Category Archives: MCMC

Malaysia Begins Digitally Upgrading Public Sector via Cloud

Malaysia’s Public Sector Data Center (PDSA) services will be upgraded to specific Cloud Computing services for use by all Government agencies. The Government is looking to integrate its services into what will be known as the government hybrid cloud or the MyGovCloud which combines services from MyGovCloud@PDSA and the Public Cloud and has chosen four Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to make this happen.

The MyGovCloud Initiative is in line with the Fifth Initiative under Malaysia’s Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital) which targets 80% storage usage of Cloud Computing across the public sector this year. It aims to drive the digital transformation of the public sector holistically which can stimulate the growth of the digital economy and agenda digitization throughout the country.

The CSP selection was done following an evaluation of the proposals sent by both domestic and foreign cloud service providers. As a result of this assessment, the Government agreed to appoint a panel of four companies as CSPs to provide the best and most secure cloud services for the government portals.

To empower MyGovCloud, Centralized Contract Agreement Cloud Computing also known as a Cloud Framework Agreement (CFA) was signed between the Government, the CSPs and locally appointed CSPs known as Managed Service Providers (MSPs). The CFA contract with the Government, CSP and MSP involves four CSP companies and four MSP companies.

The involvement of the CSPs and MSPs is expected to open investment potential in the country worth between RM12 billion and RM15 billion by 2025. This investment will serve as the ‘backbone’ of the formation of a sustainable digital ecosystem to achieve sustainable economic growth, thus will make Malaysia the main digital hub in the ASEAN region.

The MyGovCloud initiative is believed to produce more experts in cloud computing through ongoing training and program certification provided by CSP and MSP. This is also possible to improve the competence and ability of civil servants in tandem with current needs and technology.

Through the implementation of CFA, public sector agencies will be able to enjoy a better, faster, and more efficient cloud service and will avail of competitive prices offered at discounted rates in bulk by the CSPs and MSPs. Overall, this CFA agreement is aimed at innovation in the procurement of cloud services across all public sector agencies and will help in strengthening the function and role of MAMPU in the future.

With this deal sealed, it is hoped that more benefits will be enjoyed by the citizens of Malaysia as well as public sector agencies, promoting developmental digital technology among all Malaysians.

The government cloud market is expected to grow from US$15.4 billion in 2017 to US$ 28.8 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.4%.

Government departments across the world are realising the importance of maintaining and controlling cloud data for continuity and compliance purposes. The government cloud enables these agencies to manage and store data securely and efficiently, resulting in enhanced and unified teams that can handle bigger projects at an effective cost.

Cloud hosting services provide a slew of advantages for government agencies and other small departments. These services may be taken on rent to fulfil computing power and data storage requirements, as often as needed, instead of a one-time investment being incurred for the procurement of servers and the handling of ongoing expenses towards maintaining expensive data centres.

In addition, the government cloud provides greater computing capability particularly in the implementation of disaster recovery and relief situations, as it enables government agencies to develop customised solutions for backup, with regards to the data and application types, sequence, and backup location. It involves the replication of application and data on a virtual machine, and the data can be recovered automatically when a disruption occurs.

6 Malaysian telcos set to sign 5G deal on August 31

Malaysian Communications and multimedia minister Annuar Musa said discussions on taking stakes in Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) are progressing well and are set to meet the deadline, with the six telcos signing the deals on Aug 31.

He said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) would be chairing a meeting on Aug 29 to decide on a few terms.

He also had a meeting with finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz yesterday on the restructuring exercise to pave the way for all six telcos to take up the 70% stake in DNB.

“I had the discussion with the finance minister as he was responsible for DNB before it was transferred to my ministry,” he added.

Earlier, Celcom Axiata Bhd CEO Isham Nawawi said the telco had consolidated more than 1,000 sites under its 5G initiative.

It has 39 partners to support its 5G rollout, of which 24 are local companies.

On another matter, Annuar said the Cabinet yesterday agreed that the existing Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588) and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act 1998 (Act 589) be amended to provide stronger legal provisions to face cybersecurity threats.

“Hopefully, in the next Parliament sitting, we can table the amendments for both acts.”

Annuar said the amendments are crucial as the country’s telecommunication ecosystem is facing threats of online fraud and hacking by irresponsible individuals.

