondary school.

Locally relevant:

Online resources:

EduwebTV http://eduwebtv.moe.edu.my/ Free
WahEasy www.waheasy.com Free and Paid
ilearnace https://ilearnace.com/account/login?error=0 Free Trial, then Paid
EduNation http://www.edunation.my/ Free
JomStudi https://www.jomstudi.my/ Free and Paid
SJKTflix https://sjktflix.com/ Free
SJKCflix https://sjkcflix.com/ Free
UPSRflix UPSRflix.com Free
PT3flix PT3flix.com Free
SPM Flix SPMflix.com Free

You Tube Channels:

Tutor TV https://www.youtube.com/user/astrotutortv Free

TV Channels:

ASTRO TVIQ Channel 610 catered to kids aged 4-15 years
Tutor TV UPSR (Channel 601)
Tutor TV PT3 (Channel 602)
Tutor TV SPM (Channel 603)

Internationally relevant:

Online resources:

BrainPop https://www.brainpop.com/ Free and Paid
Tynker Coding for Kids https://www.tynker.com/ Free and Paid
Beast Academy https://beastacademy.com/ One month Free Trial, then Paid
Khan Academy https://www.khanacademy.org/ Free
Udemy https://www.udemy.com/ Free and Paid
SmarterMe https://www.smarterme.sg/homepage Free, then Paid

You Tube Channels:

Crash Course Kids https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcoursekids Free
Science Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ScienceChannel Free
Kids Learning Tube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7EFWpvc1wYuUwrtZ_BLi9A Free

These lists, though not exhaustive, are a great way to get online learning going at home, as parents fight to steer kids away from the alluring abyss of social media or video games for weeks!

To ensure Malaysia successfully navigates and continues to thrive in this digital age, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) constantly undertakes efforts to lead Malaysia’s digital economy forward to become the heart of digital ASEAN. The resources above are just the tip of the iceberg, but an ideal place to start.

Learning, they say, begins with exploring. 

Explore digitalvscovid.my today, to know of the various learning opportunities and programmes for Malaysians!

by Shobha Janardanan

3 Digital Tech Opportunities Malaysian Women Should Not Miss!

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

“I disrupted myself before I was disrupted”, was how MDEC’s CEO described her shift from investment banking in New York, to a CEO for an organization entrusted to lead Malaysia’s digital economy forward into the new decade and beyond. The cause that lay before Surina Shukri when she assumed her role included driving digital skills for all Malaysians, so that they can meet future industry and employment needs, especially in the wake of the Industry 4.0 era.

The digital economy is expected to contribute 21% of gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Malaysia by 2022.

This International Women’s Day (8th March 2020), Surina thought she would let you know how Malaysian women fared or featured, in 3 of MDEC’s multitude of programmes that aim to create a sustainable digital economic growth ecosystem. Here goes:

1. Female Entrepreneur Majority at eUsahawan!

The eUsahawan program aims to skill digital micro, rural and youth entrepreneurs to generate digital revenue, so that they can market their products and increase sales. The initiative is implemented through entrepreneurship learning and training, and is supported by a network of over 2,000 trainers and over 600 training centres nationwide, including public facilities such as the Pusat Internet Desa (PID), Pusat Internet (PI), and lifelong learning centres in TVET colleges, Polytechnic and institutions of learning. eUsahawan boasts of an average of about 56% female participation over the last 5 years, i.e. 2015 to 2019!

2. More Women are GLOWing!

The Global Online Workforce Program (GLOW) under the eRezeki program targets high-skilled B40s and M40s or graduates in high revenue-generating digital tech industries. The program is dedicated to training, mentoring and nurturing Malaysian gig workers, to create a globally competitive community of Malaysian freelancers who are able to secure jobs or projects through international digital platforms as an alternative or additional source of income. Digital jobs in high demand on international platforms include IT, design & creative and linguistics. In 2016, only 45% of those trained under GLOW programmes were women. However, that changed the very next year; since 2016, every year, approximately 60% of those trained have been women!

3. Tech Industry Loves MDEC’s Cybersecurity Grads!

In collaboration with universities and industry partners, MDEC has also implemented training programs for the latest technology areas such as Big Data Analytics (BDA), Cybersecurity and e-Commerce that focus on channelling human capital in the field of digital technology. For the programme, Empowering Women in Cyber Risk Management, a total of 136 applicants from the 232 who registered, fulfilled the criteria in the 2019 intake, and qualified to be funnelled to Industry Partners.

