Malaysia Global Business Forum


The Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF) recently held a high-level roundtable themed ‘Designing the Future of the Digital Economy’, which was attended by industry leaders and business associations.

The guest of honour was The Honourable Syerleena Abdul Rashid who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Bukit Bendera political constituency in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

The MP’s Special Session with The Honourable Syerleena focused on understanding the intersection of the digital economy and the creative industry, and the way forward.

Many consumers experience the digital economy through the efforts of creative content producers; as such, the interdependence of the digital economy and creative industries is a potential engine for economic growth and job creation in Malaysia.

Held at the Common Ground Damansara Heights in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, MGBF identified several critical considerations for Malaysia in ASEAN’s digital economy:

  1. The need for a “Resilient Digital Infrastructure” which, in the near future, should include an integrated rollout of 5G communications that empower communication within industry supply chains. While enhanced by 5G, this new ecosystem must be able to withstand the vast majority of cyber-attacks.
  2. The clear integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into daily work and models of productivity. This needs to include a rationalisation of which AI is used by the corporate sector and governments alike. Training and upskilling will ensure that humans will always remain relevant.
  3. The need for greater amount of digital content production domestically to take advantage of an empowered ecosystem. This content needs to include entertainment, news and enhanced learning, which should include augmented reality.

Nordin Abdullah, the Founding Chairman of the Malaysia Global Business Forum, said, “As the digital economy evolves, the concept of sovereign risk, which was once limited to geographical and political concerns faced in a given jurisdiction, has become something that needs managing on the individual, corporate and government levels. Business leaders need to actively manage the cyberspace in which their supply chains operate. An inability to manage these threats and communicate to customers that they are managed, will lead to a loss of market share.”

MGBF Co-Chairman, Rizal Kamaruzzaman, said, “Malaysia has the opportunity to make a paradigm shift into the global digital economy, bringing with it high-paying jobs and business opportunities that will reinvigorate the Malaysian economy. Data-driven decisions that address the challenges of the community will be the innovations that attract the most capital and the requisite critical mass of consumers. The government should look for these kinds of companies to push on the regional and global markets.”

Nordin added, “Based on various reports, there is a shortage of two to four million cybersecurity workforce globally. In the Malaysian context, this equates to approximately 10,000 to 20,000 individuals required to make the business ecosystem sufficiently cyber resilient. On the strategic level, this does not mean that enough resources have been allocated to deal with targeted attacks on specific infrastructure or critical organisations.”

Speakers at the event include Haresh Deol, Deputy President of the National Press Club of Malaysia; Datin Faridah Iriani, Director of BDEC Malaysia; Chris Seto, Managing Director of Dataxet Malaysia Sdn Bhd; Murugason R. Thangaratnam, CEO of Novem CS Sdn Bhd; Shin Mei Lee, Head of Enterprise Business, Google Cloud; Vicks Kanagasingam, CEO of Censof Digital Sdn Bhd; Matthew Barsing, Chief Commercial Officer of EPS Consultants; Sheriza Zakaria, CEO of Big Dataworks Sdn Bhd; and Bobby Varanasi, Founder of Matryzel Consulting.

Gerard Ratnam, Producer and TV Host for Bernama TV, moderated the Member of Parliament’s Special Session with YB Syerleena. Moderators for the remaining panel sessions were MGBF’s Nordin Abdullah, TV Host for Bernama TV Jessy Chahal, and Ruzanna Muhammad, Editor-at-Large for News Hub Asia.

MGBF was established to empower stakeholders at the intersection of international and Malaysian business. Through government relations, business intelligence, advocacy, media engagement, market research, networking, advisory and business matching, MGBF will continue to explore threats and opportunities with industry leaders and policy makers to ensure that Malaysia becomes a leader in the context of Asia.


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