When rewinding some of Digital Malaysia's 2017 milestones, one of the apparent shifts is that Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, or MDEC, is now increasingly tasked to put together implementation paths - often using a public-private collaboration approach - to join the strategic dots.
The umbrella term for Malaysia's aspirations towards becoming a digital economy - Digital Malaysia - embraces a complex array of initiatives at first glance. MDEC's major role for this drive is to "support of one or more of four important strategic pillars: driving investments; building local tech champions; catalysing digital innovation ecosystems; and digital inclusivity."
To compress the Digital Malaysia story for 2017 into an 'at a glance' retrospective, we turned to MDEC chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood to point out some of the essential milestones this year.
So how did 2017 turn out for Digital Malaysia? "It's been an awesome year, all-in-all," Yasmin said. "The year started by being declared as the Year of Internet Economy by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak."
"Despite a challenging operating environment, we have continued to see high investment growth from MSC Malaysia status companies," she added.
Earlier in October 2017, the prime minister followed up the 29th Malaysia Implementation Council meeting (ICM) with a set of initiatives to further boost nationwide digital transformation, said Yasmin.
At the time, the prime minister commented: "I really believe that digital economy can become the engine of growth for Malaysia. Although what we are experiencing today is amazing, I want to further challenge MDEC and all involved in driving the digital economy of the country and get it to supercharge our country's economy. In fact, I want it to be one of the sectors that will power our growth."
"Last year , MSC Malaysia reported a RM16.3 billion in new investments and recorded RM19.1 billion in export sales," said Najib. "Today, I am proud to share that we have accomplished our goal of achieving 18.2 percent contribution to GDP in 2016. This is not a small feat, and we can be very proud of it. In fact, this is a motivation for Malaysians to continue to participate in the Digital Economy and set an even higher benchmark for ourselves."
Pointing the way ahead, Najib said: "I am confident if we continue our efforts, Malaysia's Digital Economy will account for 20 percent of GDP by 2020. With a sustained push by all stakeholders, we will be on track to grow the Digital Economy contribution to reach the targeted value of RM324.9 billion by 2020, as set out in the 11th Malaysia Plan."