Malaysia to establish National Digital Inclusion Council
The Malaysian government will establish a National Digital Inclusion Council, with the aim of creating more equal income opportunities in the country’s digital economy. The creation of the Council fits with the government’s stated aim and vision of ‘Shared Prosperity’, using digital technologies for the social and economic development of all Malaysians.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Mahathir on 16 October. “There is definitely merit in attracting and adopting emerging technologies, developing tech talent and facilitating digital inclusion to ensure shared prosperity,” he said.
According to OpenGov Asia, Malaysia’s digital economy contributed 18.5% to the country’s GDP in 2018 (comprising gross value added of the ICT industry and e-commerce for non-ICT industries). Malaysia has made significant budget allocations to continue growing the digital economy in 2020, including through enhanced digital infrastructure, support to SMEs, and investment in the digital skills development of the country’s workforce.
The National Digital Inclusion Council will be headed by the Prime Minister and will have a strong emphasis on inter-ministerial collaboration, including representatives from several ministries, including: economic affairs; finance; communications and multimedia; women, family and community development; rural development; housing and local government; agriculture; tourism; arts and culture; transport; entrepreneur development; youth and sports; human resources and federal territories.