Press Release                                                                                             11 January 2021

 IDS CEO Mr. Anthony Kiob (center) chairing the discussion session

KOTA KINABALU (Mon): Digital economy is the way forward for Sabah, said Mr Anthony Kiob IDS CEO at a discussion on Digital Economy and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) organised by IDS today. The meeting was attended by the main players in the Technology Innovation sectors in Sabah from the government, private and the NGOs sectors.

“One of the hindrances of the development of the digital economy in Sabah was created by the lack of cooperation in terms of data sharing between the state and federal agencies,” said Anthony. “Precious time is wasted to make meaningful and effective progress in the implementation of digital revolution in Sabah due to federal and state tussle in data sharing,” he added.

Meanwhile the effort to accelerate the development of 4IR technology and the implementation of digital economy has prompted the Federal to set up the National Digital Economy and 4IR council in the Middle of the year 2020. In its first meeting the council has identified six clusters as the driving components in the digital economy and 4IR agenda namely; i) Expand real-time broadband demand platform for effective planning and monitoring; ii) Strengthen cross-border data transfer mechanism and protection to facilitate seamless data flows; iii) Strengthen cross-border data transfer mechanism and protection to facilitate seamless data flows; iv) Introduce and Enhanced Mechanism to roll out Smart Cities; v) Establish a Centralised Open Data Platform amongst Industry Players to promote Farming Adoption; and vi) Introduce a Cyber Security Law and Strengthen Existing Governance on Cyber Security Matters.

For Sabah, as a member of the DE&4IR National Council, IDS is tasked to provide feedbacks from the digital economy players on how best to move forward in facing the current challenges particularly the Covid-19 pandemic’s effect on economy and move towards the new digital economy era.

Among the issues highlighted during the discussion was the state readiness in terms of infrastructure in particular electricity and broadband facilities. Anthony acknowledges the importance of tackling the very basic requirements needed to ensure 4IR and digital economy success in Sabah. Meanwhile the group stressed on the importance on finding quick alternative solutions to Sabah’s current lack of infrastructure facilities to support its digital economy move.

The group has also highlighted infrastructure is not the only issues that need to be addressed in order for Sabah to move towards the 4IR and digital economy successfully. Mental revolution is crucial and exposing the target group to knowledge of the digital economy and coaching them in applying this knowledge is important to ensure the success of digital revolution in Sabah.

In terms of Smart farming, Anthony highlighted that this is in line with the state mission in the Sabah Maju Jaya agenda.  In The SMJ agriculture has been highlighted as one of the backbone to Sabah’s economy that needs to be propelled further. The group stressed on the importance of setting up of agriculture collection centres in major districts with agriculture produce. Meanwhile it was also highlighted on the importance of exposing farmers especially the old generation to new way of marketing agriculture produce through digital marketing for faster and more efficient way of distributing agriculture produce.

In terms of tackling Cyber Security Law and Governance, the group proposed that a state Liaison committee is set up so the industry players will be able to refer to the committee for clarification on Cyber Law and security matters. The group has also stressed the importance of close working relationship between the government, the private sectors and the community to ensure the success of the implementation of the 4IR and the digital economy in Sabah.

In his closing remarks Mr Anthony expressed his confident with the support of this knowledgeable group Sabah can look forward to a success implementation of the 4IR and the adoption of the digital economy in the state sooner than expected.

Also present during the meeting was Viviantie Sarjuni, General Manager of Sabah Creative Economy and Innovative Centre, Faezrah Rizalman, Founder of Rambutan Code Academy, Lim Tzyy Shyong, Chief Technology Officer of Mindvalley-Ed Tech, Arthur Kent Raymond, Senior Project Consultant of Digital Heritage Sdn Bhd/SabahNet, Severinus Kitingan, President of Sabah Techpreneur Association (SATA), Edham Arief Dawillah, President of Kinabalu Coders, Dr. Bilson Kurus, Senior Manager of POIC Sabah Sdn. Bhd., Azizul Julirin, President of PANTAS/Kundasang Cashless Agro Supply, Geoffrey Sinn, Founder and Animation Art Director of All-For-One Productions, Anne Antah, Managing Director of Chanteek Borneo Sdn. Bhd., Dr. Imbarine Bujang, Associate Professor in Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), and Petrus Gimbad, Director of Kwantas Corporation Berhad.

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