( From left) MDEC COO Ng Wan Peng; Perdana Management Structure Board of Trustees chairman Azman Hashim; Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Dr Ong Kian Ming; EY Advisory Services & Advisory handling partner, Asean Chow Sang Hoe (panel mediator); Fusionex International creator and Fusionex Ivan Teh; Google Malaysia nation head Marc Woo; EY Malaysia managing partner & Asean assurance managing partner Abdul Rauf Rashid
( From left) MDEC COO Ng Wan Peng; Perdana Leadership Structure Board of Trustees chairman Azman Hashim; Deputy Minister of International Trade and Market Dr Ong Kian Ming; EY Advisory Services & Advisory managing partner, Asean Chow Sang Hoe (panel moderator); Fusionex International founder and MD Ivan Teh; Google Malaysia nation head Marc Woo; EY Malaysia handling partner & Asean assurance managing partner Abdul Rauf Rashid
” MODIFICATIONS are currently taking place. And as magnate, we have no choice but to adapt to these modifications,” states Perdana Leadership Foundation (PLF) Board of Trustees chairman Azman Hashim.
This declaration, which was part of his opening speech, completely encapsulates PLF’s CEO Forum 2019. Hung on April 4, the forum is themed around the need to accelerate the 4th Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) in Malaysia.
And the requirement is important. In the forum’s very first panel discussion, entitled “Understanding and Accelerating the Fourth Industrial Transformation,” the panellists stress that if Malaysia does not accept and quicken their progress into IR4.0– an industrial revolution marked by automation, data exchange, Internet of Things, cloud computing and artificial intelligence– they risk of falling behind their neighbours.
” If we do not step up to the video game, you will discover that we will not have actually just fallen back China, but a lot of our neighbours like Thailand and Vietnam, who are rapidly reaching us,” says Dr Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of International and Trade Industry (MITI), who was one of the panellists.
” Our significance on the planet is at stake, and this is something that we need to get right.”
Obstacles and opportunities
Another of the panellist, Google Malaysia’s nation head Marc Woo, highlighted 3 crucial difficulties that are affecting Malaysia’s venture into the 4th industrial revolution. The first is ease of access– that is, the speed of the country’s connectivity and access to the Internet and services.
The 2nd obstacle is in empowering small and medium enterprises (SMEs)– which form 98.5% of the nation’s service establishments– to welcome the fourth industrial revolution and to offer them the toolsets and platform to drive it.
Finally, Woo reveals a wish that Malaysia can produce more “unicorns”– describing start-ups with evaluations at US$ 1 billion– at a greater rate. “China produces one unicorn every four days. I think Malaysia, through utilizing the power of Asean, might produce multiple unicorns in a year,” he states.
Panelist Ng Wan Peng, who is COO of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), keeps in mind another concern to address: Skill. “For Malaysia to really benefit from IR4.0, we require to have individuals trained as a user along with at the designer level,” she says.
” If you are not familiar with what Industrial Transformation 4.0 is about and how it affects your work, your company will not have the ability to take full advantage of it.”
Fusionex International’s creator and managing director Ivan Teh, the last panellist of the session, states that he discovers it “worrying” that the majority of action he gets when asking SMEs about IR4.0 is “I don’t understand.”
” Their [the SMEs] typical reaction is ‘Where do I start? What do I do?’ Some state it’s not for them– that IR4.0 it’s something for the MNCs and business, and not for me. This is a very distressing situation, because we’re seeing a disruption that is blurring the lines between the physical and digital world,” he says.
By sticking to this state of mind, Teh states that we will see merchants shutting down, and producers losing against the competitors.
Skill and education
Dealing with issues about finding talent to venture into IR4.0, Teh states that SMEs need to take a look at more youthful individuals– millennials and those just entering the workforce– who he states are already constructed for the innovation and developments of today.
“If you give them a platform that appropriates, they will develop efficiently. They are naturally born in this digital world. You don’t have to stress that they will drown,” he quips.
When inquired about the fears of automation destroying jobs, Ng states that AI and robotics are said to create more tasks that they remove, pointing out a research study by the World Economic Forum (WEF) that specifies that the robotic transformation will still produce 58 million net brand-new jobs.