Archive for the ‘Industry Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0)’ Category

Mohd Zuki: Digitalisation makes for fast and easy govt services

Sunday, July 12th, 2020
  Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali says    the government is considering continued implementation of the  work-from-home model  in the public sector under the new normal.Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali says the government is considering continued implementation of the work-from-home model in the public sector under the new normal.

Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali speaks about digitalising the delivery of government services, one of the key initiatives under the Penjana economic recovery plan, and how it will accelerate performance and reshape the civil service

QUESTION: Will the government introduce new key performance indicators (KPIs) in the public sector in line with the move to digitalise the delivery of services under the Penjana economic recovery plan?

Answer: The government’s target to reach 40 per cent in end-to-end online services has enabled us to review the existing KPIs.

This will accelerate and facilitate services provided by all government agencies to the people under the new normal in the post-Covid-19 pandemic period.

When the Movement Control Order (MCO) came into force, many business activities could not proceed due to the temporary closure of government offices. For example, bank loans could not be finalised since the Stamp Duty Office was closed.

The initiatives under Penjana will encourage the creation of more facilities, which will enable the people as well as the business community to engage or obtain services from the government online.

Q: Can the government achieve its target of 40 per cent online services at federal, state and local authority agencies by the end of this year?

A: The Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu) is the leading government agency tasked with monitoring the implementation of the exercise to digitalise the delivery of services in the public sector. A task force has been formed to enable Mampu to work closely with officials at the ministerial level to monitor the digitalisation exercise.

Q: Has the government set up any other task forces or committees to oversee the implementation of this (digitalisation) exercise?

A: The Unit for the Implementation and Coordination of National Agencies on the Economic Stimulus Package (Laksana), formed by the Finance Ministry, will monitor the implementation of the initiatives rolled out by the government under all four economic stimulus packages.

Civil servants working at the Home Ministry in Putrajaya on May 4.  Government workers who  are affected by the reduction or closure of   counters at public agencies can embark on reskilling. FILE PIX    Civil servants working at the Home Ministry in Putrajaya on May 4. Government workers who are affected by the reduction or closure of counters at public agencies can embark on reskilling. FILE PIX

Q: How are these packages and ther initiatives going to be rolled out?

A: These initiatives will be implemented according to the Information and Communications Technology Strategic Planning for Public Sector Agencies which is aligned with the Public Sector ICT Strategic Plan.

Since 2015, Mampu has been conducting the Open Data Hackathon and Mobile App Hackathon programmes annually to stimulate the development of creative, quality and innovative applications or data products, which will have impacts on the delivery of services to the people.

The programmes, conducted on a small scale, have enabled the government to gauge ideas and create collaborative opportunities as well as foster a culture of innovation in all segments of the community, including university and school students, civil servants and industry players.

Among the outcomes of these simple yet effective programmes is the integration of the Rotation Management System with the appointment system at government health clinics or online interviews that were conducted during the Recovery MCO period.

Above all, we are committed to improving the quality of the government delivery service.

Q: The digitalisation of the delivery of government services will reduce physical transactions. How will such a digitalisation exercise reshape the public sector?

A: This exercise will enable the people to access efficient, seamless and fast services and reduce the need to visit counters at government agencies.

The reduction or closure of counters at government agencies can be carried out since the services are rendered online to the people.

Civil servants impacted by the reduction or closure of the counters can embark on reskilling and redeployment as needed.

The digitalisation exercise will also enable the government to identify what can be upgraded to end-to-end online
services.

Q: Will the government maintain the work-from-home practice introduced to the public sector during the initial phases of the MCO, now that the outbreak is under control?

A: The government is considering continued implementation of the work-from-home setting in the public sector under the new normal.

This, however, requires a more detailed study to ensure it fulfils its intended purpose.

We have identified two main objectives, to mitigate the risk of the spread of the virus and to manage the performance of civil servants by creating a balance between job requirement and personal obligation as well as increasing work satisfaction and productivity.

Among the aspects which need to be clearly outlined through a more detailed study are digital technology support, data privacy and security, suitability in the implementation of certain service schemes as well as the legal implication.

It has been proven during the MCO period that the public sector could still operate effectively even though in the work-from-home mode and flexible work-from-home settings.

The impact on the productivity of civil servants was minimal and the public sector was able to support the reopening of other economic sectors and business activities.

