In case you missed it, back in October Datuk Dr Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff had stepped down as Chairman of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), having been in that position for 16 months. Today, MDEC has announced a replacement of sorts, with a Datuk Seri Sr. Haji Md Alwi Che Ahmad as its new non-executive chairman. According to a press release from MDEC, Datuk Seri Md Alwi has been given a two year contract.
A member of the UMNO Supreme Council, Md Alwi is also currently the state assemblyperson for Kok Lanas, Kelantan, and has previously served as the political secretary to the Minister of Youth and Sports in 1990 to 1992, political secretary to the Minister of Rural Development Malaysia from 1993 to 1999 and as political secretary to the Prime Minister from 2007 to 2009. He had also served as the MP for Ketereh between 2004 and 2008.
Outside of his political work, he is a licensed land surveyor. Dr Alwi was also previously the chairman of Silver Ridge Bhd from 2004 to 2008, chairman of Syarikat Permodalan Risda Bhd from 2006 to 2016 and chairman of KEMUBU Agricultural Development Authority from 2014 till 2018. MDEC adds that he has a Bachelor of Applied Science from the Western Australian Institute of Technology as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Universiti Utara Malaysia.
He joins MDEC following the departure of Rais Hussin, who left in somewhat acrimonious circumstances. Before he took his leave, Rais Hussin was a major critic of the government’s cabotage policy for undersea cable repairs, and had asked for the cabotage exemption to restored. This often put him at odds with Transport Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong, leading to the former tweeting about the ‘ministers with an IQ of a cabbage’.
Nevertheless, for MDEC at least a new man at the helm means a chance to start anew for the government agency. However, the cabotage policy issue remains unresolved still, and as the agency in charge of driving the digital economy in the country both Md Alwi and MDEC will likely continue to face questions over the issue.