M’sia now a step forward in the Digital Realm / Malaysia Mara Selangkah Lagi di Alam Digital

Since a decade ago, discussion themes at international conferences had been moving from economics to technology and innovation. “Digital Economy” and “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” especially, are popular subjects.
Conferences at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Economic Forum and Science and Technology in Society Forum in Japan are some I have personally attended that are increasingly revolving around technological and digital themes.

Over recent years, we have seen the rapid growth of the Digital Economy. Based on a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S., being the largest global exporter of services, exported about $400 billion in digitally deliverable services in 2014. This represented 56 per cent of U.S. service exports and about 17 per cent of total exports.

The Internet was acknowledged to be the single largest component of the cross-border trade in services.

The most significant growth opportunities for the U.S. are available in the international markets.

Global business to consumer e-commerce transactions totalled at $1.9 trillion in 2014.

Malaysia would also ride on the same digital phenomenon, where digital deliverable services have started to grow in the country. Malaysia’s investments in the past such as Multimedia Super Corridor and National Broadband Initiatives have created an excellent platform for the Digital Economy.

The Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak together with Jack Ma of Alibaba Group showcased the world’s first special trade zone, targeted at SMEs to spur the growth of e-commerce.

The first of its kind e-hub outside China, the Prime Minister said that today, 97 per cent of our businesses are SMEs, contributing 37 per cent of the GDP. But with a shot in arm from initiatives like the DFTZ they could contribute from 60 to 80 per cent.

While leveraging on international digital trading platforms, Malaysians are also urged to nurture our very own technologies in the digital realm. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, through MIMOS our national ICT R&D Centre, is particularly looking into Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data Analytics (BDA).

The National IoT Strategic Roadmap was rolled out in 2015, with several programs being realised and in the pipeline, such as to digitalise identification, transaction signing and the traceability of a product.

2.4.17 MY now a step forward in the digital realm.jpeg

With Jack Ma of Alibaba at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting last January.

Another system is the Smart Community Infrastructure System or iComm, where rural communities get to enjoy the boom of digital economy. This system has been implemented in Sabah, with plans to be extended to the rest of the country.

Villagers benefiting from the facility could have free Internet access and free phone calls.

It also has a closed circuit television network, could monitor river and flood levels, and provide Internet-based mobile communications for the safety of residents and even border security.

BDA on the other hand, is used by businesses and governments to examine large volumes of data to unearth hidden patterns and insights to help them make informed decisions. MIMOS hosts a BDA Lab and a Big Data IoT Technology Accelerator Lab, which serves as a technology reference centre for the industry.

However, with the generation of more data, the availability of sensors, devices and applications, there are increasing trust and security issues in the digital world. Cyber espionage, hacktivism, malware infection and cybercrimes top the cyber threat list. Hackers take advantage of digitalisation to make profits by stealing secrets and corporate data, and launch attacks on critical infrastructure.

Therefore businesses hoping onto the e-commerce bandwagon should integrate security and privacy safeguards that extend to their consumers.

CyberSecurity Malaysia is the central agency for cybersecurity in the country, as their computer emergency response team or MyCERT offers round the clock computer security incident response services to any individual, company, government agency or organisation. The public can reach out to them via the Cyber999 Help Centre detailed in their website.

The future of Internet Economy has to be inclusive. Lately I met Jack Ma twice – the first in Davos during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, and once again when he spoke at the Global Transformation Forum in Kuala Lumpur. Listening to the mind behind the billion-dollar technology and e-commerce behemoth first-hand was surreal – he was very visionary, humble, and all for inclusivity.

He highlighted the role of women in his company. Over half of the employees were women in 2015; 23 per cent of the senior management were women, and they have had a female chairman, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, engineers – the list goes on. He embraces gender diversity in his organisation, and has said that women think about others more than for themselves, which just might be the key for Alibaba to serve her customers well.

“We are now in the era of women.”

The future of digital economy in Malaysia is promising. A week ago Lazada Malaysia was reported to have overtaken its counterpart in Singapore to become Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing e-commerce platform.

About 15,000 merchants used this e-platform last year, and another 25,000 are expected to join the club this year.

But we still have a lot of catch up to do with other more mature, higher fuelled digital economies in the region.

Sabahans should seize the opportunities emerged during this digital revolution, be it through e-commerce, or enabling processes such as IoT and BDA, with an emphasis on security and inclusivity.


Malaysia Mara Selangkah Lagi di Alam Digital

Sejak sedekad lalu, tema perbincangan pada persidangan antarabangsa beralih daripada ekonomi kepada teknologi dan inovasi. “Ekonomi Digital” dan “Revolusi Perindustrian Keempat” terutamanya menjadi topik popular.

Persidangan pada Pertubuhan Kerjasama dan Pembangunan Ekonomi (OECD), Forum Ekonomi Dunia (WEF) dan Forum Sains dan Teknologi dalam Masyarakat di Jepun adalah antara persidangan yang pernah saya hadiri sendiri dan kesemuanya semakin berkisar sekitar tema teknologi dan digital.

Dalam tempoh beberapa tahun kebelakangan, kita menyaksikan pertumbuhan pesat Ekonomi Digital. Berdasarkan laporan Jabatan Perdagangan Amerika Syarikat (AS), A.S. selaku pengeksport perkhidmatan terbesar di dunia, mengeksport perkhidmatan yang boleh disampaikan secara digital bernilai kira-kira US$400 bilion pada 2014. Jumlah ini mewakili 56 peratus daripada eksport perkhidmatan A.S. dan sekitar 17 peratus daripada keseluruhan eksportnya.

Internet diakui sebagai komponen terbesar dalam perdagangan perkhidmatan rentas sempadan. Peluang pertumbuhan paling signifikan bagi A.S. boleh didapati dalam pasaran antarabangsa. Urus niaga e-dagang daripada perniagaan kepada pengguna pada peringkat global berjumlah US$1.9 trilion pada 2014.

Malaysia turut memanfaatkan fenomena digital yang sama, menyaksikan perkhidmatan yang boleh disampaikan secara digital mula berkembang di negara ini. Pelaburan Malaysia pada masa lalu seperti Koridor Raya Multimedia dan Inisiatif Jalur Lebar Negara telah mewujudkan platform yang sangat baik untuk Ekonomi Digital.

Zon Perdagangan Bebas Digital (DFTZ) yang dilancarkan oleh Perdana Menteri Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak bersama-sama Jack Ma daripada Kumpulan Alibaba pada 22 Mac lalu memperlihatkan zon perdagangan khas yang pertama di dunia, disasarkan terhadap Perusahaan Kecil dan Sederhana (PKS) untuk memacu pertumbuhan e-dagang.

Perdana Menteri berkata bahawa kini 97 peratus daripada perniagaan kita merupakan PKS, yang menyumbangkan 37 peratus daripada KDNK. Bagaimanapun dengan rangsangan daripada inisiatif seperti DFTZ yang merupakan e-hab pertama seumpamanya di luar China, PKS boleh menyumbangkan 60 hingga 80 peratus.

Sambil memanfaatkan platform perdagangan digital antarabangsa, rakyat Malaysia juga digesa membangunkan teknologi kita sendiri di alam digital. MOSTI menerusi MIMOS yang merupakan Pusat R&D ICT negara kita, menumpukan perhatian kepada Internet of Things (IoT) dan Analitik Data Besar (BDA).

Pelan Hala Tuju Strategik IoT Kebangsaan dilancarkan pada 2015, dengan beberapa program dilaksanakan dan bakal dilaksanakan, seperti untuk mendigitalkan pengenalan identiti, penandatanganan transaksi dan keupayaan untuk menjejaki produk. Satu lagi sistem ialah Sistem Prasarana Komuniti Pintar atau iComm, yang membolehkan masyarakat luar bandar mengecap kemakmuran daripada ekonomi digital. Sistem ini telah dilaksanakan di Sabah, dengan rancangan untuk meluaskannya ke seluruh negara.