Almost all economic sectors can operate if the public sector carries out its work responsibly no matter what the work setting.

An Immigration officer helping a man with his passport-renewal application in Putrajaya on May 6.  Digitalisation of government delivery services will     reduce the need for people to visit counters at government agencies.   An Immigration officer helping a man with his passport-renewal application in Putrajaya on May 6. Digitalisation of government delivery services will reduce the need for people to visit counters at government agencies.

Q: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin wants red tape in the public service to be minimised to assist in post-Covid-19 recovery plans. How is this going to be done?

A: Malaysia is adopting the 6R strategy, namely Resolve, Resilience, Restart, Recovery, Revitalise and Reform in handling the Covid-19 crisis. The rolling out and implementation of Penjana marked our entry into the fourth ‘R’ which is the recovery phase.

The presentation of the 2021 Budget will mark the country’s entry into the fifth phase of our strategy which is Revitalise.

The 12th Malaysia Plan is the last and final step of the six strategies. Our main focus in the implementation of each strategy is to drive economic growth by enabling the economic sector to resume and expand their businesses.

Each initiative designed and introduced under all four economic stimulus packages has been planned to provide access to several facilities so that all the assistance can be felt by the people and the business community.

The moratorium on loans (repayment) was given automatically to all without requiring any individual or company to apply for the facility.

The distribution of other assistance such as Bantuan Prihatin Nasional did not require anyone to reapply for assistance.

Even new applications for the assistance can be made with the minimum requirement of enclosing certain documents online.

Having said that, the government will continue to ensure and enhance the public sector delivery service and the ‘ease of doing business’.

I have also chaired meetings which were attended by the secretaries-general of the ministries involved to monitor the implementation of the economic stimulus packages to ensure all actions are being carried out without any delay.

By Adib povera and Mohd Iskandar Ibrahim.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/07/607816/mohd-zuki-digitalisation-makes-fast-and-easy-govt-services

MARii and UKM to accelerate NxGVs, MaaS and IR 4.0 technologies

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020
MARii chief executive officer Datuk Madani Sahari said one of the projects include the development and commercialisation of electric vehicle (EV) batteries which will be supported by various R&D collaborations by both parties. NSTP/AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR.MARii chief executive officer Datuk Madani Sahari said one of the projects include the development and commercialisation of electric vehicle (EV) batteries which will be supported by various R&D collaborations by both parties. NSTP/AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) will develop the Next Generation Vehicles (NxGVs), Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), and Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0) through the utilisation of research facilities and local talents provided by both entities.

The development of three new elements, as outlined in the National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP 2020), would also allow re-manufacturing, recycling, and smart manufacturing technologies through various research and design (R&D) projects and commercialisation efforts.

MARii chairman Datuk Phang Ah Tong said the academia provides an important dimension in developing novel solutions to industry needs in the rapidly growing technology sector.

“This memorandum of understanding (MoU) signifies our continued collaboration with the nation’s research pool towards accelerating technology adoption within all economic levels and ranks”, he said.

MARii chief executive officer Datuk Madani Sahari said one of the projects include the development and commercialisation of electric vehicle (EV) batteries which will be supported by various R&D collaborations by both parties.

This focuses on battery performance, battery replication, and the development of a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery production line, among others.

“The MoU between MARii and UKM completes the strategic network of expertise required to implement projects related to the research and development of basic materials for lithium ion battery manufacturing, cybersecurity and digitalisation in the mobility sector,” he said.

Madani also said a hydrogen energy efficient vehicle (HEEV) project will be carried out to develop an energy efficient alternative fuel source through the utilisation of hydrogen fuel technology, which aimed at improving vehicle emissions.

Mohd Hamdi said the MoU commits UKM to work together more closely towards its common goal, to enhance technology capabilities.

“Each side will pursue many significant activities, such as knowledge exchange and research collaboration of all fields from any faculties, research institutes, and departments in UKM,” he said.

MARii said a framework for testing and verification of re-manufactured engines will also be formulated to allow for the production of higher quality re-manufactured parts and components.

Future developments also include a focus on cybersecurity, using Industry 4.0 technologies to deploy layered-security systems – a cyber-defense method which utilises various security techniques to protect key data and resources.

Signing on behalf of MARii was Madani and UKM vice chancellor Professor Datuk Ir. Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor in a ceremony held at the MARii Auditorium in Cyberjaya.

