We are aware that earlier in 2018, Malaysia launched National Industry 4WRD Policy Framework, however, the focus is on the manufacturing sector as we know manufacturing is one the biggest contributor to Malaysia’s GDP. However, it sparked interest in other sectors and industries as well because as described in the World Economic Forum (WEF), that the emerging technologies will have a disruptive impact on jobs of the future.
Here’s my personal opinions on Malaysia 4IR Policy:
- World Agenda – When Henrik Von Scheel (also known as Father and Originator of Industry 4.0) masterminded Germany’s digital agenda in 2009 with a belief that the industry will be transform by the fusion of digital, virtual and physical world, also called the cyber-physical systems, and this triggered the emergence of new era of fourth industrial revolution. This has been emphasized again by World Economic Forum in 2016. The fusion of various technologies have transformed and disrupted many businesses. And Malaysia should not be left behind.
- Covid-19 the Master Enabler – It took many years for us to educate the importance of digital transformation, but Covid-19 made us realise how important it us to transform our business, education and almost everything using digital. Internet seems to be mandatary in almost every part of lives. And to move towards IR 4.0, we must have the fundamental of IR 3.0 in place i.e. digital and virtual (content in digital with good access to Internet). That’s the more reason Malaysia also launched Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital) in early 2021 to encourage the usage of digital technology to transform the economic sector.
- Humanizing Technology – Although 4IR can create new jobs, but it also create threats to the existing ones. Many people down the street are not aware how complex technologies of 4IR can help them in their daily lives. Thus, the aspiration of 4IR policy to ensure that it can provide quality of life by benefitting the society such as focus on happiness, healthy living, work-life balance, overcome social issues and sustainable living will help the adoption of 4IR technology to be easier and acceptable. Technology should not be seen as a threat but in fact should be seen to help them.
- Budget Justification – We hoped that the 4 policy thrusts, 16 strategies and 32 National initiatives can help the relevant agencies to justify for their 2022 budget. Without sufficient funding, it’s very difficult for us to maintain our momentum. We also want that the bureaucracy of 4IR fund approval need to be reduce to avoid unnecessary delays as what we have seen in the Industry 4WRD initiatives (Some SMEs complained that even a 4IR readiness assessment can take a year to complete. This does not include the 4IR intervention programmes).
- Producer-Nation Agenda – How do we increase our graduates salary if we are just being a Consumer-Nation? How do we sustain and grow our Startups if all the products and technologies are bought from overseas? How do we (i.e. the industries) share our technology or product map to Universities if we are not in control of our own product roadmap? One of the policy thrust – “Accelerate the 4IR technology innovation and adoption” is a “battle-cry” for many local Startups. Support them even if they are still small and have no reference sites to show or demonstrate. Support the innovators by being the early market adopters that are willing to take the risk to test out the new and untested local products. One day this small companies can grow and create more jobs for the country.
This can be my opinion and probably a wish list. Let’s see the actions that will be taken in the next 6-12 months. A Project Management Office (PMO) need to be setup to ensure transparency and KPIs are met.