In March 2021, the Malaysia Government did something interesting.
The government announced its intention to allocate a series of funds worth $997 million (RM4.1 billion) to the country’s tech scene as part of its efforts to drive nationwide digitalisation. This initiative formed part of the government’s latest stimulus package, PEMERKASA, which aims to jumpstart Malaysia’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
This initiative, industry watchers opine, would pay off strong dividends in the near future. One of the key pillars of this stimulus was – Digitalisation.
In February this year, In February, Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin introduced MyDigital, a digital economy blueprint that seeks to supercharge the country’s digital ecosystem through domestic and foreign tech investments. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin firmly believes that the initiatives would help the nation achieve four goals: increase foreign investments, strengthen Malaysia’s global trade position, boost tech adoption, and ensure overall sustainable growth.
Appoints Alibaba as Cloud Service Provider
In a move that signals acceleration in cloud adoption and Digital transformation, Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, was appointed as a cloud service provider (CSP) for the Malaysian government. According to government officials, Alibaba Cloud would further help boost cloud adoption and migration as well as fulfil cloud-first strategy, especially among the government and public sectors in Malaysia.
“Alibaba Cloud will provide an advanced and comprehensive suite of cloud products and services ranging from elastic computing, database service, networking, security, middleware, to analytics and digital intelligence services powered by the two local data centres,” it said in a statement.
Jordy Cao, general manager of Malaysia, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, said, “We are honoured to be listed and endorsed by the government of Malaysia to continuously play a key part in the journey of accelerating Malaysia’s digital transformation. Being the only global cloud service provider that has two data centres locally, we are committed to upscaling the local cloud market and supporting the digital economy by bringing advanced, reliable and secure cloud technologies and services to the local region.”
“Over the past few years, we have been supporting local SMEs, enterprises and government agencies to embrace digital transformation and we look forward to continuously supporting the public sectors in their digital transformation endeavours.” he added. These services are part of Alibaba Cloud’s longstanding commitment since its presence in 2017 to strengthen local partnerships and build a sustainable ecosystem while developing technical talents and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.
Alibaba Cloud said the appointment was made with the release of the “Guidelines for Information Security Management through Cloud Computing in the Public Service 2021” by the Chief Government Security Office (CGSO) of Malaysia earlier this year. The company has built collaborations with several local organisations and associations in Malaysia including CIMB, Touch N Go, Genting and Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation Berhad (SDEC), to name a few, it added.
A Hub for DCs
The government’s plan to make Malaysia as a hub for data centres has also evinced considerable interest. In April, Microsoft said that it will invest US$1 billion in Malaysia over the next five years as part of a new partnership with government agencies and local companies. Further, Bridge Data Centres, a subsidiary of Chindata Group, said that it will build a third data centre in Malaysia.
In February, Japanese telecommunications giant NTT Ltd. launched its fifth data centre in Malaysia. Named Cyberjaya 5 (CBJ5), the new 107,000 square feet data center facility is located within NTT’s campus in Cyberjaya, Malaysia’s administrative center and technology hub.
Additionally, the Malaysian Government provided conditional approvals to Google, Amazon and Telekom Malaysia to build and manage new hyper-scale data centres and cloud services. Further, Digi and Celcom, two of Malaysia’s “Big Three” telecommunication providers, merged to become Celcom Digi Berhad.
Axiata Group Berhad (“Axiata”), the parent company of Celcom, said that it is in talks with Digi’s parent company Telenor Asia (“Telenor”) to merge the operations of the two telcos.
Currently, around 3,000 companies are already present in MSC Malaysia. The country’s data centre market is expected to hit around $800 million by 2025, according to Arizton Intelligence.