The ceremony was also attended by UKM chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar and UKM deputy vice chancellor of research and innovation Professor Datuk Ir. Dr. Abdul Wahab Mohammad.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/business/2020/07/605400/marii-and-ukm-accelerate-nxgvs-maas-and-ir-40-technologies

Digi unveils Next prepaid plan with 30-day validity from RM15

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

The RM15 plan comes with 3GB data, and unlimited access to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. — KHOR SOW YEE/The Star

Digi has introduced Next, a new prepaid plan with an introductory offer that will up the data by 50%, priced from RM15, that’s valid for 30 days.

Users will get 3GB (normal: 2GB) data with the RM15 plan and 6GB (normal: 4GB) for the RM28 plan. Both come with unlimited access to social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but only the RM28 plan also offers unlimited access to YouTube.

According to a Digi spokesperson, the company currently doesn’t have an end date for the introductory offer so users will continue to enjoy the extra data until further notice.

There is another RM28 plan with 4GB data which comes with an additional 1GB every day that can be used from 1pm to 7pm, along with unlimited calls to all networks.

This plan is also valid for 30 days.

“This all-in-one pack gives our customers a lot more value and flexibility in the form of affordable high-speed Internet plans that control line validity with a single reload,” said Dig chief marketing officer, Loh Keh Jiat.

All three plans also offer 1GB data for “basic Internet” access every month, 20 minutes of IDD (international direct dialling) calls as a welcome bonus, and up to 2GB data for successful on-time renewals every month.

In addition, users can purchase passes such as 1GB for RM1, Morning Pass with 5G data (valid from 7am to 1pm) for RM2 and one-day Bonus Pass with 2GB data + 1GB data that’s valid from 1pm to 7pm for RM3.

According to an FAQ on the website, all existing Digi prepaid customers can switch to the Next plan by dialling *128#.

By Angelin Yeoh

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/tech/tech-news/2020/06/22/digi-unveils-next-prepaid-plan-with-30-day-validity-from-rm15

Creating optimal learning environment for the new digital world

Friday, June 19th, 2020

Fayza Mohamed Amin

THE society is rapidly adapting to the changing landscape of working and learning environments as we brace this unprecedented event.

Many parents are still working from home – schools have adopted online learning and teaching methods during this time of uncertainty.

Parents are suddenly finding themselves even more directly involved in their children’s education at home.

As a parent, I often contemplate on the best way to manage my children’s daily screen time.

I have frequent discussions with friends about how best to balance a physical and digital learning environment for our children.

HP New Asian Learning Experience (NALE) studied across seven-markets in Asia to provide insights and to help guide parents as they seek to find the optimal learning experience in the new digital world.

The study shows a whopping 92.7 per cent of Malaysian parents value experiential learning as an opportunity for children to hone their creative and critical thinking skills.

We found that while print and digital each have their own strengths, the combination of digital and print was most beneficial in helping children stay focused and engaged while they learn.

Young Malaysian parents perceive print as being a more effective medium for reading comprehension, comprehension skills and vocabulary knowledge while digital platforms facilitate creative thinking and critical thinking.

These parents also believe bonding with their children through learning activities as a great way to develop interpersonal skills (83 per cent).

The study also found that printed materials, such as worksheets, were the most effective format for learning and writing new words.

On the other hand, children who used both tablets and printed worksheets were more engaged. They spent up to 12 per cent longer on their tasks, were more likely to ask questions, and less likely to show signs of distraction or boredom.

Although technology is already second nature for most children, print is also a powerful medium for strengthening the bond between parent and child.

Learning from printed materials requires both parent and child to actively participate in a way that purely digital or video-based learning does not.

With printed materials, parents are also more involved with exercises and children are more responsive to their parents’ guidance.

In the current climate, it’s critical for parents to be involved in their children’s learning process.

We may think education should be left to the experts, but that would be a missed opportunity for us parents to equip our children with skills while strengthening the parent-child bond.

Our research findings indicate that learning together is a special time for parents to instill a love of learning in their children, expose them to new ideas and help them develop key social skills.

To support young learners, HP has created enriched hands-on learning experience to empower parents with a set of tools that bridge printed materials and digital applications to enable fluid, dynamic learning anywhere, anytime.

