Malaysia looks to launch national policy to accelerate shift to 4th Industrial Revolution
Published on: Monday, July 05, 2021
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Kuala Lumpur: In a time of global turbulence caused by the pandemic, Malaysia looks to the future with the launching of the national policy on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (National 4IR Policy) to accelerate the nation’s shift towards 4IR.

“The role of technology and digitalisation has become inextricably linked to improving quality of life and economic growth due the impacts brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.” said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Dato' Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed.

Faced with new challenges, he noted the government, businesses and the people needed to adopt digitalisation and technology to allow their operations to be carried out seamlessly while adhering to new norms.

“It is the Government’s hope that the Malaysians will leverage 4IR technologies to achieve Malaysia’s aspiration to become a developed country.” he said, adding the National 4IR Policy will ensue the people will benefit from the evolution of technology and innovations emerging from 4IR.

Realising this growing necessity, Mustapa said the government stepped forward to enact the National 4IR Policy which will bolster Malaysia’s capabilities to harness the potential of 4IR which holds the key to spur sustainable economic growth and improve competitiveness.

Speaking at the virtual launch of the policy, Mustapa assured 4IR has undergone an extensive process of engagement to obtain feedback from relevant stakeholders to ensure seamless implementation.

“The 4IR Policy sets out to facilitate a technologically enabled public service delivery system, which is more efficient and effective than the existing system, as it is set to give citizens the convenience of accessing services within reach of their fingertips.” he said.

Furthermore, he said the strategy added focus to ensure the Government embraces technology and data-driven, thus enhancing the state’s capacity to meet the ever-growing demands and expectations of Malaysians.

With the aim to transform Malaysia into a high-income, high-tech nation, he said the National 4IR Policy is poised to propel four thrusts for society, businesses and the government, which would provide insight for relevant ministries and agencies in developing 4IR-related programmes.

“The four thrusts involve empowering people with 4IR relevant knowledge and skills; boosting nationwide connectivity through development of digital infrastructure; lay out appropriate rules for future needs that adapt to technological changes, as well as accelerating innovation and adoption of 4IR technologies.” he said.

Elaborating further, he said the thrusts will be executed in accordance to 16 strategies, 32 national and 60 sectoral initiatives identified by the government, adding values of inclusivity, cybersecurity, trust and ethics will be embedded in the policy to reduce potential social impacts from 4IR.

Amid sweeping changes initiated by the new policy, Mustapa said adoption of new technology will upskill the Malaysian workforce and help ensure greater productivity for local businesses as well as improved competitiveness and innovation.

“This will pave the way forward for the creation of high skilled jobs, pushing local talent upwards to reach their full potential. While for business, the national policy aims to establish a business environment in Malaysia that incentivises technological innovation.” he said.

With this, he said the 4IR will strengthen Malaysia’s position as a world-class investment hub and as a conducive place for doing business. “As we strive to create a holistic policy and facilitate the 4IR, businesses will need to quickly adapt to the new landscape in order to stay competitive in the global marketplace,” he said.

Under the policy, Mustapa said the plan, apart from enhancing existing initiatives, would propel new strategies covering four focus points which include human capital, infrastructure, technology adoption and innovation as well as regulation.

“In spite of the new challenges posed by 4IR that may be faced by workforce with the introduction of automation, the use of robots and artificial intelligence is set to create new job prospects which improves productivity, efficiency leading to stronger returns and better quality of life.” he said.

According to Mustapa, the adoption of 4IR technologies is set to revolutionize operating systems and will improve emergency response time to within 8 minutes, along with a reduction of travel time by 30% during peak hours and traffic jams.

“4IR will lead to better work-life balance, improved convenience, safer streets, value-added jobs, higher incomes, improved social wellbeing, and more responsible environmental sustainability,” he said.

The minister said the National 4IR Policy is the manifestation of the national agenda which will encompass various government efforts to expedite Malaysia’s transformation into a high-income nation driven by technology and innovation.

“This would not be possible without the support of the people, private sector and government to provide proactive and solid support to ensure Malaysia remain at the forefront in adopting technology to achieve prosperity and progress at par with developed nations.” he said.

“Through the adoption of the National 4IR, the Malaysian Wellbeing Index (MyWI) is projected to climb to 136.5 by 2030, in contrast to 124.4 in 2018. Malaysia is also predicted to remain at the top 20 in the Global Innovation Index by 2030, and expected to achieve an increase of 30% productivity across all sectors compared to 2020.” he said.

Dato' Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed also underlined the need for the young talent to be equipped with knowledge and skills to give them the acumen and competitive edge in an increasingly competitive and dynamic global economy.

“We are committed to boost the numbers of skilled talent in the country that is ready to meet the expectations of local and international industries.” he said.

He noted the improved National Policy on Science and Innovation (DSTIN 2021-2030) launched in December 2020, has paved the groundwork to transform Malaysia into a high-tech nation.

“The DSTIN policy was put into effect together with 10-10 Malaysia Science, Technology, Innovation and Economy (MYSTIE) Framework, which looks to enhance Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) ecosystems to transform industries from users into creators of cutting-edge tech,” he said.

At the core of the policy, Mustapa said the 4IR will be driven by five foundational technologies– artificial intelligence, the internet of things, blockchain, cloud computing and big data analytics as well as advanced materials and technologies.

“We must be bold to take the step forward. The implementation of 4IR spells immense benefits for 10 key sectors: manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare, education, agriculture, utilities, finance and insurance, professional, scientific and technical services, wholesale and retail trade, as well as tourism.

In addition, this will also involve 6 other sectors, which are construction, arts, entertainment and recreation services, real estate, mining and quarrying, information and communication services as well as administrative and support services.” he said.

Dato' Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed said the government is committed to play its role to ensure the country’s readiness for 4IR, and no one gets left behind in the great leap forward in what promises to be a disruptive technological revolution.


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