Other notable mentions:

#mydigitalmaker Fair Draws Women Talents!

#mydigitalmaker is a movement! What’s it about? MDEC has partnered with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to integrate computer science and computational thinking skills into the national school curriculum beginning in 2017. To date, more than 1.2 million students have participated in digital activities such as coding, content creation and robotics. It is encouraging to note that from 2017 to 2019, the percentage of women visitors to the #mydigitalmaker fair, has increased by 2% every year.

Digital Ninja Programme Generates Women Winners

The “Digital Ninja” Programme was introduced in 2017 for students across Malaysia aged 13 – 17 years, with digital skills and who have demonstrated high potential in the field of digital technology. To date, 413 students have been selected to attend the Digital Ninja programme. At the end of the programme, students will be assisted by MDEC to apply for scholarships and placements at Premier Digital Technology Institutes/ Universities called PDTIs. The Digital Ninja Programme was introduced in 2017, and to-date, women participants constitute 36.6%.

These are just some of the job and entrepreneurial opportunities MDEC has created to skill Malaysians and grow the digital ecosystem. They are there for all Malaysians to benefit from – both men and women. With the 4th industrial revolution’s disruptions to jobs and businesses, there is a shortage of talents in technology just as there is a lack in the participation of women in business. For instance, there is still a big gap in Malaysia when it comes to owning online businesses, compared to men. Though women SMEs in Malaysia have almost touched 1.18 million, it was observed that half of the population of online women entrepreneurs come from urban areas around Klang Valley, not beyond.

MDEC, in the quest to bridge such gaps, has several programmes that are up for grabs! For more information on them, visit www.mdec.com.my

This International Women’s Day, make a pledge, when it comes to your participation in Malaysia’s digital economy; ‘Disrupt yourself before you’re disrupted’!

#LetsBuildTogether #IWD2020 #eachforequal

Article by Shobha Janardanan


3 PELUANG TEKNOLOGI DIGITAL YANG TIDAK BOLEH DILEPASKAN OLEH WANITA MALAYSIA

Saya ubah diri saya dahulu sebelum saya diubah”, itulah yang pengakuan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MDEC ketika beliau beralih dari industri pelaburan perbankan di New York, Amerika Syarikat kepada peneraju agensi kerajaan di negaranya. Lebih mencabar, Surina mempunyai tanggungjawab yang mencabar iaitu memimpin sebuah organisasi yang diberi mandat untuk membawa hala tuju ekonomi digital Malaysia ke era baharu. Alasan beliau menerima tugasan ini ialah kerana mahu memacu kemahiran digital di kalangan rakyat negaranya agar mereka dapat memenuhi keperluan masa hadapan industri dan pekerjaan terutama dalam Revolusi Industri 4.0.

Ekonomi digital dijangka akan menyumbang sebanyak  21% pertumbuhan pendapatan negara menjelang tahun 2022.

Sempena Hari Wanita Sedunia yang disambut pada 8 Mac 2020, Surina menjelaskan beliau perlu berkongsi  bagaimana wanita-wanita Malaysia digambarkan melalui tiga program yang bertujuan mewujudkan pertumbuhan ekosistem ekonomi digital yang mapan.  Berikut adalah program-program tersebut:

1. Majoriti Usahawan Wanita di eUsahawan!

Program e- Usahawan bertujuan untuk memahirkan usahawan-usahawan mikro digital, luar bandar dan muda agar mereka boleh menjana pendapatan, memasarkan produk dan meningkatkan jualan.  Inisiatif ini dilaksanakan melalui pembelajaran dan latihan keusahawanan yang disokong oleh rangkaian besar dengan lebih daripada 2,000 orang pelatih dan lebih 600 pusat latihan di seluruh negara. Kemudahan lain Pusat Internet Desa (PID), Pusat Internet (PI), dan pusat pembelajaran sepanjang hayat di kolej-kolej pendidikan teknikal dan vokasional, politeknik dan juga pusat pengajian tinggi.  Program  e-Usahawan berbangga apabila purata penyertaan 56 peratus wanita sepanjang tempoh lima tahun sejak 2015. 

