KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — It is pivotal that the multiple objectives that the government aspires to achieve under the MyDIGITAL initiative are in sync with what are required today and that the parties involved do not work in silos, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said.
He said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad initiated the National Information Technology Council (NITC) and a few councils and committees at the highest level, thereafter chaired by the prime minister and other ministers who were overlooking information and communications technology (ICT), science and others.
“But when Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin became prime minister, he decided that we should look at all of these existing committees, reconcile and rearrange the objectives so that they are in sync with what are required today.
“And because of that we have decided to form a new platform called the National Digital Economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Council, also chaired by the Prime Minister, while we have another important council called the Science Council, also chaired by the Prime Minister, and two or three other councils or cabinet committees also chaired by the Prime Minister,” he said.
Saifuddin was speaking to reporters after virtually delivering a speech at a forum hosted by China tech giant Huawei in conjunction with the Mobile World Congress 2021 (MWC21) in Shanghai.
He said that at one time, Malaysia had three or four councils related to science and technology but now the country only has two.
He said to ensure the follow-through is holistic, inclusive and effective and that parties are not working in silos, the government has streamlined certain councils’ functions so that there would not be any duplication as there are many things happening.
“It is out of this that MyDIGITAL was launched.
“Next we brought in all the pertinent ministries and agencies to work under the National Digital Economy and 4IR Council; hence, we have different clusters,” he said.
Saifuddin pointed out that he is in charge of the infrastructure and data cluster while Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin, is in charge of emerging technologies.
Other ministers are in charge of the talent cluster, cluster on society and cluster on economics, and the Chief Secretary to the Government is in charge of the cluster regarding the government, he said.
“We are hoping that this is really a ‘whole of government’ approach to looking at technology.
“There is no guarantee that we will not work in silos in the future but at least we try as much as possible to avoid that by bringing everyone together,” he added.
MyDIGITAL sets out the consolidated initiatives and targeted outcomes to be delivered through six strategic thrusts, 22 strategies, 48 national initiatives and 28 sectoral initiatives, which will be implemented in three phases up to 2030.
The six strategic thrusts are driving digital transformation in the public sector, boosting economic competitiveness through digitalisation, building digital infrastructure, building agile and competent digital talents, creating an inclusive digital society, and building a trusted, secure and ethical digital environment.
With the implementation of MyDIGITAL, the government aims to attract RM70 billion investment in digitalisation, ensure that 875,000 micro and small and medium enterprises adopt e-commerce and create 500,000 new jobs.