SPEECH BY YAB TUN DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD
PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA
THE LAUNCHING CEREMONY OF THE 5G MALAYSIA DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS (5GDP)
19 JANUARY 2020 (SUNDAY), AT 8.30 PM
LANGKAWI INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE
1. Thank you for inviting me to launch the 5G Malaysia Demonstration Projects. It is indeed an honour to be here today.
2. Before I proceed, let me first congratulate the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for their commendable efforts in laying the necessary building blocks for the implementation of 5G in the country.
3. It is an important component for this nation as 5G has the power to promote an array of new services, improve our manufacturing efficiency, as well as spur innovation nationwide.
4. Since I launched the “5G Malaysia Showcase” in April 2019, preparations to deploy 5G have been progressing well, and I am glad to state that Malaysia is on track to commercially rollout 5G in the 3rd quarter of 2020.
5. This marks a significant beginning in our nation’s journey towards strengthening our economy to achieve sustainable growth and share the prosperity we gain with our people and ensure that we achieve our target of providing every single citizen in this nation a decent standard of living by 2030.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TECHNOLOGY IN TODAY’S WORLD
6. A closer look at the past two decades will also reveal that many of the revolutionary changes were driven by technology.
7. From the rise of smartphones in 2007 that changed the way we live, to the growth of shale oil in 2014 that triggered one of the largest oil price shocks in history, to the mighty rise of numerous tech brands like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Huawei. The common denominator was technology.
8. Technology will continue to change the way we do things and we risk being left behind if we do not change as well. On the other hand, they offer new, exciting challenges as well as immeasurable opportunities if we are capable of embracing them.
5G FOR BOTH DEVELOPING AND DEVELOPED NATIONS
9. A new decade is upon us. We meet at a time when countries like China, United States and South Korea are already rolling out 5G that will not only provide better experiences for existing applications, but also accelerate use cases such as autonomous cars and remote surgeries that were not possible with previous generations of mobile networks.
10. Economically, 5G can serve as the infrastructure for innovative growth. The convergence of 5G and different industrial sectors such as agriculture, education, healthcare, manufacturing, smart transportation, and tourism present new opportunities for industries, society, and individuals to advance their digital ambitions, and deliver new and better services.
11. Manufacturing remains as one of the vital sectors for both developing and developed nations. In developing countries, manufacturing continues to be the avenue from subsistence agriculture to rising incomes and living standards. In the developed world, it remains as a vital source of innovation and competitiveness – with enormous contributions to R&D, exports and productivity growth.
12. Similarly, for Malaysia, the manufacturing sector has played a key role in turning the country into a major player in the global value chain.
13. For the past 5 years, the manufacturing industry has contributed 22% to the GDP and it remains integral to the national economy.
14. Therefore, as the Fourth Industrial Revolution engulfs us, the question we must ask ourselves is – are we ready for it? How do we leverage on this transformative technology to enhance productivity and growth?
COOPETITION IN THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
15. In this fast-paced and high-octane world, we need to be agile as change is a daily constant - if we remain stagnant, we will not be able to compete in the global economy.
16. We also need to upskill the workforce with the skills of the future and continue to collaborate in the new spirit of coopetition. The willingness of organisations to open doors to others and share best practices will expedite the adoption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and unlock the benefit that manufacturers can create.
17. This spirit of collaboration also cuts beyond the confines of the private sectors. During my first stint as the Prime Minister, I introduced the concept of Malaysia Incorporated which integrated the private and public sectors into one common objective of developing Malaysia.
18. Thus, I firmly believe the concept still applies to this day, and it is more important than ever before for the sectors to work together to achieve the country’s big and ambitious goals.
19. Because of such collaboration, I am pleased to see that through the 5G Demonstration Projects we have identified 100 use cases, of which today we have 72 5G use cases in 56 Live 5G sites across six states that include Kedah, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Selangor, Terengganu and Penang.
THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY
20. Technology is here to stay and will remain to be the epicentre of our lives. According to a forecast from Accenture, the Industrial Internet of Things has the potential to add as much as $14.2 trillion to
the global economy and Gartner forecasts the number of connected “things” that will be in use worldwide this year will reach 20.4 billion units.
21. Data by Euromonitor International reveals that by 2023, the total sales of internet retailing in Malaysia will surge to RM30.03 billion, of which RM18 billion will be purchases made through smartphones. This is about three times more than 2019 projected internet sales of RM11.41 billion.
22. Businesses must however ensure that technology is able to complement the workforce to become more effective, knowledgeable, and productive. Technology that displaces humans runs contrary to the aspiration of the country as outlined in the government’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.
23. On this aspect, education is key in ensuring that technology is able to benefit the society. Education and the understanding of technology among the students as well as those who are in the workforce cannot wait. It has to be emphasized and promoted now.
24. Indeed, 5G can guarantee that quality education is spread far and wide, connecting the unconnected in the rural areas. Teaching can move beyond the confines of the classroom while students can learn and interact in different ways than we do today. Now, it has become more crucial than ever to develop essential skills among young Malaysians, which requires not only data-driven skills, but also mental agility, particularly when disruption has become the norm in our everyday lives.
25. Malaysia stands on an edge. We have abundance of resources and prospects; our country is poised to embark on a new era of growth. While this is within our grasp, we are at a tipping point where we can either rise or falter.
26. Though the interconnectedness of the economy does not make us immune to global economic headwinds, it is what we continue to strive individually and collectively every day to outperform and push boundaries that will allow us to stay resilient and stride forward confidently.
27. On that note, it is with great pleasure to launch the “5G Malaysia Demonstration Projects”.