2. Lebih Ramai Wanita Yang GLOWing!

Program Global Online Workforce Program (GLOW) di bawah Program eRezeki mensasarkan mereka yang berkemahiran tinggi atau graduan di kalangan kumpulan  B40 dan M40 dalam industri teknologi digital. Program ini bertujuan untuk melatih, membimbing dan memupuk pekerja gig Malaysia bagi mewujudkan satu komuniti pekerja bebas Malaysia yang berdaya saing di peringkat global. Seterusnya kumpulan ini mampu mendapat peluang kerja atau projek melalui platform antarabangsa sebagai alternatif atau sumber pendapatan tambahan.  Pekerjaan digital merupakan satu pekerjaan yang tinggi permintaan dalam platform antarabangsa termasuk pekerjaan dalam bidang IT, rekabentuk dan linguistik kreatif. Pada tahun 2016,  hanya 45 peratus di kalangan mereka yang dilatih di bawah program GLOW terdiri daripada kaum wanita. Walaubagaimanapun, ia mula berubah apabila sebanyak 60 peratus di kalangan mereka yang terlatih adalah wanita! 

3. Industri Teknologi ‘Memburu’ Graduan MDEC Cybersecurity!

Melalui kerjasama dengan universiti-universiti dan rakan industri, MDEC telah melaksanakan program latihan dalam teknologi terkini seperti Big Data Analytics (BDA), Cybersecurity and e-Dagang yang memfokus kepada saluran modal insan dalam bidang teknologi digital.  Bagi program Empowering Women in Cyber Risk Management, terdapat 136 pemohon dan daripada jumlah tersebut, seramai  232 telah mendaftar dan memenuhi kriteria bagi pengambilan 2019 dan mereka layak untuk  disalurkan kepada rakan-rakan industri. 

Karnival #mydigitalmaker Menarik Bakat Wanita!

#mydigitalmaker adalah satu gerakan. MDEC telah bekerjasama dengan Kementerian Pendidikan dalam mengintegrasi sains computer dan kemahiran berfikir pemkomputeran di dalam kurikulum sekolah negara bermula pada 2017. Sehingga kini, terdapat lebih  1.2 juta pelajar telah menyertai aktiviti-aktiviti digital seperti pengkodan, rekacipta kandungan dan robotik.  Lebih membanggakan, bermula 2017 hingga 2019, pengunjung wanita karnival  #mydigitalmaker telah meningkat sebanyak dua peratus setiap tahun.

Program Ninja Digital Melahirkan Juara Wanita

Program Ninja Digital diperkenalkan pada tahun 2017 kepada pelajar di seluruh Malaysia yang berusia di antara 13 hingga 17 tahun . Ia berupaya menunjukkan kemahiran digital yang tinggi dan mempunyai bakat besar dalam bidang teknologi digital.  Sehingga kini, terdapat 413 peserta yang telah dipilih untuk menghadiri program Ninja Digital. Pada akhir program ini, MDEC akan membantu mereka ini membuat permohonan untuk kemudahan biasiswa dan penempatan di Institut dan Universiti Teknologi Digital Primer yang dikenali sebagai PDTI. Sehingga kini, peserta wanita program ini adalah merangkumi  36 peratus.

Ini adalah sebahagian daripada peluang-peluang pekerjaan dan keusahawanan yang diwujudkan oleh MDEC untuk memahirkan rakyat Malaysia dan membangunkan ekosistem digital. Kesemua ini adalah untuk dimanfaatkan oleh semua . Dengan perubahan yang wujud dalam pekerjaan dan perdagangan disebabkan oleh Revolusi Perindustrian 4.0, maka terdapat kekurangan bakat dalam bidang teknologi sama seperti kurangnya penyertaan wanita dalam bidang perniagaan. Sebagai contoh, dalam pemilikan perniagaan dalam talian, terdapat jurang yang ketara lelaki didapati mempunyai pemilikan yang lebih besar. Walaupun sudah terdapat 1.18 juta wanita yang terbabit dalam perusahaan kecil dan sederhana, separuh dari populasi usahawan wanita yang terlibat dalam perniagaan dalam talian hanya bertumpu di ibu negara.

Dalam usaha untuk mengurangkan jurang ini, MDEC telah menyediakan beberapa program yang tidak boleh dilepaskan. Bagi mendapatkan maklumat lanjut, sila layari www.mdec.com.my

Sempena Hari Wanita Antarabangsa ini, berikrarlah untuk mengubah diri anda dan sertailah ekonomi digital Malaysia. 

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