Learn from Cyberjaya’s failure, think tank tells Putrajaya

IDEAS CEO Ali Salman said that Cyberjaya was a grand ambition that fell short. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
IDEAS CEO Ali Salman said that Cyberjaya was a grand ambition that fell short. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — Malaysia’s information technology (IT) hub Cyberjaya ultimately failed in its objective to be an IT entrepreneurial hub, the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) said in a report today.

In a statement, the think tank urged the current government to learn lessons from Cyberjaya’s failure to achieve its objective — which was that it should not try to create a hub from scratch but the government must instead step in and help nature a hub that is growing naturally.

“The report notes that Cyberjaya has had some success in creating jobs and attracting investment, but has ultimately failed in its objective of creating a world-leading IT entrepreneurial hub,” IDEAS said.

“The report argues that this is because in creating Cyberjaya the government tried to create a flourishing hub from scratch, when the evidence suggests the most successful hubs emerge naturally with the government stepping in later to support development,” it added, referring to globally renowned hubs such as the United States’ Silicon Valley.

IDEAS CEO Ali Salman said that Cyberjaya was a grand ambition that fell short.

“The key reason is that the government cannot create hubs from scratch, it needs to support what emerges naturally,” he said.

“The new government should learn lessons from this experience and pursue policies that allow the enormous potential of Malaysia’s private sector to flourish, rather than trying to manage it directly,” he added.

Cyberjaya was established under Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor initiative in 1997 over 20 years ago.

It was the brainchild of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

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