Malaysia Digital Economy
Economic digitalization is a top priority for the Malaysian Government.
Digitalization remains a top priority for the Malaysian Government (GOM). In the recently announced Federal 2021 Budget, a total of US$242.5 million (RM 1 billion) is allocated in the areas of Cybersecurity, Connectivity, Internet of Things, Digital talents, and Digital Transformation of Malaysian SMEs.
Key highlights of the Budget 2021 announced to accelerate the Digital Economy of Malaysia are:
• Allocation of US$242.5 million (RM1 billion) for a new Industry Digitalization Scheme to focus on Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) technologies. This includes a US$36.4 million (RM150 million) SME Digitalization Scheme Grant and Automation Grant for SMEs in Malaysia to encourage them to digitally transform their manufacturing chains and embark into Smart Manufacturing. The GOM believes that this allocation would be sufficient to accelerate the digitalization activities until 31 December 2023.
• Cybersecurity continues as a top priority for the GOM with an allocation of US$6.549 million (RM 27 million) to be parked under CyberSecurity Malaysia. The allocation will enhance existing cybersecurity measures in the country. In October 2020, the GOM launched the Cybersecurity Strategy (MCSS) 2020-2024, and the MCSS will act as the National Cybersecurity framework for the next five years, and as a blueprint for the development of Malaysia’s security and defense management across all major economic sectors. The GOM allocated US$434 million (RM1.8 billion) for MCSS to build on current policies under this strategy.
• GOM allocated US$12.1 million (RM50 million) to upgrade its current Malaysian Research and Infrastructure Network from 500Mbps to 10Gbps.
• Allocation of US$10.2 million (RM42 million) to upgrade its National Digital Network, JENDELA, an initiative that provides schools with better connectivity for an improved online learning experience.
• GOM is also promoting digitalization in the agriculture sector by introducing the e-Ladang Program. This program is expected to promote the use of advanced technologies such as IoT and drones to boost Smart Farming technologies in Malaysia.
• Allocation of US$24.3 million (RM100 million) for SMEs to continue with its upskilling of more digitally-ready professionals for the booming ICT sector in Malaysia.
Overall, the GOM budget for 2021 is expected to boost Malaysia’s critical ICT infrastructure and will positively impact Malaysia’s Digital Economy. Digital technologies are becoming critical for Malaysian businesses trying to remain relevant in the economy and to ensure business continuity for companies moving to support digital work during the pandemic – a trend that will continue post-pandemic.
The best prospects in Malaysia’s ICT sector for 2021 are Cybersecurity and Digital Technologies.
Due to U.S. innovation and leadership in these areas, American companies are well-positioned to compete in the Malaysian market, by exporting and transferring ICT products and services that offer both high quality and innovation.
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