MyDIGITAL: What exactly this initiative means for Malaysia and Malaysians’ digital landscape?

We are in unprecedented times, and the whole country has had to evolve to be able to adapt to it. One of the crucial aspects we have had to pivot towards is a more digital economy. But what exactly does that mean and why should the people care about it?

In a nutshell, a digital economy refers to any economic and social activities that involve the production and use of digital technology by individuals, businesses and the government. And this can be applied in all kinds of sectors to help improve and grow the economy.

While Malaysia has already been on a trajectory towards this, there are several factors that have necessitated a faster push towards embracing this. Obviously, one of this is the COVID-19 pandemic which has fundamentally changed the way businesses have operated. Therefore, a more comprehensive digital blueprint is needed to ensure the continuity of economic activities.

With a digital economy, there is a lot to be gained by the people. For starters, a more digital economy will open up more job opportunities. Jobs as network specialists, mobile app developers, data scientists and community specialists in social networks would be highly sought after.

These business models would also create more opportunities for people to participate in the economy as gig workers.

A more digital economy will also revolutionise the business sector. Businesses can look at new revenue streams as physical products and services can now be digital. This will undoubtedly help especially in the trying times we’re currently in.

Integration between economic sectors will also be easier with a digital economy, while cloud computing can enable businesses to run their services without needing to own and maintain assets.

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Finally, the people can also see improvements when it comes to governmental services. Not only will technology improve the delivery scope and quality of the services. More digitalisation will also see improvements in service delivery and more user friendly approaches to stuff like application for licences, tax filing and procurement processes.

Naturally, we’ve already seen some of these benefits that have been spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some examples include the leveraging of AI and Big Data to manage the spread of the virus through apps like MySejahtera. We’re also seeing a proliferation of cashless and e-wallet usage in our region as a way to not just receive governmental aid like ePENJANA but also as a form of contactless payment that’s easily accessible.

But, it is also with this success that it becomes even more clear how important a comprehensive digital economy blueprint is to determine the direction and ensure the development of Malaysia’s digital economy is.

And that’s what the government hopes to achieve with the launch of the MyDIGITAL initiative this Friday, the 19th of February 2021. The launch will be taking place at the Economic Planning Unit’s official website at 9am, and everyone is invited to tune in to watch the next step Malaysia will be making towards a digital economy.

This post is brought to you by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU).