Digital economy likely to get support in 2018

Posted on : 02-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR– The digital economy initiative will continue to get the support in the 2018 Budget, said Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Yasmin Mahmood.

She said the budget wish-list would most likely remain the same as last year with the main focus on digital economy.

“Our leaders (government) are fully aware of the impact on the digital economy’s growth for the country.

“Last year was evidence of the digital economy’s impact with multi-programmes, such as ‘eRezeki’, which left a great momentum,” she told reporters on the sidelines of the Big Data Week Asia 2017 event here today.

Yasmin said, last year the focus was on the start-up ecosystem and the momentum would continue for a couple more years.

A total of RM162 million was allocated to MDEC in Budget 2017 for programmes such as e-commerce ecosystem and Digital Maker Movement as well as the introduction of the Malaysia Digital Hub.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in announcing that, said digital connectivity was a revolution in economic activity, contributing nearly 16 per cent to the nation’s gross domestic product.

The two-day Big Data Week Asia 2017, starting today, is organised MDEC and Knowledge Group of Companies for industry players, students and public.

It features international speakers of various expertise, leading exhibitors, sponsors, and satellite events focused on building a data-driven ASEAN.

Yasmin said, to help Malaysia lead the digital economy, MDEC would be working with relevant partners to develop a national Artificial Intelligence (AI) framework.

“What we need to do is to ensure to look at the progression and evolve our existing big data.

“AI has been around for quite sometime now and the country is moving into its realms,” she said, adding it would be a critical extension to the National Big Data Analytics Framework.


APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) members urged to focus more on services sector

Posted on : 02-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR – Member countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) should give more attention to the development of the services sector to more precisely complement the emergence of the global digitisation economy.

Co-Convener of ASEAN Service Provider Confederation, Jane Drake-Brockman said most APEC economies appeared to be still missing the bigger picture, of how the services sector have taken the bulk of a country’s gross development product in recent years.

“We have heard of some new initiatives by the Malaysian government which are precisely designed to improve the competitiveness of the services sector. What we hope is that all APEC economies will start focusing on this in the same way,” she told reporters after the opening of the Asia-Pacific Digital Technology Symposium 2017 here today.

She said on average, the services sector accounted for more than 50 per cent of a country’s Gross Domestic Product, with about 98 per cent of the United States’ economy having been digitised, while about 80 per cent of Australia’s economy is in the services sector.

“Yet, public attention is always focused on the mining and agriculture (structure), while in other (APEC) economies, they’re (more) focused on manufacturing. We are missing the reality that the services competitiveness is what’s driving almost all of the other sectors,” she added.

Earlier, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Secretary General, Datuk Seri J. Jayasiri said many local entrepreneurs had adopted digital technology in carrying out their operations, involving Internet marketing, digital cross-border trade and e-logistics.

“We need to look at technology, not as a competitor, but our partner in creating quality jobs. We owe it to ourselves to use it to our advantage or risk allowing our competitors to use it to our disadvantage.

“This is why the government is prioritising innovation and encouraging the adoption of Industry 4.0 elements in not just the manufacturing sector, but services as well, to build greater economies of scale,” he said in his opening speech.

Jayasiri spoke on behalf of MITI Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

In the goal of developing a digital economy for Malaysia, Jayasiri said business leaders had a strong role to play, as they would be the direct beneficiaries of the digital transformation happening in the country.

“Companies need to be mindful not to rely solely on facilities provided by the government, but also come up with innovative solutions in embarking on this journey. The government seeks to work hand-in-hand with businesses towards making effective and relevant policies in charting the way forward,” he added.


M’sia rakes in over RM1b medical tourism revenue

Posted on : 02-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National

MALAYSIA is on track to achieve medical tourism revenue of RM1.15 billion by the end of the year.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the success behind the medical tourism boom was due to solid support from the government.

“In 2011, 643,000 of overseas visitors had travelled to Malaysia for medical purposes. The number increased to 921,000 in 2016, with the revenue growing by more than 10% per year,” he said while officiating KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital’s 20th anniversary celebration.

Support from the private healthcare sector had also helped to boost local medical tourism as they provided affordable and quality treatment for their patients, Dr Hilmi said, adding that  medical tourism was part of the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) which would drive the country towards becoming a high-income nation by 2020.

“These have contributed to Malaysia’s current position as one of the best countries in the world for healthcare and is recognised by International Medical Travel Journal from year 2015 to 2017,” he said.

Dr Hilmi said to date, 74 of the best private hospitals in the country were registered with the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).

In conjunction with KPJ Damansara’s 20th anniversary, the hospital has also launched a corporate social responsibility programme under #DamansaraCare.

The hospital’s executive director, Aminuddin Dawam said the fundraising campaign would benefit three beneficiaries, namely the Islamic Medical Association Malaysia Response and Relief Team (Imaret), Mercy Malaysia and Malaysia Relief Agency (MRA).

For the CSR effort, various community-oriented programmes will be held such as the social media campaign called #LoveSlapDSH where participants will pledge donations to collect more than RM1 million for each beneficiary.


Musa: New township will narrow gap between rural and urban areas (Turning Ulu Dusun, Sandakan into new township) – CM

Posted on : 02-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

SANDAKAN: The establishment of the new Ulu Dusun new township, about 50km from here, will generate the local economy and contribute to development in the area, said Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.

Musa, who is also Finance Minister, said this was because the proposed new township would play an important role in attracting more tourists and visitors due to its location as a transit point for those travelling from Tawau, Semporna and Lahad Datu to Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu.

He said visitors from Kota Kinabalu, Ranau or Telupid intending to go to Tawau or Sandakan would also stop over for meals, rest and shopping before continuing their journey.

“The creation of this new township is in line with the government’s efforts to prosper the people in the surrounding areas through trade to improve the economic status of their families,” he said when officiating at the earth-breaking ceremony of the Ulu Dusun new township near here.

He said the state government would strive to develop other suitable areas and the responsibility was entrusted to the Housing and Urban Development Board (LPPB).

Musa was confident the new township would have a huge impact on the people and the government in terms of the presence of tourists in the area.