Penduduk kampung yang menerima kemudahan itu boleh mendapat akses Internet percuma dan membuat panggilan telefon percuma. Sistem ini juga dilengkapi rangkaian televisyen litar tertutup, boleh memantau paras sungai dan banjir di samping menyediakan komunikasi mudah alih berasaskan Internet untuk keselamatan penduduk dan kawasan sempadan.

BDA sebaliknya digunakan oleh perniagaan dan kerajaan untuk mengkaji sejumlah data yang banyak bagi mendedahkan pola tersembunyi dan memperoleh kefahaman untuk membantu mereka membuat keputusan berdasarkan fakta. MIMOS mempunyai sebuah Makmal BDA dan sebuah Makmal Pemecut Teknologi IoT Data Besar yang berfungsi sebagai pusat rujukan teknologi untuk industri.

Bagaimanapun, dengan penjanaan lebih banyak data dan terdapatnya penderia, peranti dan aplikasi, timbul semakin banyak isu kepercayaan dan keselamatan di dunia digital. Pengintipan siber, aktiviti penggodaman, jangkitan perisian hasad dan jenayah siber berada di tangga teratas dalam senarai ancaman siber. Penggodam mengambil kesempatan daripada pendigitalan untuk mengaut keuntungan dengan mencuri rahsia dan data korporat, dan melancarkan serangan terhadap infrastruktur kritikal.

Oleh sebab itu, perniagaan yang menceburi e-dagang hendaklah mengintegrasikan pelindung keselamatan dan privasi yang merangkumi pelanggan mereka. CyberSecurity Malaysia ialah agensi pusat bagi menjaga keselamatan siber di negara ini kerana pasukan respons kecemasan komputer mereka atau MyCERT berkhidmat 24 jam untuk memberikan respons terhadap insiden keselamatan komputer kepada mana-mana individu, syarikat, agensi kerajaan atau organisasi. Orang ramai boleh menghubungi mereka menerusi Pusat Bantuan Cyber999 yang diperincikan di laman web mereka.

Masa depan Ekonomi Internet perlu bersifat inklusif. Baru-baru ini saya menemui Jack Ma sebanyak dua kali – pertama di Davos semasa Mesyuarat Tahunan Forum Ekonomi Dunia dan kemudian semasa beliau berucap pada Forum Transformasi Global di Kuala Lumpur. Mendengar pandangan tokoh di sebalik teknologi berbilion dolar dan gergasi e-dagang itu secara langsung merupakan pengalaman luar biasa – beliau sangat berwawasan, merendah diri dan menyokong dasar inklusif sepenuhnya.

Beliau menekankan peranan wanita dalam syarikatnya. Lebih separuh daripada pekerja ialah wanita pada 2015; 23 peratus daripada barisan pengurusan kanan merupakan wanita, dan mereka mempunyai pengerusi, ketua pegawai eksekutif, ketua pegawai kewangan, jurutera dan sebagainya daripada kalangan wanita. Beliau mendukung kepelbagaian gender dalam organisasinya dan pernah mengungkapkan bahawa wanita memikirkan orang lain lebih daripada memikirkan diri sendiri, dan mungkin inilah kunci untuk Alibaba memberikan perkhidmatan terbaik kepada pelanggannya.

“Kita kini berada pada zaman wanita.”

Masa depan ekonomi digital di Malaysia sangat cerah. Seminggu lalu Lazada Malaysia dilaporkan mengatasi Lazada Singapura untuk menjadi platform e-dagang yang paling pesat berkembang di Asia Tenggara. Kira-kira 15,000 pedagang menggunakan e-platform ini pada tahun lalu dan sebanyak 25,000 lagi dijangka menyertainya tahun ini.

Namun begitu kita masih perlu melipatgandakan usaha untuk menyaingi ekonomi digital yang lebih matang dan lebih maju di rantau ini. Warga Sabah perlu merebut peluang yang terbuka semasa revolusi digital ini, sama ada menerusi e-dagang atau proses pemboleh seperti IoT dan BDA, dengan menekankan keselamatan dan dasar inklusif.

 

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