Three global digital giants are among the companies which will be investing between RM12 billion and RM15 billion over the next five years in huge data centres and cloud services in Malaysia, the government announced today in launching a new blueprint for the Malaysian digital economy.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said apart from Telekom Malaysia, the government has given conditional approval to Microsoft, Google and Amazon to build and manage hyper-scale data centres and cloud services.
“These hyper-scale data centres as well as hybrid cloud services will be created to increase data storage space, thus reducing operating costs and improving analytical efficiency,” he said in a speech delivered online to launch the MyDigital initiative, which includes the Malaysian Economic Digital Blueprint, an extensive roadmap for Malaysia’s next phase in digital transformation.
The plan involves improving digital literacy, creating high-income jobs, helping the banking and finance sector as well as providing virtual educational and medical access to remote towns.
Muhyiddin today also announced a host of other initiatives involving billions of ringgit, including RM21 billion over the next five years to strengthen nationwide fibre optic connectivity under the National Digital Network (Jendela) project, which aims to cover all of the country’s populated areas to nine million premises by the end of 2025.
A total of RM1.65 billion will be invested by the private sector to strengthen connectivity to the international submarine cable network, allowing for faster and more stable data transfer and lower internet costs to local users.
Another RM15 billion will be invested in the next 10 years for the implementation of the 5G network nationwide.
Muhyiddin assured telecommunication companies of fair play in the award of 5G licences, saying they “will have equal access to these infrastructure, in marketing their 5G services to their customers”.
“So, by the end of this year, 5G technology will start to be enjoyed by the rakyat in stages. With this, Malaysia will emerge as one of the first countries in this region to build a 5G ecosystem using internet and cloud services in real-time to enable instant sharing of information.”
He described the 5G technology as a “game changer”.
“This 5G technology not only promises better and faster internet access, but more importantly, it also enables various important applications to be in the hands of end users, including health monitoring applications for chronic patients, smart emergency assistance, and special applications for senior citizens who are living alone.”