The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Private sector must embrace new tech to accelerate recovery


KUALA LUMPUR: The private sector must embrace new technologi­es in order for the country to accelerate its economic recovery, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said the Covid-19 pandemic had been an enabler for hastening the adoption of digital solutions, and it had also demonstrat­ed the importance of upgrading and strengthen­ing the technology and infrastruc­ture to ease the process of doing business.

“This includes reducing our reliance on unskilled labour as we move swi ly into a phase of automation and digitalisa­tion,” he said in his speech during the dialogue session with industries organised by the Ministry of Internatio­nal Trade and Industry yesterday.

The prime minister said another silver lining behind the pandemic was the newfound sense of urgency to the digital inclusion agenda, to enable millions to work, learn and connect digitally.

“The pandemic has made us realise that for us to move forward, we need to break away from normalcy and develop various measures to cushion the impact on our people and our economy. It is no longer business as usual. It is time for new ideas. It is time to innovate,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the government recently announced a Digital Transforma­tion Roadmap, which contains action plans that focus on expanding and improving Malaysia’s digital connectivi­ty.

He said the National Digital Network (Jendela) action plan, amounting to US$12.7 billion (US$1=RM4.12), would be the platform to achieve these aspiration­s by accelerati­ng the country’s digital connectivi­ty through widespread deployment of mobile, fibre and fixed wireless access, and paving the way to 5G.

“We believe it will push the adoption of technology and digital transforma­tion. This is necessary for the country’s economic trajectory.

Malaysia also recognises that IR4.0 (Fourth Industrial Revolution)-based industry would accelerate the growth of our digital economy.

“Under IR4.0 technology aspired initiative, we have introduced Malaysia 5.0 – a digital transforma­tion agenda for businesses, to address digital accessibil­ity, financial inclusion, productivi­ty and growth through the tools of Industry 4.0 such as fintech, blockchain and artificial intelligen­ce,” he said.

With Malaysia 5.0, Muhyiddin said the digital economy would be empowered to contribute towards a more sustainabl­e and circular economy.

According to the prime minister, central to the economic recovery is the successful rollout of the national vaccinatio­n programme, which has now entered its second phase.

“As more and more Malaysians get vaccinated, I am convinced that we are finally on the brink of effectivel­y ending this pandemic,” he said.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said that Bank Negara Malaysia had estimated that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would rebound to between 6.0 and 7.5 per cent this year, with the stable recovery of domestic activities, coupled with improving external demand, serving as the underlying factors fuelling such optimism.

As an open economy that was heavily reliant on trade, he said, Malaysia would continue to be a strong supporter of the rules-based multilater­al trading system.

In addition, he said, the country would continue to engage constructi­vely in regional economic integratio­n initiative­s, including through an active pursuit of free trade agreements, which brought tangible benefits to Malaysia.

“This was the main reason behind our participat­ion in the Regional Comprehens­ive Economic Cooperatio­n Agreement, which grants preferenti­al access to one-third of the world’s population, a market worth 29 per cent of the global GDP,” he said.

Going forward, the prime minister expressed hope that the business community, as well as private individual­s, would continue to assume a central role in managing and curbing the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We must continue to adopt a whole-of-society approach to foster an a itude of self-reliance and a spirit of solidarity.

Curbing the pandemic and remedying its adverse consequenc­es are our shared responsibi­lity.

“Hence, I must once again stress that the role of industry is paramount in order to accomplish our common goal of protecting lives and safeguardi­ng livelihood­s,” he added. — Bernama

This includes reducing our reliance on unskilled labour as we move swi ly into a phase of automation and digitalisa­tion.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin

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