KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 (Bernama) — The government has appointed the national research and development (R&D) centre, MIMOS Berhad, as the implementing agency for the National Digital Identity programme or Digital ID with an initial allocation of RM80 million.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Ministry of Finance would channel the allocation to MIMOS next week, while the Ministry of Home Affairs (KDN) will expedite the implementation of the programme.

“I have decided that MIMOS will manage the Digital ID for Malaysia. There is an urgent need, and there is an allocation for the purpose (Digital ID) approved by the KDN.

“I have also received assurance that it can be expedited within three months from now, provided that the government approves the allocation,” he said during an official visit to MIMOS Berhad in Taman Teknologi Malaysia, Bukit Jalil, today.

Also present were Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Minister of Health Dr Zaliha Mustafa, and Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Chang Lih Kang.

The Prime Minister also gave assurance that in addition to the initial allocation, several other approvals related to the Digital ID programme would be completed by the end of this month.

He said that Digital ID is needed to assist the government in implementing targeted subsidy programmes and other initiatives planned for the people.

Meanwhile, Anwar also emphasised the need to strengthen the country’s science and technology research machinery in line with the digital transformation, which is a cornerstone of the MADANI nation’s approach.

“If we want to elevate the dignity, status, and well-being of our country, then we must harness our internal strengths first. This does not mean we don’t learn from foreign experiences. We want our country to progress and not be left behind, but not by copying or surrendering to foreign technology. Instead, we should advance with our internal strengths and expertise.

“This country cannot move at a leisurely pace for too long; we need to put on a spurt. This requires expertise from everyone capable, demonstrating their abilities and skills in this field, and fostering a new awareness,” he said.

Meanwhile, Anwar acknowledged the feedback from Infineon Technologies AG and the Chinese automotive company, Geely, which have invested in Malaysia, which said that there is a deficiency in the highest-level skills among engineers in the country.

“Although they (Infineon) are proud of the professionalism of our engineers and our technology, they still believe there is a shortage in terms of the highest-level skills needed but not readily available among the locals,” he said.

As such, the Prime Minister said MIMOS should provide training and develop a curriculum directly managed by the agency or in collaboration with universities and other research centres to address the issue.

He also expressed hope that MIMOS and local universities could identify areas that require training to prepare adequately trained personnel to address the shortage and boost training, particularly in the fields of digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI).


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