Keep improving Internet coverage (Opinion)

Written by Fathiah Ahmad from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)

Malaysia strives to develop further by building various world-class facilities.

However, one aspect that needs improvement is Internet access as telecommunications coverage is still weak and lagging behind our neighbours.

Learning methods have changed and one of the initiatives undertaken by the Education Ministry is to conduct virtual learning sessions.

This needs improvement too because Internet access in Malaysia is still weak. Even some areas around the city have Internet access problems.

If we take into account Internet problems in rural and remote areas, this issue is worrisome. Students in rural areas are left behind due to poor Internet access.

There are also teachers who face the same problem and have to cancel virtual learning sessions due to poor Internet coverage.

That is a major obstacle for virtual learning both for students and teachers. 

According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Monthly Bulletin report in August 2020, in terms of mobile broadband, Malaysia is ranked sixth in Asean countries at 24.44 Mbps and 85th in the world.

In this region, Malaysia lags behind Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar in terms of average mobile Internet download speeds.

A member of parliament also pointed out that 37 per cent of students do not have any device for online learning sessions.

If the definition of “digitally poor” is taken into account, 1.7 million primary and secondary school students automatically become part of this group.

In today’s digital era, driven by the new normal of the Covid-19 pandemic, online transactions and interactions, including online learning, are a necessity.

It must be acknowledged that the government is implementing various strategies including providing a Community Internet Centre.

Since 2007, a total of 873 Community Internet Centres (PIK) nationwide have provided access to the rural population. PIK offers training, awareness programmes, and community engagement.

This is a good effort by the government but some are still too poor to afford PIK services.

As a college student, having Internet access is a must as this will make it easier to communicate with classmates and lecturers.

However, there is no denying that, at times, poor Internet access makes it very difficult for classes to be held virtually.

Try to imagine problems faced by people who live deep in the interior. So, who is to blame when Internet access issues crop up? 

No doubt, there is an urgent need to keep improving the Internet coverage.

Annuar Musa announces the appointment of MRCB Vice Chairman as interim MCMC Chairman

Datuk Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek’s two-year contract as MCMC chairman ended on 9th June 2022. Before a new chairman comes on board, the Minister of Communications and Multimedia Tan Sri Annuar Musa, has announced the appointment of Tan Sri Mohamad Salim Fateh Din as the interim chairman.

Tan Sri Mohamad Salim Fateh Din is currently the Executive Vice Chairman at Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB). Prior to his recent appointment, Tan Sri Salim was appointed the Commission Member of the MCMC from 1st January 2022 for a period of two years.

Tan Sri Salim is described as a successful entrepreneur and he was one of the first property developers to embark on the green development concept. Some of his green projects include Menara Shell at KL Sentral and PJ Sentral Garden City, which are hailed as industry benchmarks geared towards the highest standard of Green Building Index (GBI). He’s also the founder and Managing Director of Gapurna Sdn Bhd and has served in various top roles across different corporations including Giant Malaysia and British Tobacco (Malaysia) Berhad.

Tan Sri Annuar Musa said he is confident that Tan Sri Salim will bring a breath of fresh air to develop the Malaysian telecommunications industry. He believes the stakeholders in the telco and digital industry will continue to provide their support to the various initiatives and efforts by the government through the MCMC which will benefit Malaysians both locally and abroad.

As the new interim Chairman of the MCMC, Tan Sri Salim will face the daunting task of solving the 5G stalemate between the big four telcos and Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB). Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz has recently indicated that the government is sticking to its 30th June deadline for telcos to sign up for 5G access with the single wholesale network. If the big four telcos refuse to take up the offer, the government may open up the stake offer to domestic and foreign private equity.

The telcos have raised concerns about DNB’s 5G access offer as it will not enable affordable and quality 5G services to Malaysians. One of the biggest issues is the high capacity cost of RM30,000 per Gbps per month which is fixed for a 10-year period. There are also concerns about transparency and the lack of framework and instruments to regulate a single wholesale network.

