THE Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the global economic landscape.
Indeed, this was a process that had already started with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the advent of disruptive technologies.
While recovering from the pandemic will take time and is challenging, that’s no reason why we should be lax on the transformation of our economy. In fact, the chances of economic recovery for Malaysia will be low if we fail to make the leap.
Our government launched the National 4IR Policy on 1 July 2021, with the aim of ensuring the country is truly able to ride the wave of the 4IR.
Given that it has now passed its first anniversary, it is important to recap what it is about and what has been accomplished thus far.
While the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MDEB) is a roadmap towards becoming a high-income nation by accelerating digitalisation in all aspects of the economy, the 4IR Policy will facilitate the embrace of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data and blockchain in all aspects of our lives.
It identifies key focus areas so that the rakyat, businesses and government, will be able to seize growth opportunities and address potential risks.
It drives policy coherence and supports the delivery of national interests, provides guidelines to address risks from 4IR technology while preserving Malaysian values and culture; and creates conducive ecosystems to accelerate digitalisation through the convergence of technologies, disciplines and facilitating the emergence of new business models.
At the heart of the National 4IR Policy are four policy thrusts.
These include equipping the rakyat with 4IR knowledge and skill sets, forging a connected nation through digital infrastructure development, future-proofing regulations to be agile with technological changes, and accelerating 4IR technology innovation and adoption.
MyDIGITAL Corporation, which has been tasked by the Federal government to deliver the initiatives under both Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint and the National 4IR Policy, has been working towards ensuring its successful implementation.
What are the direct benefits for Malaysians?
Successfully executed, the 4IR Policy will give Malaysian better access to learning methods and skills-enhancement powered by edutech, enabling them to not only land well-paying jobs but also compete with their regional if not global peers.
Social enterprises will also be able to utilise 4IR technology to address socio-economic issues and facilitate digital onboarding to bridge the rural-urban digital gap.
Businesses can further develop industry-led and sectoral based 4IR-powered capacity.
Even the public sector could gain by leveraging on big data to improve public service delivery towards a fit-for-future government.