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 of the most significant contributors to Malaysia’s GDP. However, it sparked interest in other sectors and industries because, as described in the World Economic Forum (WEF), emerging technologies will negatively impact future jobs.
The 5 top opinions on Malaysia 4IR Policy:
- World Agenda – Henrik Von Scheel (also known as Father and Originator of Industry 4.0) masterminded Germany’s digital plan in 2009 to believe that the industry will transform by the fusion of digital, virtual and physical world called the cyber-physical systems. It triggered the emergence of a new era of the fourth industrial revolution. It was emphasized again by World Economic Forum in 2016. The fusion of various technologies has 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 on the importance of digital transformation, but Covid-19 made us realize how important to transform our business, education, and almost everything using digital. The Internet seems to be mandatory in virtually every part of life. 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 the 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, it also threatens existing ones. Many people down the street are not aware of how complex technologies of 4IR can help them in their daily lives. The 4IR policy aims to ensure that it can provide quality of life by benefitting society by focusing on happiness, healthy living, work-life balance, overcoming social issues, and sustainable living. It will help the adoption of 4IR technology to be easily acceptable. Technology should not be seen as a threat but to help them.
- Budget Justification – We hoped that the four policy thrusts, 16 strategies, and 32 National initiatives can help the relevant agencies justify their 2022 budget. Without sufficient funding, it’s challenging for us to maintain our momentum. We also want to reduce the bureaucracy of 4IR fund approval to avoid unnecessary delays, as we have seen in the Industry 4WRD initiatives. (Note: Some SMEs complained that even a 4IR readiness assessment could take a year to complete does not include the 4IR intervention programs).
- Producer-Nation Agenda – How do we increase our graduate salaries if we are just a Consumer-Nation? How do we sustain and grow our Startups if we buy all the products and technologies directly from overseas? How do we (i.e., the industries) share our technology or product map to Universities if we do not control our product roadmap? One 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 willing to take the risk to test out the new and untested local products. One day these small companies can grow and create more jobs for the country.
The above are my personal opinions and probably a wish list. Let’s see the actions taken in the next 6-12 months. We need to set up a Project Management Office (PMO) to ensure transparency and monitoring of the KPIs.
What are you thoughts about Malaysia National 4IR Policy? What are your opinions to make it a successful Policy? Kindly leave your comments below.