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PUTRAJAYA, Oct 19 ― The “Cloud First” Strategy will be introduced to the national agenda, starting with the public sector, as it is fundamental to an organisation’s digital transformation, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said cloud adoption would  enable the government to rapidly deliver innovative public sector services without incurring a high level of capital expenditure to invest in Information Technology (IT) infrastructures such as data centres, servers and storage.

“This enables the government to allocate resources for more impactful programmes for the rakyat.

“With this strategy in place, it is without doubt that the government is taking the lead in embracing digital transformation,” he said after chairing the 29th MSC Malaysia Implementation Council Meeting at Perdana Putra, here today.
Also present at the meeting were Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak and his deputy Datuk Jailani Johari, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.
Najib said the government could also facilitate the adoption of cloud by the private sector.

In the case of regulated industries such as the banking and financial services, healthcare and telecommunications, he said, the regulators were encouraged to accelerate the publishing of progressive guidelines for companies in these sectors to reap the benefits of cloud whilst maintaining compliance to regulations.

Najib said the government would also develop a National Artificial Intelligence (Al) Framework, an expansion of the National Big Data Analytics (BDA) Framework, which will be led by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDeC).

He said in a hyper connected world, it was becoming abundantly clear that AI was the defining force of the fourth industrial revolution.

“AI could well be a “game changer” in improving the lives of Malaysians,” he said.

On a wider industry-level, Najib said the government would  establish the Digital Transformation Acceleration Programme (D-TAP) for large and mid-tier companies which contribute 63.4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to accelerate digital adoption.

He said Malaysia’s industries were still far from being digitally ready and the challenges noted included lack of structured approach, budget limitations, shortage of digital workers as well as the perception that digital transformation was too “fast paced and complex”.

To accelerate the transformation, he said, the government would  appoint Digital Transformation Labs to provide consultancy and assist in prototyping new digital products and services.

“The labs will then match participant companies to digital companies.
“This outcome driven programme intends to achieve three main outcomes from increased productivity, reduction in foreign labour dependency as well as create a new business model or source of growth for the participant companies,” he said.

Najib said 2017 was the year of the Internet Economy for Malaysia with the next milestone being the launching of the first Digital Free Trade Zone outside China on Nov 3.

After the meeting, Najib also witnessed the exchange of documents for the setting up of Mountain Partners’ South East Asia operations hub in Malaysia.
Through the set-up, The Swiss-headquartered company builder would help more than 15 of their global portfolio companies expand into Malaysia and creating more than 400 job opportunities, including more than 50 top C-suite (top senior executives) talent roles.

Mountain Partners will also set-up a US$100 million fund to invest in Malaysia and South East Asia tech start-ups.

Najib also witnessed the exchange of documents of partnership between the private equity firm Leonie Hill Capital and Japan-based IP Bridge, which will see Malaysia as the home ground for their venture building initiative.
The partnership, through lP Bridge’s global expansion initiative, ManGo Factory, will also relocate more than 10 Southeast Asian and Japanese start-ups in Malaysia, providing them with facilities, access and market opportunities in Malaysia and Japan. ― Bernama