Preserving Data Sovereignty Must Be A Concerted Effort Involving Good Governance

[KUALA LUMPUR, 12 MAY 2022]: Huawei Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Huawei Malaysia), together with MyDIGITAL Corporation and the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia organised a webinar, ‘Digital Age: Embracing Technology, Preserving Data Sovereignty’ today. The main objective of the webinar was to raise awareness among the government and its agencies, as well as the public about preserving data sovereignty while using digital technology, such as cloud, in the age of digital transformation. 

Government cloud services are a new development at the intersection of electronic government and cloud computing, which holds the promise of rendering government service delivery more effective and efficient. While cloud transformation and enhanced connectivity are some of the most significant focus areas to accelerate the nation’s digital economy building blocks, they have also triggered governments’ concern for data sovereignty and security. Hence, the webinar today addressed some of these issues including cyber security as a critical component in building the digital ecosystem for Malaysia.

Participants from the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia as well as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), MyDIGITAL Corporation, Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) as well as representatives from State Governments participated in the webinar, which was held both virtually and physically at the ISIS Malaysia headquarters. 

In his keynote address, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad bin Mentek highlighted that Malaysia is taking great efforts to protect its digital sovereignty, including introducing various policies and frameworks in order to enact controls and ensure organisations tighten their data security.

“As of 2021, about 100 countries have some form of existing data sovereignty laws. In Malaysia, the notion of data sovereignty is reflected in some of the existing legal and policy frameworks,” said Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad bin Mentek.

The Secretary-General further added, “All these policies encompass a comprehensive cross-sectoral framework to protect personal data in commercial transactions and play an important role in helping companies address data sovereignty issues, while at the same time ensuring information security, network reliability and integrity, and secure and resilient infrastructure.”

Delivering the welcome address, Chief Executive Officer of MyDIGITAL Corporation, Mr Fabian Bigar emphasised that threats can quickly outpace traditional approaches to data security, hence governments and organisations need to be proactive in creating and adapting systems to face these threats as the economy moves forward. “One of the thrusts in the Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint (MDEB) is to build a trusted, secure, and ethical digital environment. Today, there is a much greater urgency for our regulatory environment to be anchored on trust and digital-native policies which reflect the world we live in,” he said.

Delivering the closing remarks, Chief Executive of NACSA, Mr Rahamzan Hashim said retaining control over our data and leading with a security-first mindset must always be a priority. He emphasised the need for everyone to work together to protect cyberspace and to ensure that all data flows are well protected and secure. 

“Seamless cooperation between industries and public sectors must be strengthened and treasured in order to address challenges and opportunities present in this new journey towards embracing the new data-driven technology and digital transformation” he added.

Among the panellists at the webinar included Shamsul Izhan Abdul Majid, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer MCMC, Konesh Kochhal, Director, Industry Ecosystem Engagements Huawei APAC, Raja Azrina Raja Othman, Chief Information Security Officer, Group Information Security, TM, Nur Hidayah Abdullah, ICT Consultant (Information Security) MAMPU and Dr. Moonyati Yatid, Senior Manager, Corporate Strategy & Research, Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corporation (MPRC).

According to Konesh Kochhal, Director, Industry Ecosystem Engagements Huawei APAC, having well-defined policies and specific planned steps are paramount to improving incident response and recovery in the future. Hence, he pointed out, this webinar is a crucial step for different governing authorities and government agencies to discuss and understand their individual and collective roles and functions in preserving data sovereignty to prepare for untoward incidents in the future.

He added, “Malaysia is moving firmly into the cloud environment, with the government driving it through a cloud first policy. Huawei Malaysia will continue to strengthen collaboration with dedicated teams, to provide our expertise and consulting services, such as planning for cloud infrastructure, application cloudification, data enablement, and digital transformation to help the government fulfil and complete the overarching ambitions of digital transformation. These services help establish a clear plan and will lead the nation into the future ready digital economy.”

Huawei, the leading global provider of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices, has more than 30 years of technical experience and currently has more than 220 types of cloud services.Based on Huawei’s own experience with security compliance, global network infrastructure capabilities, HUAWEI CLOUD has developed a solution covering security compliance, application acceleration, intelligent localisation, and enterprise services.

In Malaysia, Huawei is working with Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), on one of the Malaysian-owned Cloud and AI infrastructure and services to enterprises and government institutions that ensures data locality and sovereignty