Government to set up National Digital Inclusion Council – Dr Mahathir

PUTRAJAYA, The government will set up the National Digital Inclusion Council to focus on creating digital economy income opportunities for the people, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The council, to be headed by Dr Mahathir, will comprise representatives from the ministries of Economic Affairs; Finance; Communications and Multimedia; Women, Family and Community Development; Rural Development; Housing and Local Government; and Agriculture and Agro-based Industry.

Also in the council are the ministries of Tourism, Arts and Culture; Transport; Entrepreneur Development; Youth and Sports; Human Resources; and Federal Territories Ministry.

Speaking to reporters after chairing the 30th Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia Implementation Council Meeting at Perdana Putra here today, Dr Mahathir said the government must focus on getting its execution right and achieve results in the nearest time possible.

Ministries and agencies must collaborate and work together to ensure delivery to the rakyat. As public officers, we must play our part to earn the trust of the people, he said.

At the press conference, Dr Mahathir recalled his good old times on MSC and regarded now he was reviving something that he himself started a long time ago.

Long time ago, we set up the MSC and we focus on the new technologies. But that time there was no telefon bimbit (mobile phone) and very limited equipment.

But after I stepped down for 15 years and I lost touch with the business, I am now introduced to new words which I don't understand, he said, citing 'sandbox' as an example.

I don't know how sandbox has got into this highly sophisticated equipment, he said.

Since its establishment in 1996, Dr Mahathir said MSC had created 183,000 high-value jobs at almost 3,000 companies with total revenue of almost RM500 billion.

Dr Mahathir said he was proud to note that Malaysia's local tech champions were now recognised as global players and for example, Aerodyne, which specialises in artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drone-based technology, was ranked number three in the world.

Also, he said, three companies were listed in Forbes Asia's 200 Best Under A Billion 2019.

Dr Mahathir also pointed out that Malaysia's digital creative content developers were also significant players in the world of animation and games with some internationally-recognised titles including Boboiboy, Upin and Ipin, No Straight Roads, CryptantCrab, and Re:Legend.

There is definitely merit in attracting and adopting emerging technologies, developing tech talent and facilitating digital inclusion to ensure shared prosperity, he said.

Prime Minister said the initiatives presented in today's meeting would continue to build on the government's national aim and vision of Shared Prosperity, utilising digital technologies for the social and economic upliftment of Malaysians.

The global testbed for AI, data analytics and augmented reality will be fuelled by a powerful talent pipeline, which drawn together people, educators, industry and government to make the national goal a reality, he said.

Source: Office of the Prime Minster Malaysia