KUALA LUMPUR – The targets set under the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) may be ambitious but perseverance is needed in pursuing them to enable the country to reap the benefits of the digital economy.
In stating this, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak likened what the NFCP aspired to achieve to preparing the ‘survival skills’ for greater competitive advantage as Malaysia moved further into the digital era.
He said among the main targets of the NFCP was achieving 30 Mbps speed in 98 per cent of populated areas and the availability of gigabit network in all capital cities.
“These are lofty ambitions but it is something we have to strive for,” he said in the Agenda Awani programme on the Astro Awani television channel.
Al-Ishsal stressed that steps taken to extend the digital infrastructure and the digital economy would benefit the country.
Yesterday, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo announced that the Cabinet had approved the implementation of the NFCP at a cost of RM 21.6 billion.
He said the NFCP five-year (2019-2023) plan, spearheaded by the ministry, will provide nationwide digital connectivity that is robust, pervasive, high-quality and affordable to all Malaysians.
This will encourage the development of the digital economy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0), he said.
Al-Ishsal said based on the engagement sessions carried out by the states, good infrastructure would help improve the industry and attract more investors.
He added that comprehensive efforts under the NFCP would increase competitiveness among the various sectors such as small and medium-scale industries, agriculture and others.
Al-Ishsal cited the examples of Japan and South Korea which had strengthened the competitiveness of their industries through the application of technology.
In Malaysia, he said, the application of digital technology among chili plantation entrepreneurs in Kuala Selangor had increased productivity by 30 per cent and increased income by up to 20 per cent.
“These are the survival skills that we need to prepare our industries (for the future) as well as to attract further investment into the country,” Al-Ishsal said.