As I reflect on the events that have occurred recently, I am proud that we as Malaysians have stayed united and strong, supporting one another in times of need and difficulties.
The public and private sectors stood in solidarity to help with the nation’s economic recovery and business continuity efforts. Financial assistance, technology solutions and upskilling programs were extended to local businesses, benefitting many micro, small and medium entrepreneurs who were able to stay open and innovate.
For businesses, going digital was no longer a ‘strategic plan’, but an action that needed to be urgently implemented. With help from the government and industry players, I witnessed entire industries undergo rapid digital transformation. Businesses turned to Cloud technology and collaborative platforms such as Microsoft 365 and Teams, to empower their workers to work from home, whilst maintaining productivity and efficiency.
The same is true for education. Education is a matter that is close to my heart – having spent my primary, secondary and tertiary studies locally. This year, as schools, colleges, and universities had to embrace remote learning, we quickly stepped in to ease the transition.
Together with the Ministry of Education and other industry players, we introduced DELIMa, or ‘Digital Educational Learning Initiative Malaysia’, extending our productivity tools including Office 365 to more than 5.2 students and educators nationwide. Leveraging available digital tools, teachers are seamlessly collaborating on platforms such as DigitalClassroom, sharing knowledge and skills to enhance their students’ learning experience.
It is times like these that remind us that each of us as individuals can also bring significant and meaningful changes to our communities. One of our employees, Sivasangaran Kumaran, had worked with a healthcare center to embrace remote solutions, thus ensuring critical childcare therapy can be continued virtually via Microsoft Teams. Meanwhile, Malaysia’s online ticketing platform, Ticket2u, started a donation drive for Zoo Negara enabled by Microsoft Azure’s cloud platform, helping those in need while building new capabilities and business opportunities.
These collaboration and partnerships are what embody the spirit of Malaysia. Even in the face of hardship, we worked together to help forge a better future for everyone. With technology becoming more ingrained in our daily lives, it is vital that we work in tandem with the government and other industry players, to enhance technological accessibility among all Malaysians, towards a move resilient and inclusive country.
This in turn will open up a world of new possibilities for all communities. Technology has the power to transform a person’s life, introducing them to new skills, jobs and opportunities. It encourages innovation and entrepreneurship, which in turn will boost the nation’s economy.
As we look into the future, the job landscape will continue to evolve. Digital skills are becoming a strict requirement for many jobs today, as more and more technology is incorporated into the business process. 2 years ago, Microsoft pledged our support for the ASEAN Digital Skills Vision 2020, to provide 15,000 university students with internship opportunities, deliver digital skills training to 2.2 million SME employees, and to hire 8,500 digital workers across ASEAN.
Since then, we have partnered with companies such as Grab to introduce the Grab for Good program, as well as government agencies such as MDEC, to support them in their quest to upskill and prepare Malaysia for the digital economy. More recently, we launched a global skilling initiative to provide digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of 2020. I firmly believe expanding access to digital talent is a crucial step to accelerate economic recovery.
Recent events have shown us all that we are capable of transformation and that we need to remain united, now more than ever, to build a better and stronger future ahead. For more than 28 years, Microsoft has and will continue to partner Malaysia, to help fulfill Malaysia’s digital transformation ambition, thus creating new opportunities for all Malaysians. Looking forward to the future ahead of us.
Selamat Hari Merdeka!