The National Fourth Industrial Revolution Policy (National 4IR Policy) launched today is set to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation driven by the most advanced 4IR technology and digitalisation.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said through the policy, the Malaysia Well-being Index (MyWI) is targeted to increase to 136.5 in 2030 compared with 124.4 recorded in 2018.
He said Malaysia has also targeted to position itself among the top 20 ranking in the Global Innovation Index in 2030 as well as achieve a 30% increase in productivity encompassing all sectors, from the level achieved in 2020.
“Through the National 4IR Policy, the people, businesses and government are able to capitalise on the growth opportunities and address the prevailing risks from 4IR,” he said in his speech during the virtual launch of the National 4IR Policy, together with Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said the emergence of new technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things have changed the way the world operates.
“The 4IR technology has also helped to fight the COVID – 19 pandemic globally,” he said.
According to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), the National 4IR Policy represents a comprehensive policy to propel the integrated efforts in transforming the socio-economic development through the use of advanced 4IR technology.
Mustapa said the policy comprised four core thrusts, targeting three main groups, namely people, businesses and government.
The four thrusts, he said, comprised preparing the people with knowledge and skillsets related to 4IR, shape the country with connectivity through digital infrastructure development, provide appropriate and flexible rules in line with technology change, and expedite innovation and adaptation of 4IR technology.
These thrusts would become the guidelines for the ministries and agencies in drafting programmes related to 4IR and would be implemented and guided by 16 strategies, 32 national initiatives, and 60 sectoral initiatives that have been identified, he said.
“To reduce the potential social risks from 4IR, elements of trust, inclusivity, cyber security, ethics, and value will be incorporated in all initiatives,” he added.
The policy will also be formulated based on humanity so that technology would be beneficial without “sacrificing” human, social and culture values in tandem with the objective of the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 to improve the wellbeing of the people and achieve economic growth that is inclusive, balanced and sustainable.
Meanwhile, Khairy said compared with the previous revolution, 4IR is not only about machine, technology and system, but covers a combination of physical, digital and biology which opens up opportunities for the government, businesses and people to benefit from technological advancement to ensure the country remains competitive.
Towards this end, he said the government has identified five core technologies to develop local capabilities, namely AI, Internet of Things, blockchain and distributed ledger technology, advanced materials supported by cloud computing, and Big Data Analytics.
In efforts to ensure the technology development functions as an enabler for the transformation of 4IR, Khairy said the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is in the process of developing the roadmap for electrical and electronics, vaccine, blockchain, hydrogen economy, nano technology, AI, robotics, advanced materials as well as research and development, commercialisation, innovation, and economy.
To increase the usage of 4IR technology, he has proposed a future by design approach such as venture builder to be applied within an ecosystem development that is conducive and inclusive including supply and value chain to enable industries to create high-value products to meet the needs of local and global markets.
He said even though Malaysia is not the most advanced country in the adoption of technology, the country is also not the most backward.
For the record, since 1999, Malaysia has led the research on Nipah 9 Virus biomolecular genetics which became the world reference, becomes the world leader in semiconductor chip manufacturing and is now in third place in world ranking as a hub for solar power and green technology.