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Thursday September 22, 2016
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Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak (pic) the digital economy would be the focus of the 2017 Budget, as announced by Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Budget Consultation Council Meeting held recently. ― File picDatuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak (pic) the digital economy would be the focus of the 2017 Budget, as announced by Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Budget Consultation Council Meeting held recently. ― File picKUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 ― The government targets the digital economy to contribute approximately 20 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2020, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

He said the digital economy would be the focus of the 2017 Budget, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Budget Consultation Council Meeting held recently. 

“The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia should be ready to play a significant role in accelerating digital economy for the development of the nation,” he said when opening the KL Converge! 2016 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here, today.

Also present were Communications and Multimedia Deputy Minister Datuk Jailani Johari, and Communications and Multimedia Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad.            

Salleh said the Information and Communications Technology (ICT), particularly broadband, cloud computing, Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) were already driving the digitisation of all industries.              

“This year's KL Converge! 2016 theme is “Touch The Future”, thus, parallel with the theme, it is high time we look into the immense possibilities that the future holds especially in revolutionising people-centric technology.

“ICT technologies, particularly broadband, cloud computing, Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are already driving the digitisation of all industries, thus, these technologies are promoting improvements in planning and construction, management and operations, livable environments and human touch in cities around the world,” he said.

However, he said one of the biggest concerns in addressing technologies for the future is security, the network is a double-edged sword providing much ease and yet posing a massive threat at the same time.

“As custodians of the networks, carriers must play a pivotal role in fighting the new threats that are emerging. Customers will begin to expect and demand more proactive protection from the entire internet value chain and carriers will be expected to support these expectations with a range of technical and operational innovations.

“The desire for greater security may be a boon for carriers, if they embrace the need. Parallel with the theme “Touch the Future”, the ministry is currently formulating a Communications and Multimedia Blueprint that encompasses both technical and social imperatives anchored on four strategic thrusts,” he said.        

The four strategic thrusts are connecting people, creating an informed society, driving digital economy and empowering creative industries, therefore it was the ministry's belief in achieving its aspirations and it must be done together and collectively, ensuring that nobody was left behind, Salleh said.

On the Internet, the ministry had given priority on improving Internet access via the high-speed broadband projects - the High-Speed Broadband 2 and the Suburban Broadband. As for now, the broadband speed had increased with the availabilty of 1.9 million ports under the High-Speed Broadband benefitting a total of 3.1 million premises, he said.

“The internet access has improved Malaysia's ranking from ninth position in 2014 to eighth last year (2015) in the ICT Development Index for the Asia-Pacific region, which reflects Malaysia's achievement in terms of access or coverage, usage and skills in ICT.

“Malaysia also recorded an impressive growth in broadband penetration rate with over 30 million broadband subscriptions recorded in 2015, an increase of 50 percent from 20 million recorded in 2014,” he said.

If Malaysia aspired to be a country that developed a competitive industry for smart city solutions, the country must be a pioneer or early adopter of various types of solutions such as improving the lives of citizens and providing a platform in which companies could foster the development of innovative solutions, he said. 

Salleh said he hoped the KL Converge! 2016 which is held for three days could visualise technology not only in its traditional forms but to seek further frontiers on which participants could expand its potentials into creating new markets. ― Bernama

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