Catching Up

M’sia’s Communications Minister On Improving Our Tech Footprint: “Keep Up Or Get Left Out."

  • Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo participated in a quick fireside chat during the second day of Wild Digital SEA 2018.
  • Speaking about his hopes for the Malaysian Internet industry, he said that it was important for his ministry to help build the various Internet sectors that people care about, as well as how important it was to keep Malaysia’s regulations growth friendly.
  • He also mentioned a focus on developing young talent to be tech savvy.

During the second day of Wild Digital SEA 2018, Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Multimedia YB Gobind Singh Deo made an appearance to take part in a quick fireside chat hosted by Catcha Group CEO Patrick Grove.

During the 15-minute session, the newly-minted cabinet minister was quizzed about various subjects ranging from his use of social media, his relationship with PKR stalwart Anwar Ibrahim, and why he decided to bring the World Cup to RTM—to which he explained that it was all about bringing people together.

In between fun questions, Patrick managed to query Gobind about certain relevant topics regarding his new position as the country’s communications chief and how he planned to move the local internet industry forward.

“The internet now is different from 10 years ago,” he said. “People are now looking at different areas of interest.”

“You’ve got startups, you’ve got games, and you’ve got animation,” he explained, citing a few examples of things that modern internet users are now caring more about. “We’ve got to start approaching these from a very different angle because we can’t speak about the internet industry in a general sense anymore.”

He went on to say that this approach is also something he’s now trying to instil in his own ministry, and that it was important that he and his team start helping these individual industries build in order to keep relevant.

“You’ll realise that all these different industries have problems of their own, peculiar to each sector,” he said, recognising the needs of the various niche markets that have become representative of what the internet has become.

Indeed, e-sports, buying and selling platforms, fintech, and social media are all important cogs of the bigger internet machine, each of them representing financial and social opportunity for citizens as well as the government. If you’re interested, we’ve already highlighted various instances of e-sports bringing in lucrative money, and most of us are also no strangers to the huge opportunity that lies in fintech, with cryptocurrency and e-wallets being current hot topics.

“The government needs to keep up with the times, to find out what the people need in order to get where we want to be.”

On Regulation And Education

Gobind then also addressed the topic of regulation; while it it is important for his ministry to help facilitate growth in the various industries they were involved in, it was also vital that it helped Malaysia cope with the Internet’s fast-moving nature by keeping regulatory framework as up-to-date as possible.

“You either keep up or you get left out,” he stated, alluding to various technological advancements that were taking place around the world.

“When something happens, it happens everywhere and the question is how we get people to respond fast enough.”

Finally, Gobind also mentioned education as one of the key pillars driving his ministry’s decision-making.

“How do we prepare the young for technology—how do we tell them that they too, can be a part of it?” he posed to the crowd.

He touted his belief in cultivating young talent to be tech-savvy and said that his ministry as well as the whole government would need to put in place systems to help fast-track the development of keen talent.

“We need to make sure that those who are interested are put on the right direction,” Gobind concluded.

  • You can read more about our coverage on Wild Digital here.

 

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