SEOUL, Sept 7 — Investments in digital infrastructure have been a priority in Malaysia, as shown by the significant efforts made to enhance broadband connectivity and the ongoing rollout of 5G networks across the country, said Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

The 5G network coverage in populated areas (CoPA) in Malaysia has reached 68.8 per cent as of Aug 31, he said in his keynote address at the GSMA Mobile 360 APAC and Policy Leaders Forum 2023 here today.

“The digital infrastructure backbone is crucial for supporting the growth of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cloud computing, Internet of things and blockchain,” the minister said.

He noted that to fulfil the infrastructural needs of the nation, the National Digital Connectivity Plan, or better known as Jendela, was launched as a platform to ensure Malaysia is prepared for the upcoming transition to 5G technology and continues to have a smooth national digital growth.

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“The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) takes the leadership role in driving digital transformation through the building of digital infrastructure to provide a conducive environment for the digital economy.

“Malaysia is happy to report that as of the second quarter of 2023, approximately 8.03 million premises have access to fibre broadband while 97 per cent of all populated areas have access to 4G network,” he said.

According to Fahmi, the digital economy stands as one of Malaysia’s primary economic pillars, contributing 23.2 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product in 2021.

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“This contribution is expected to reach 25.5 per cent by the year 2025, or more than RM382 billion,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fahmi also highlighted that the path to building inclusive digital nations is not just a matter of technology. “It is a matter of equity, fairness, and social progress,” he said.

According to him, it involves crafting policies that promote digital literacy, expanding access to high-speed Internet, and fostering an environment where innovation flourishes.

“It means prioritising the needs of the underserved and underprivileged and creating pathways for them to participate fully in the digital economy,” he said.

He added that the very concept of inclusivity embodies the Malaysia Madani vision for an equitable society that calls for a fairer distribution of wealth and resources. — Bernama