HP Print and Play has hours’ worth of fun activities created to provide children with the opportunity to explore learning through playtime.

Free for all, the activities are tailored to children’s interest from ages 2 to 12 years in various print activities to learn and stay focused.

Similarly, HP Little Makers integrates elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics into its challenges so parents can work on enhancing their children’s creativity, refining their motor skills as well as their logical thinking.

We’re living in a time where accelerated change is the only constant.

As a parent myself, I believe it’s important to be part of my children’s learning and give them skills they need to be ahead of the curve.

While all parents strive to find the right balance for their child’s education in the digital age, our study found a parent’s own values towards learning and the parent-child bonding experience were key to maximizing the potential of the next generation.

Let’s encourage our children to embrace change and ensure they are constantly curious and never stop learning, no matter what life throws at them in the future.

by Fayza Mohamed Amin.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/business/2020/06/601811/creating-optimal-learning-environment-new-digital-world

Shafie launches RM240mil Sabah New Deal to revive economy

Thursday, June 18th, 2020
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal launches the Sabah New Deal in Kota Kinabalu. - Pic source: Facebook/shafieapdalofficialSabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal launches the Sabah New Deal in Kota Kinabalu. – Pic source: Facebook/shafieapdalofficial

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will spearhead and intensify efforts to digitalise the state economy.

Its Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said broadband penetration in the state was still below 50 per cent.

“We have identified places that have very poor connection…those with potential for property development, agriculture, research centres such as the Danum Valley and Imbak Canyon conservation centres.

“Sabah is a vast area and there are a lot of places with resources.

“That is why we will be leading in terms of infrastructure development instead of waiting for telecommunication towers or private sectors to come in,” he said after launching the state Economic Recovery Package dubbed Sabah New Deal at the state administrative centre here.

Present were Deputy Sabah Chief Ministers Datuk Jaujan Sambakong, Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau and Datuk Christina Liew, as well as other cabinet ministers.

Mohd Shafie, who is also the state Finance Minister, announced the package worth RM240 million to digitalise the state economy, encourage the agro-food industry, assist small and medium enterprises, upskill human capital, and revive tourism, among others.

For digitalisation, RM35 million is allocated to speed up delivery of Sabah civil services and RM60 million to encourage private sectors to shift to digital business.

He also encouraged industrialists to venture into manufacturing personal protective equipment which the state is now mostly importing.

“Sabah has the resources and capability to produce these items and at the same time provide business and employment for the people.

“Apart from that, the state government will continue to complement efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 by disinfecting public buildings, provide thermometers, hand sanitisers and face masks.”

BOlivia Miwil.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/06/601538/shafie-launches-rm240mil-sabah-new-deal-revive-economy

Beware the dangers of gadget and Internet addiction

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020
This is the reality and a “new normal”. It has also intensified the  digitalisation of businesses and services. -Pic for illustrations purposes only This is the reality and a “new normal”. It has also intensified the digitalisation of businesses and services. -Pic for illustrations purposes only

COVID-19 has minimised face-to-face communication, be it in groups or among each other. This is the reality and a “new normal”. It has also intensified the digitalisation of businesses and services.

The digital platform has become increasingly significant in the teaching and learning process at school and education institutions, working from home and the selling and buying of necessities.

Since the pandemic started and even post-Covid-19, every individual lives seemingly with a gadget attached. This is the real virus that has spread and dominated our lives.

Apart from restaurants, the virus has spread into every corner of the world — in cities and villages, coffee shops, malls and even houses of worship.

Everyone is no longer talking with each other. Parents are now busy with WhatsApp, Facebook and the like while the young no longer crave their parents’ attention as they already have their own gadgets in hand.

Such a situation is a cause for concern. Covid-19 has led to an increasing use of gadgets and the Internet among children and teenagers who are already among the most frequent users.

They would rather stay in their rooms, indulging in various social applications including WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, WeChat, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, LINE and Instagram.

If they feel down, these are their companions.

If they are happy, the world would be the first to know about it. In short, it is their study, sleeping, eating and playing partner, even becoming something akin to a personal counsellor.

Parents should know that an addiction to smart gadgets is bad for their children.

This can also create other health issues. Studies have shown that a high dependency on gadgets can lead to eye infection, such as red or watery eyes, deteriorating eyesight or worse issues like depression, fatigue, speech impediments and psychological problems.

Other than that, unmonitored Internet addiction among children and teenagers leaves them vulnerable to cyber crimes and destroys the family institution.

Studies have also revealed stress symptoms due to technological advancement.

According to Teenagers’ Mental Health Report in Malaysia in the National Health and Morbidity Surveys (NHMS) 2017, teenagers experiencing stress had reached 9.6 per cent.

The conclusion of the report established that teenagers experiencing stress symptoms are schooling in the city (10.3 per cent), female teenagers (10.3 per cent), Form 1 students (11 per cent) and those whose parents had separated (14.9 per cent).

Around 28.8 per cent exhibited symptoms of stress, including feeling alienated and anti-social tendencies for the past 12 months.

Stress symptoms will also lead to other unhealthy activities, like smoking (3.7 per cent), consuming alcohol (17.4 per cent), using marijuana (26.8 per cent) and involvement in sexual activities (17.2 per cent).

Other than that, the study showed that 19.1 per cent of stress symptoms among teenagers are mostly felt among bullying victims.

The 2017 NHMS statistics is very worrying especially on the influence of gadgets.

If it is not addressed now, it will destroy the younger generation’s future.

At the same time, escaping from gadgets and technology is not the solution either.

This is because almost all teaching and learning activities post-Covid-19 would require the use of gadgets.

In reality, the use of and dependency on technology has to be in line with one’s own weakness and strengths, and comes with wisdom and knowledge. It can benefit through ongoing education.

Mental preparation and raised awareness must be present in every individual in facing the challenges of computing technology and automation.

Mental strength is crucial to one’s emotional well-being and further to achieve prosperity and quality in life as hoped.

Gadgets can make people lose their sense of humanity, courtesy and respect.

If we really love our children, please do not let them continue to be addicted to their own virtual world

By Dr Zafir Khan Mohamed Makhbul.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2020/06/601107/beware-dangers-gadget-and-internet-addiction

PM launches Laksana Digital Dashboard

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin listens to an explanation given by Laksana director Datuk Shahrul Nazri Abd Rahim after launching the digital dashboard in Putrajaya. Also present is  Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz. -NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAHPrime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin listens to an explanation given by Laksana director Datuk Shahrul Nazri Abd Rahim after launching the digital dashboard in Putrajaya. Also present is Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz. -NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has launched the Laksana Digital Dashboard to help the government monitor the implementation of Prihatin and Penjana.

The launch was held during his official work visit to Laksana Unit at the Finance Ministry today.

Also present were Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, Deputy Finance Minister II Mohd Shahar Abdullah, chief secretary to the government Datuk Seri Zuki Ali, Treasury secretary general Datuk Asri Hamidon and Laksana director Datuk Shahrul Nazri Abdul Rahim.

The digital dashboard has managed to compile data from 53 different ministries and government agencies which are involved with the implementation of the measures under Extra Economic Stimulus Package 2020 (PRE 2020), Prihatin and Penjana economic packages.

This centralised and live data collection is the result of the cooperation between ministries and agencies, in line with the government’s effort to encourage the adoption of e-services in preparation of the Industry Revolution 4.0, as well as shifting towards the new normal.

Besides that, Muhyiddin had a live video conference call with individuals who have benefited from the economic packages, including Michael Lo Vun Leong who owns and operates a logistics company in Tamparuli, Sabah.

Lo is one of the recipients of the Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) Micro/I Kredit Prihatin.

Under the allocated RM700 million BSN Micro/I Kredit Prihatin, financing are offered at zero per cent interest rate without collateral to all micro-entrepreneurs in various segments provided that they have been in business for at least six months, instead of one year previously.

The maximum financing amount was also increased from RM50,000 to RM75,000 for each entrepreneur with a loan/financing period of between one and 5.5 years.

Besides Lo, other Prihatin recipients who had a live chat with the prime minister included YouTube cooking couple S. Pavithra, 28, dan M. Sugu, 29, and Rosnizam Ishak from Penang, who was forced to close down his restaurant in the beginning of MCO as it is no longer making money.

By Farah Adilla.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/government-public-policy/2020/06/600995/pm-launches-laksana-digital-dashboard

Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi is new MCMC chairman

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020
File Photo: Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek has been appointed as the new Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman. - NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAHFile Photo: Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek has been appointed as the new Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman. – NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH

KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek has been appointed as the new Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman.

Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi, who was Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of Perdana University, will begin his two-year term from tomorrow (June 10).

The appointment was announced by Communication and Multimedia (KKMM) Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah in a statement today.

He said Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi was appointed based on his extensive 20-year experience in the telecommunications industry.

“He was also a former MCMC commissioner. He will replace the current chairman, Al-Ishsal Ishak, who has been in service since October 2018,” he said.

Saifuddin also announced the appointment of telco industry veteran Tan Sri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa as the ministry’s telecommunications advisor.

Zamzamzairani, who was chairman of UEM Sunrise Bhd, was also the former Chief Executive Officer and director of Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), with more than 30 years experience in the sector.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin said MCMC will introduce new, improved principles to fit the new normal amid the Covid-19 pandemic and at the same time, plan and execute long-term programmes in a sustainable manner.

He said the improved principles will cover three main aspects which are infrastructure, preparations for 5G telecommunication reception as well as governance and institutions.

“We will accelerate efforts to increase wider and high-quality broadband infrastructure in urban, sub-urban and rural areas.

“As part of efforts to prepare the nation for 5G, the spectrum distribution strategy will be improved to ensure optimum usage The industry structure will also be reviewed to ensure industry sustainability and balance it with long-term needs of consumers,” he said.

Saifuddin said to improve administrative performance and the institution’s transparency, the minister’s powers will be reviewed to create a check and balance system.

MCMC, he said, will also review its scope of duties and responsibilities to enable focus to be given to its core business. This, he added, includes improving its organisational structure and fine-tuning specific areas such as legal, audit and human resources.

“I am confident that with Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi’s appointment as the new chairman and these improvement efforts, we will further strengthen the role and performance of MCMC for the benefit of the people and the nation.”

By Farah Solhi.

REad more @ https://www.nst.com.my/business/2020/06/599278/dr-fadhlullah-suhaimi-new-mcmc-chairman

Pay attention to technology, innovation, entrepreneurship for long-term growth

Monday, June 8th, 2020
The US economic transformation on the back of technology has made manufacturing and services the greater source of employment. -Pic for illustrations purposes onlyThe US economic transformation on the back of technology has made manufacturing and services the greater source of employment. -Pic for illustrations purposes only

WARREN Bennis, a management guru, once remarked that the factory of the future will have only two employees: a man and a dog! The job of the man is to feed the dog, and the job of the dog is to bite the man should he touch the console that remotely controls the factory. This scenario is true today in smart factories — minus the dog, of course!

The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that nearly half of the jobs may be automated in the future. By 2030, 800-million jobs will be lost to machines. Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, puts it frankly: “There is no economic law that states that everyone will benefit from an industrial revolution. It is possible for a majority to be left behind.”

True, job disruptions have been rampant across all the industrial revolutions. James Watt, a Scottish inventor, triggered the first with his invention of the steam engine in 1776. It led to the Luddites — English factory workers — destroying machinery which they considered was destroying their jobs.

Subsequent revolutions also transformed commerce and industry, albeit with severe dislocation to employment. But the fear that they would cause a permanent decline in employment has not materialised.

For example, during the first industrial revolution, despite the Luddite vandalism, the average income in the UK rose by 40 per cent from 1823 to 1873, while its employment ratio spiked from 43 to 47 per cent.

The demystification of the apparent paradox that technology destroys jobs, yet creates many more, has three primary implications for our economy.

First, as Robert Solow, a Nobel-Prize winner in economics, postulated, technological progress catalyses economic expansion. Similarly, Joseph Schumpeter, an Austrian economist, viewed that the ‘creative destruction’ of companies is the basis of economic growth. Industrial mutations induce productivity growth which increases incomes. These then boost the demand for goods and services and new industries, and create new employment for the displaced workers.

The US economic transformation on the back of technology has made manufacturing and services the greater source of employment. In the 1850s, agriculture employed half the US workforce. Today, it employs only one per cent.

Second, entrepreneurship is vital for technological progress. Schumpeter considered innovation “a feat not of intellect but of will”. It requires an entrepreneur who is persistently seeking supe-rior returns in the marketplace. The remarkable achievements of Ren Zhengfei and of Steve Jobs are the embodiment of the entrepreneurship that Schumpeter envisaged. Ren, for example, grew Huawei from an importer of telecoms equipment in 1987 to the world’s largest telecoms-equipment manufacturer today.

It behoves therefore the government to accelerate entrepreneurship in the economy. Start-ups should be inspired through cheaper financing and institutional support.

Innovation requires research and development (R&D) in products and technology. Advanced countries have succeeded in innovation on the largesse of government support of R&D of around 4.0 per cent of GDP. We need to upgrade our innovation capacity by at least doubling our current spending to 2.0 per cent.

Third, to respond to the tectonic shifts in employment, we need to upskill our workforce so that it can move away from 3D (dirty, dangerous and dull) to 2D (digital-driven) jobs and to become relevant in the 5G era. The WEF identifies the soft skills of critical thinking, creativity, people skills and emotional intelligence as equally vital in the digital era.

We hope that long-term growth on the back of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as the cultivation of IT and soft skills will be adequately addressed by the government.

By Datuk Dr John Antony Xavier.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2020/06/598786/pay-attention-technology-innovation-entrepreneurship-long-term

Employ big data to cater to tourists’ needs, wants

Sunday, June 7th, 2020
Over the last few years, they arrived in droves, with Malaysia’s shopping districts turned into Middle Eastern townships. - NSTP/File picOver the last few years, they arrived in droves, with Malaysia’s shopping districts turned into Middle Eastern townships. – NSTP/File pic

IF NOT for the Covid-19 pandemic, we would see Middle Eastern tourists with handfuls of shopping bags strolling along the streets in Bukit Bintang this time of the year.

Over the last few years, they arrived in droves, with Malaysia’s shopping districts turned into Middle Eastern townships.

Several tour operators which specialise in driving Middle Eastern tourists in luxury multi-purpose vehicles once told me that they enjoy ferrying the wealthy Arabs because of the generous tips that they received at the end of the holiday trip.

Saudi Arabia was Malaysia’s largest source of tourists in the West Asian region last year, with arrivals growing by 11 per cent to 115,000 between January and November; while tourists from the United Arab Emirates increased 22 per cent to about 10,000.

According to the tour operators who could speak and write Arabic, although these Middle Eastern tourists could be picky and patronising, they would not hesitate spending their money, hence generating revenue for the economy.

One of the tour operators said most Middle Eastern tourists value four S’s when they visit Malaysia. The first S is that Arabs, both men and women, love going on shopping sprees. The other S’s are seafood, spa and sightseeing.

“Once they told me they wanted to taste seafood at Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang, but when I said it might not be halal, they told me seafood in Malaysia has always been halal. They told me that’s what they read on the internet – about how halal the Malaysian food is because this is a Muslim country,” the tour operator said.

What kind of information are tourists getting from Tourism Malaysia or from independent tourism blogs on a diverse country like Malaysia?

I wonder if Tourism Malaysia has gone through the minute details of tourists’ wants and needs – whether they are free independent travelers or group inclusive tours. If they had read Tourism Malaysia’s website, I’m sure these tourists would obtain precise information tailored to their needs and wants based on their behaviors and trends.

While I believe Tourism Malaysia is intensifying the use of social media platforms as part of its integrated marketing campaign, I think it would be even better if the authority starts thinking about using Big Data analytics in its tourism promotions.

Although this requires quite a big sum of investment, Big Data will come in handy for Tourism Malaysia to computationally understand, learn and analyse large data sets that can reveal patterns, trends, and associations especially relating to the tourists’ needs and wants.

It will help the authority understand and predict the sorts of niches and generic services needed by tourists when they travel to the country’s places of interests. Tourism Malaysia will understand tourists’ behaviour better and come up with attractive tourist packages.

There’s a pressing need for stakeholders and partners in the tourism industry to work towards the recovery of the industry. One sure way is to latch on to Big Data that will provide data-based knowledge and experience for them to kick start the industry. I believe tour operators with the right technology are likely to overcome the problems besieging them in the current new normal even quicker.

In addition to this, airlines, hotels, transport companies and other operators can join forces in offering joint travel packages based on Big Data analytics. This will reduce the costs for businesses and visitors, apart from making the country’s tourism industry more competitive.

Only through Big Data can Tourism Malaysia reduce its expenditures in building up marketing strategies, unlike the conventional marketing it has been doing over the years.

By Rohiman Haroon.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2020/06/598672/employ-big-data-cater-tourists-needs-wants