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Google today announced RM9.4 billion (US$2 billion) investment in Malaysia, and it’s set to accelerate the country’s digital transformation. 

This follows Microsoft’s massive investment of RM10.5 billion (US$2.2 billion) in Malaysia, announced less than a month ago.

Google’s huge investment includes building Google’s very first data centre and Google Cloud region in Malaysia, aimed at meeting the increasing demand for the local and global tech scene.

It will be located in Sime Darby Property’s Elmina Business Park in Greater Kuala Lumpur. 

This isn’t just about boosting Google’s popular services like Search, Maps, and Workspace that we all use every day. It’s also about bringing the power of AI to users and customers across Malaysia. 

“When operational, Malaysia will join the 11 countries where Google has built and now operates data centres serving users around the world,” it said in a press statement.

Artist impression of Google’s first data centre and Google Cloud region in Malaysia, at Elmina Business Park in Greater Kuala Lumpur / Image Credit: Google

Enhancing cloud services

The new Google Cloud region is all about delivering fast, reliable services to everyone from big companies to startups and government agencies. Users will enjoy advanced security, data residency, and compliance standards. 

Besides, the cloud region will link up with Google’s existing Cloud Interconnect locations in Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur, ensuring seamless connections between local networks and Google Cloud’s global infrastructure. 

This new setup in Malaysia will be part of Google’s global network of 40 regions and 121 zones. 

Fostering AI literacy

Google isn’t just stopping at infrastructure. It is also rolling out two key programmes to boost AI literacy among students and teachers in Malaysia. 

These efforts align with the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) National Digital Education Policy, ensuring that Malaysians are well-prepared for a tech-driven future.

Launched back in November 2023, Google’s Gemini Academy helps teachers use generative AI tools like Gemini to enhance productivity. 

Over 600 local educators have already benefitted from the programme since its pilot phase, and with the MOE expanding it, the goal is to reach 15,000 educators by the end of 2024.

Experience AI is another cool initiative launched last month in partnership with Google DeepMind, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and the Penang Science Cluster. 

This programme aims to boost teachers’ confidence in teaching AI concepts to kids aged 11 to 14. It offers in-person training and interactive lesson materials, aiming to train 1,000 teachers to reach 10,000 students across Malaysia.

Supporting economic growth

Aerial views of the site for Google’s first data centre and Google Cloud region in Malaysia, at Elmina Business Park in Greater Kuala Lumpur / Image Credit: Google

Google expects its investment to significantly boost Malaysia’s economy. 

In November 2023, Google and the Malaysian government collaborated to promote inclusive growth using AI and cloud technologies. 

According to a study by AlphaBeta, these efforts will contribute over RM15.04 billion (US$3.2 billion) to Malaysia’s GDP and will support 26,500 jobs by 2030.

“Google is proud to support the country’s continued digital transformation of its economy, in line with the MADANI Economy Framework and New Industrial Master Plan 2030,” the release said. 

Google’s journey in Malaysia

It began in 2011 when Google opened its first office in Kuala Lumpur. It started small, with just a handful of employees, but it didn’t take long for things to ramp up. Today, that office is one of Google’s largest in Southeast Asia.

According to Adomantra, in 2012, they launched Google for Startups Malaysia to give local startups the boost they need. They have also been working with universities and colleges to develop the next generation of tech talent.

In 2019, Google announced a whopping RM1 billion investment in Malaysia over five years. This is fueling initiatives like Google for Startups, Google for Education, and AI research. They’re not just about business, though—they’re making a social impact too.

Google launched the Google Digital Literacy Program Malaysia in 2019, aiming to train one million Malaysians in digital skills by 2023. They’re also involved in various social impact projects, from disaster relief to environmental protection.

From its humble beginnings in 2011, Google has become a major player in the Malaysian tech scene. By enhancing the country’s tech infrastructure and equipping the workforce with essential AI skills, Google is setting Malaysia up for a bright digital future.

As Malaysia continues to evolve as a digital hub, Google’s initiatives will play a vital role in driving the country’s growth and innovation on the global stage.

  • Learn more about Google’s investment in Malaysia here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Anthony Quintano

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)