February 25, 2024

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Siti Sapura binti Raffee on Accelerating Malaysia’s Digital Economy – Part I

8th Annual Malaysia OpenGov Leadership Forum 2023: Insights from the Opening Address

This is a three part series. Read Part II and Part III here.

OpenGov Asia held its 8th Annual Malaysia OpenGov Leadership Forum 2023 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside on 23 June 2023. The event was designed to provide efficient policies, regulations, and frameworks for information and data governance to enhance the quality, accuracy and accessibility of decision-making processes within Malaysia’s public sectors.

Siti Sapura binti Raffee, the Principal ICT Consultant (Strategist) at the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation And Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) delivered the opening address. In her speech, she provided a public sector perspective on accelerating digital economy, noting that public service delivery plays a crucial role in shaping a robust digital economy ecosystem in Malaysia.

The address focused on the current landscape of Malaysia’s digital government, examining the present state and future direction of digitalisation to accelerate the development of a stronger digital economy ecosystem in Malaysia. The aim was to address current challenges, propose a way forward, and identify key takeaways.

The Context

Quoting Ruma Balasubramaniam, the Managing Director of Google Cloud Southeast Asia (SEA), it was noted that the full use of digital transformation has the potential to generate an annual economic value of up to US$61.3 billion in Malaysia by 2030, approximately 17% of the local GDP in 2020.

Being located within a dynamic SEA ecosystem, Malaysia stands to benefit greatly from establishing a sustainable digital ecosystem, Puan Siti notes. Such an ecosystem will undoubtedly expedite the growth of the country’s digital economy.

The government has identified four essential components crucial for facilitating digital transformation and acceleration. These four key elements include digital connectivity, digital infrastructure, digital services, and digital talent.

The Malaysian government has demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting digital transformation in the public sector by launching a policy and blueprint on digitalisation. On 19 January 2023, Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim introduced the Malaysia Madani concept, which focuses on three strategic enablers: citizen services digitalisation, empowerment of local talent, and strategic project management empowerment. This concept aims to drive the digital transformation of the public sector and ensure long-lasting progress in Malaysia.

This highlights the importance of a digital government in playing a crucial role, Puan Siti said, in achieving its primary agenda of building a sustainable, prosperous, creative, and respectful Malaysia, where mutual respect and courtesy are practiced. By embracing digital technologies and practices, the government can effectively drive positive change and realise its vision for the nation.

To effectively address the digital government landscape, adopting an integrated strategy that encompasses the entire Malaysian public sector ecosystem is imperative. The Malaysia public services ecosystem comprises citizens, businesses, private sectors, and various entities within the public sector, including ministries, central agencies, and state governments. A comprehensive approach that involves all these stakeholders is crucial for successful implementation and advancement of digital government initiatives.

The level of service delivery relationships within the government services ecosystem can be broadly categorised into four target groups, namely:

  1. government to citizen (G2C)
  2. government to business (G2B)
  3. government to government (G2G)
  4. government to employee (G2E)

Additionally, there are two target groups involving private services: business to citizen (B2C) and business to business (B2B). These categories encompass the various interactions and exchanges of services between the government, citizens, businesses, and employees, highlighting the complexity and diversity of relationships within the ecosystem.

This is a three part series. Read Part II and Part III here.


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