Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh dan Salam 1Malaysia.
YAB Tan Sri Dato Hj Muhyiddin Hj Yassin,
Timbalan Perdana Menteri Malaysia,
Yang Berhormat Menteri-menteri Kabinet dan Timbalan Menteri,
Y..Bhg. Ketua Setiausaha Negara,
Tan Sri-Tan Sri, Puan Sri-Puan Sri, Dato’-Dato’, Datin-Datin,
Tuan-Tuan dan Puan-Puan,
Distinguished council members,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you very much for joining us here today. The MSC Malaysia Implementation Council Meeting is a particularly important event as it sets the direction for MSC Malaysia and its initiatives. This year is particularly important as I believe 2010 saw the end of Phase 2 of MSC Malaysia and I am eager to hear about what was achieved.
The MSC initiative was in its day, ahead of its time. Seizing the internet and harnessing it early to spur ICT was innovative, bold and visionary . This has been borne out by the times we live in today.
MSC Malaysia has given us a good base of skills, businesses and initiatives that have helped us reshape the country and citizens in many meaningful ways. Yet, we are now once again at a crossroads, because the pace of change globally is at lightning speed and this means that we have to think about how we re-learn evolving rules of the game and re-equip ourselves to keep pace.
Since our meeting last year, there have been many new developments to drive Malaysia towards our goal of achieving a high-income and developed nation by the year 2020. We all knew then as we know now that in order to achieve our targets, certain measures have to be put into place to create a conducive environment for sustainable economic growth. Some of the key initiatives to provide the catalyst for this were the Economic Transformation Programme and Government Transformation Programme.
As a country, we are tackling these challenges head on with the ETP and the GTP. The transformation is visible on the political front, the public sector and among Malaysian businesses. Today, we have attracted over RM171 billion in investments since we first launched the ETP.
The Government’s initiatives have produced positive results and these are reflected in our economic growth figures. In 2010, the Malaysian economy grew 7.2%, compared to a contraction of 1.7% in 2009. Based on current estimates, Bank Negara Malaysia has projected a growth of 5 to 6% in 2011. It is important to note that ICT plays a key role in most if not all of the 131 EPPs. It is indeed pervasive.
The new world is a digital one. And in order to stay competitive and reap the benefits of this digital world, it is imperative that we as a country have all the right elements and strategies in place. This will require effort, courage and the willingness to really think beyond existing paradigms.
Today, there is not a single area of our lives that has not been touched by digital technology. From economic growth to entertainment, digital technology has changed even our social norms and practices. Malaysians for example have the most number of friends on Facebook. Where years ago, I would have had to organize a broadcast or press conference to send out a message, today I am instantly linked with over a million Malaysian citizens who can not only listen, but connect with me through social media.
In terms of business, the digital world has liberalized information barriers and helped create real-time market linkages that let companies quickly become global players and competitors. This ‘live’ digital scenario influences the performance of the hottest stocks around the world, creating new wealth in one instance and causing mass upheaval in another.
The world is changing – we all know this. Economic and social-political fundamentals have evolved and one of the key drivers is clearly the Digital Paradigm. Consider this:
- Globally, in 2009 the Digital Economy contributed 35% to global trade
- In 2009, virtual goods and the online gaming worldwide market, led by Asia, was estimated at about USD6 billion
- Total worldwide ICT spending is expected to grow 3% to USD4.1 trillion in 2011
- Global e-commerce revenues is projected to hit USD3.8 trillion by 2020
- It is estimated that there will be one trillion connected devices by 2015 and 2.1 billion internet users on our planet
Clearly critical mass has been reached. The opportunities are boundless and we would like to see Malaysian businesses and citizens not missing out on the myriad of opportunities around them.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
As a nation, we are entering a crucial phase as we are now firmly into the decade in which we must achieve our goal. It is undeniable that the next wave of economic growth will come from the Knowledge-based economy, with digital technologies as a key driver of progress. What we need is a solid push and a clear framework to build an Digital Economy, which will be an important enabler for our transformation.
Where is Malaysia in the digital continuum today?
- We are placed 36th out of 70 countries in the Digital Economy Ranking 2010, by the Economist Intelligence Unit. We moved up two places from 38th the year before. The main contributors were a steady improvement in broadband, mobile and Internet connectivity as well as Government support.
- In Asia, we are ranked 6th in the Global Information Technology Report 2009-2010, released by the World Economic Forum, coming behind Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. The report commended Malaysia for its outstanding marks in readiness and usage.
As you can see, we have stayed in-step and progressed as expected, even leading the way in key areas among the developing nations. However, I would like to challenge all of you here today. Do we want to just be achieving what is expected or do we want to springboard ahead of the pack?
Making this crucial quantum leap forward is not impossible. There are a number of countries that have succeeded in achieving the status of a developed, high-income nation within similar periods of time. South Korea has almost doubled the GDP contribution of its ICT industry since 1995 and Singapore has seen its ICT industry triple in value since the early 90’s.
Against this backdrop, I announced earlier this year at the Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council Meeting in New York that Malaysia is in the midst of constructing an innovative digital economy framework that will serve as an additional enabler for our transformation. I then gave the mandate to MDeC to visualize, and drive the Digital Malaysia framework, which must foster an ecosystem driven by ICT in targeted aspects of the economy, governance and social interaction, and establish a climate that intensifies innovation, investment and talent growth.
As such, it important that Digital Malaysia is seen as a pillar of our transformation programme. This positioning of Digital Malaysia in the National Transformation Policy is in order to create a cohesive and holistic approach to the digital nation as it involves, and ultimately benefits, multiple stakeholders from public and private sectors as well as citizen groups.
We have all gathered here today as leaders in our respective areas. It is imperative that we all lend our voices, give our support and take necessary action to drive the actualisation of a Digital Economy which will spur Malaysia’s transformation. i look forward to a constructive session with all of you, and I now hand over to Datuk Badlisham Ghazali to take us all through the Digital Malaysia plan.