Keynote Speech at The Launch of Beyond Paradigm Summit 2019

OPENING KEYNOTE SPEECH BY YAB TUN DR. MAHATHIR MOHAMAD,
PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA

AT THE LAUNCHING CEREMONY OF BEYOND PARADIGM SUMMIT 2019 ON 17 JULY 2019 (WEDNESDAY), 10.00AM

AT THE MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND EXHIBITION CENTRE (MITEC)

INTRODUCTION

1. It is indeed a pleasure to be given the opportunity to address the opening session of the Beyond Paradigm Summit this morning. To my mind, this summit underscores the importance of keeping abreast and embracing the innovations and technological advancement that are sweeping across various businesses and industries.

2. It also an opportunity for us to further align and familiarise ourselves with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

3. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is definitely not the first big change in human history. What is unprecedented is the speed of the transition of the fourth when compared with earlier industrial revolutions. The pace it packs is rapidly increasing.

4. Nevertheless, technology is not a force over which we have no control and neither are we constrained by a binary choice between “accept and live with it” and “reject and live without it”.

5. The more we think and figure out how to harness the technology revolution, the more we would be able to shape and use it to improve the nation.

6. The nature of contemporary technologies is materially different to what precedes it. In just over a few decades, the world has evolved or rather transformed from a machine-based society to an information- driven one.

7. The Industrial Revolution 4.0 is probably a way of describing the blurring of boundaries between the physical, digital, and biological worlds.

8. It’s a fusion of sorts of various advances in Artificial Intelligence, Mixed Reality, Robotics, The Internet of Things, Blockchain and other technologies.

 

BACKGROUND OF MALAYSIA DIGITAL REVOLUTION

9. Malaysia is no stranger to digital revolution and disruption, and the challenges and growth potential that come with them.

10. For example, the Multimedia Super Corridor was conceptualised and realised in the 1990s with the objective of turning Malaysia into an exporter of technological solutions. Of course, all these happened long before the term ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ was hatched and announced.

11. The MSC is linked to the expansion of skilled knowledge-based industries. Initiatives like MSC were in anticipation of the impending digital upheaval and in meeting the nation’s needs and challenges of the time.

12. Since its inception in 1996, the MSC has created more than 160,000 jobs within Malaysia’s digital landscape and has generated more than RM47 billion in revenue across 3,000 companies.

13. Today however, the Malaysian society have changed drastically due to the emergence of individual, industrial, and societal connectivity in the new digital landscape. We have to work even harder to ensure a very rapid and sustained growth so as to keep ourselves abreast with the upcoming technological changes.

 

THEME: CREATING DISTINCTIVE DIGITAL SOLUTIONS

14. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will change the kinds of jobs needed in industry. Our strong view is that as a nation we must create the jobs of the future.

15. Our goal must be to automate work, but humanise jobs. Allow machines to do the dangerous and repetitive, and ensure we humans have the capacity to do the creative, empathetic and interactive.

16. Therefore, an urgent response is needed for Malaysia to create, adopt, and integrate distinctive technological solutions to transform workforce and industries.

17. In order to fully manifest the technological innovations within Malaysia’s economic framework, a symbiotic relationship of sorts must be formed between relevant government agencies and the private sectors that are helming it.

18. We are happy to see Serba Dinamik IT Solutions (SDIT) taking the lead to initiate these activities to propel and navigate businesses through the digital option.

19. The partnerships that have been formed to make this event a success serve as an example of what this symbiotic relationship can achieve.

20. MIDA, the co-organiser of this Summit, has been exemplary in collaborating with government stakeholders in enabling national companies to embrace Industry 4.0 technologies guided by National Industry Forward (Industry4WRD) Policy.

21. We also have MDEC that is pushing greatly for a National Artificial Intelligence Framework, which shall be integral in transforming the Nation to become an Artificial Intelligence Hub and lay the foundational frameworks and policies related to the main pillars of IR 4.0.

22. Microsoft, which has become a trusted advisor to Malaysian businesses and organisations since its establishment in Malaysia, has been providing necessary platforms and tools to empower enterprises to embark on their digital transformation journey in an agile manner.

23. Last but certainly not the least, TM One, the Technology Partner of the summit that is committed in playing the strategic role in building more digital business through Digital Solutions and Connectivity.

24. Each of the mentioned partners, which has distinctive expertise in IR 4.0 solutions, are creating the culture of innovation and appreciation in creating distinctive digital solutions.

25. If our local industry, specially the SME’s does not catch up to the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and its advancements, we risk losing out on potentially new innovations from the innate but untapped talent that exists within Malaysia, instead of growing and innovating alongside their needs.

 

TURNING THE NATIONAL DIGITAL POLICIES AND AMBITIONS INTO REALITY

26. As mentioned in the Industry Forward (Industry4WRD) initiative, the global value chains and geographies of production are shifting towards ASEAN. Therefore SMEs and local businesses have to be at the forefront of digital transformation to be able to stay attractive for investors and competitive on the global scale.

27. A paradigm shift among SMEs especially on innovation and creative solutions are key in propelling the manufacturing industry forward as they account for 98.5% of manufacturing companies and 42% of employment.

28. To establish an ecosystem of Industry 4.0, both the industry leaders and the talent supply have to fully understand and embrace the disruptive technologies. For now, adapting is a must but soon, mastering the technology is fundamental.

 

INCEPTION OF THE DIGITAL CULTURE IN THE MALAYSIAN WORKFORCE

29. As we anticipate the unprecedented technological advancements that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has unearthed, the impact it has on both local and global human talent cannot be ignored.

30. According to a report from the World Economic Forum, the most globally in demand occupations and specialities across a wide range of industries did not exist 10 or even 5 years ago.

31. Furthermore, it has been projected that 65 per cent of today’s children currently in primary education will be working in jobs that do not exist today. And as 70% of the current workforce are SPM graduates, reskilling Malaysians of all ages is imperative in order to ensure success within our economic landscape for the years to come.

32. Sophia the Robot, whom we all share the pleasure of having her & the Hanson Robotics team here today, is an ideal example of technological advancement called Artificial Intelligence that is bringing unparalleled impact to the industry.

33. Having Sophia here, which is an embodiment of Artificial Intelligence, indicates that humanoid robots are not that far away from being deployed among the workforce in multiple industry.

34. In fact, automation that is powered by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning or Deep Learning are now disrupting multiple industries on significant scale. Just like any other Industrial Revolution, some job scope will be displaced especially those that are repetitive in characteristics.

35. The focus on the Fourth Industrial Revolution shouldn’t be solely on its technological growth, but on the people and societies it touch.

 

CLOSING AND SUMMARY

36. As transformation is part and parcel of the human experience, it’s fitting that the Beyond Paradigm Summit’s theme is ‘Creating Distinctive Transforming Solutions’.

37. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the relevant parties in organising this event. Such private-public sector engagements shall be pursued and be an example for further efforts in driving the nation’s digital initiatives.

38. Despite all the technological disruptions that are threatening our traditional jobs, the government is determined to create the future of Malaysia that is fair and humane underpinned by shared prosperity.

39. On that note, I hereby officiate the inaugural Beyond Paradigm Summit 2019.

 

Thank you.

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