My wish list for Digital Malaysia: 2017 Leadership interview

MDEC and industry veteran Michael Warren, now Emerio MD, talks through five keys that will further develop Malaysia's Digital Economy.

By AvantiKumar
Jan. 6, 2017

Thinking Digital (IDG)

Image (IDG, CIO) - Thinking Digital


Former national ICT agency MDEC (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation) officer and industry veteran Michael Warren, now Emerio Malaysia managing director, gives his wish list to help Malaysia's drive towards being a digital economy.

This Computerworld Malaysia 'rapidfire' interview is in conjunction with an extensive roundup featuring 2017 industry insights ('What's really in store for Malaysia's IT industry in 2017?')


Michael Warren - Emerio Malaysia MD

Photo - Michael Warren, Managing Director, Emerio Malaysia.

My thoughts for the digital space for Malaysia and several things I would like to see in 2017:
·   A move to introduce a national digital currency around blockchain: At a time when Malaysia is struggling with our lowest currency exchange against the US$ since 1998, we see digital currencies growing at an all-time high.

Major powers like China, whom Malaysia has an excellent relationship with are already rolling out national plans around this area. We should set this in motion immediately for Malaysia and work out how to get China invested in our digital currency to protect our long term currency exposures.
·   A need for clarity by Bank Negara around outsourcing guidelines for banking operations in Malaysia: The last published guideline is from over a decade ago, and at a time when global business service operations for banks around the world are being outsourced to Malaysia, we still live in an environment where banks operating in Malaysia cannot outsource many core banking operations to in country operators.
·   Reduction in domestic power and international bandwidth rates for data centres in Malaysia: The future of digital is in the cloud globally and in data centres which house all things digital.

Power and telco make up more than 70 percent of the cost here. All things digital will grow exponentially in 2017. We need to move faster to liberalise archaic policies to embrace this. In Nov 2016 the NTT Group switched on the APG submarine cable system linking Malaysia to the highest speed (54.8 Tbps) network in Asia. The highway is now open, we need to get more Malaysian traffic out to the world.
·   Promoting mergers and acquisitions between Malaysian companies and global players: The world is Malaysia's oyster. We need go out and grow our global business, but we cannot do it alone. Global companies are looking to get into South East Asia and Malaysia should focus on clear and consistent policies, which make it easier for them. We should continue to aggressively promote Malaysia as a destination of choice for both regional and global hubs as well as for back end operational centres as this will continue to drive the much needed investments and jobs moving towards 2020.

 The first edition of this article appeared on Computerworld Malaysia 6 January 2017