MCMC programme inspires creativity, invention in youths

Shee Tze Jin (left) shows a drone built under the myMaker programme as Rizal Aliyuddin (centre) and Tay looks on.
Shee Tze Jin (left) shows a drone built under the myMaker programme as Rizal Aliyuddin (centre) and Tay looks on.

CYBERJAYA, Aug 10 — The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) myMaker initiative is a technology-based programme to inspire teenagers, Gen Ys and even adults who are keen to learn, share and build connected devices such as embedded boards, sensors, 3D, robotics  and drones as part of the Internet of Things (IoT) grassroot support towards a smart digital nation.

MCMC Digital Lifestyle and Society Department Director John Tay said the maker community’s culture started in Bay Area, California, USA in 2006 and now has about 119 independently produce mini and full featured Maker Faires around the world.

“The culture of fixing a device instead of throwing it away when it is broken or faulty is what makes Western cultures different from us,” he said.

He said the myMaker community wanted to bring the communities together to share and build creativity and innovation and put their skills to good use. 

In Malaysia’s context, Tay said MCMC hopes that myMaker platform would expose participants and encourage more creative and innovative ideas during an early stage.

“With new technology transformation, many things are made easier. This is the easiest way to capture the interest of the youths in our current times to get them excited as well as connected,” he said. 

Tay said Malaysia should have a balance of youths who are skilled in science and arts to drive its economy forward and become a smart digital nation.

“Another reason to bring this idea in is because we can collaborate further as part of technology harmonization with Asean countries and makers around the world... practising and bringing the maker movement together in a big scale.” he said. 

He said by being able to build or fix a device or gadget and create smart applications, the young adults would help to find solutions that would benefit society. 

Tay said the myMaker initiative and MCMC’s Digital Lifestyle Malaysia are closely linked together to encourage youths to show their skills and talent in adopting IoT. 

“An example of this would be using a drone with an advanced technology in the agriculture field to monitor the developments in the padi field during the hot or rainy season,” he said. Other potential areas include deploying more sensors, 3D printing technology, augmented reality and robotics in various fields for the benefit of the country.

“What we want is the young generation to start exploring makers potential early as well as building entrepreneurship and start up mind-set and create new economic business model.”

Tay said MCMC would collaborate with all myMaker association, maker communities, universities and the private sectors to create a culture of makers in Malaysia.

He said myMaker Robotics Challenge 2016 and a Makerthon Challenge which would be held at the end of this year would be one of the events involving students and industry players coming together to share and learn.

“There would be about 300 participants who would share their expertise in robotics while the Makerthon shall be using various gadgets, devices, recycle materials, applications and compete under various categories,” he said.