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Taking Malaysia’s Manufacturing Sector to The Next Level: The Next Steps – Sarojini Ganesan

November 30, 2022

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Manufacturers and businesses are soaring high on the path of digitalisation. Find out how MIDA and the Malaysian government are acting as air traffic control to guide and directing them through their digitalisation journey.

Sarojini Ganesan, Deputy Director of Advanced Technology and R&D Division, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA)

This article features the main highlights from Sarojini Ganesan’s presentation at TM One’s Leap Forward Manufacturing 2022 event, where she talks about MIDA and the government’s role in supporting the manufacturing industry’s journey towards digitalisation. Sarojini is the Deputy Director of the Advanced Technology and Research and Development (R&D) Division of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

Industry4WRD is Charting the Path for Malaysia’s Manufacturing Industry and Related Services

Working under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), MIDA positions itself as the government’s principal agency for promoting foreign and domestic investment and development. MIDA acts as the first point of contact for businesses to invest in the Malaysian manufacturing industry and relevant service sectors, and is responsible for planning and recommending the right policies and strategies for industrial development in Malaysia to MITI.

In 2021, MIDA brought in RM306.5 billion in overall investments.  This represented an 83.1% increase when compared to investments made in 20201.

As investors roll in, MIDA partners with them step-by-step to evaluate, approve, and oversee the implementation and post-investment processes of their projects to ensure a smooth sailing business process.

Over the past few years, the Malaysian government has been encouraging the growth of a technologically smart nation. To stay aligned with this goal, Malaysia’s manufacturing industry and services sector are now guided by a framework set by the national policy – Industry4WRD.

Launched during the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in 2018, this policy aims to integrate 11 key IT services or ‘pillars’ into manufacturing operations to achieve smarter, systematic, and resilient technological advancement. These pillars include:

– Big Data Analytics– System Integration
– Cloud Computing– Additive Manufacturing
– Augmented / Virtual / Mixed Reality– Simulation
– Cybersecurity– Internet of Things (IoT)
– Artificial Intelligence– Autonomous Robots
– Advanced Materials

Tech adoption by our manufacturing industry will strengthen the industry’s growth and productivity while enhancing Malaysia’s global competitiveness. Gradually, tech integration will generate job opportunities for local labour and as a result, our industries will be able to manage greater volumes of investments in the near future.

To accelerate efforts in strengthening the industry’s growth through tech integration, MIDA works hand-in-hand with TM One in its’ Industry4WRD High Speed Broad Band (HSBB) initiative. The initiative has provided 37 industrial areas across the nation with 1GBps high-speed broadband, providing network infrastructures for businesses to adopt 4IR technologies. This reflects a shared commitment between MIDA and TM One in supporting the adoption of IR4.0 tech and making it more accessible for manufacturers, with the common goal of elevating the manufacturing industry through digitalisation and connectivity.

Further building on the Industry4WRD initiative, the Malaysian government has since developed two additional policies to further drive the digitalisation of the nation:

  • MyDIGITAL Blueprint symbolises the government’s aspirations of transforming Malaysia into a regional example of a digitally-driven and high-income nation by charting the contribution of digitalisation to the country.
  • National 4IR policy complements the MyDIGITAL blueprint with a broader approach to transforming the development of the nation’s socioeconomic sector by championing the ethical usage of advanced technologies.

MIDA fully abides by these policies, providing the means and resources to guide businesses and manufacturers on their journey to digitalise their operations aligning to these government initiatives.

Driving the Revolution of Digitalisation Through Government Initiatives

With the numerous policies set, it is clear that the Malaysian government is on the path of digitalising the nation. In accelerating this journey, several incentives have been set up to support the digitalisation of the manufacturing industry:

1. Industry4WRD Readiness Assessment (RA) Programme

A key initiative is the Industry4WRD Readiness Assessment (RA) Programme, aimed at providing manufacturers and related businesses access to trained assessors to help them understand their own readiness for digital transformation and get recommendations to kick-start their journey.

This assessment criteria focusses on three shift factors: Process, People, and Technology.

  • The ‘People’ shift takes 20% of the overall priority, focusing on the people involved in the workforce by enforcing suitable strategies, and upgrading their skills and talent.
  • The ‘Process’ shift hones in on the management system of the business (I.e., Operations, supply chain, and product lifecycle), taking up 30% of the priority. This is to create a favourable business environment and encourage frictionless public-private partnerships.
  • The ‘Technology’ shift prioritises the application of intelligent and automated tech to compete with global manufacturers, taking up the remaining 50% of focused criteria.

2. Industry4WRD Intervention Fund

Businesses can also rest easy with the establishment of the Industry4WRD Intervention Fund, a financial support facility to ensure that Malaysian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within manufacturing and related sectors are progressing along with their larger counterparts.

Applications for these funds are managed by MIDA and are important for SMEs to implement any intervention projects and improvement plans as recommended by a report from the RA mentioned previously. Eligible applications will receive an upfront grant (30%) while the remaining funds can be reimbursed along the way, all of which are approved by MIDA.

3. Biz4WRD Platform

Further supporting the digital transformation of businesses, MITI launched the Biz4WRD Platform: a collaborative platform to connect, learn, and encourage discussions among companies who are on their digitalisation journeys.

This platform also acts as a repository as it provides businesses with resources pertaining to the right tech and services for 4IR. 

4. Automation Capital Allowance (ACA)

The government also launched the Automation Capital Allowance (Automation CA) incentive while announcing the National Budget in 2015. This incentive was released through a collaboration with the Standard and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) who manages the technical verification of companies while MIDA manages the non-technical verification.

Promoted as the key to driving automation and increasing productivity in the manufacturing industry, this incentive encourages manufacturing companies to get involved in innovative, productive, and automotive initiatives, and for MIDA to assist in reducing the technological gap among industry players by providing assistance to businesses in need.

There are two categories to this initiative:

  • Category 1:  involves labour intensive industries (I.e., rubber, plastic, wood, furniture and textile products). Applicants are eligible to receive an ACA of 200% on the first RM4 million expenditure incurred within 8 years of assessment (between 2015 – 2023). Expenses incurred refers to plant and machinery that has been purchased and used for the business.
  • Category 2:  involved other industries that do not qualify under Category 1. Terms are similar to Category 1, with a lower ACA of 200% on the first RM 2 million expenditure.

Entering the Digitalisation Era for Other Relevant Sectors

Aside from formal government initiatives, MIDA is also spearheading several other facilitations related to 4IR:

Supply Chain Development: MIDA collaborates with other anchor companies to develop local suppliers and potential vendors for the adoption of 4IR technologies at scale across the supply chain.

Industry4WRD Centres of Excellence: This initiative is built in tandem with R&D centres from selected local institutes such as University of Malaya (UM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), among others. This initiative provides access to professional industrial consultants and researchers in guiding businesses through technical insights and expertise.

Artificial Intelligence for SMEs (AI4S):  The coming together of MIDA, the Malaysian Productivity Corporation (MPC), and Intel Malaysia resulted in the AI4S initiative, aimed towards empowering 100 potential SMEs by providing the opportunity to learn and explore AI usage for innovation within business operations.

Achieving the Status of a High-Income and Technologically Advanced Nation with the National Investment Aspirations

With MIDA’s core purpose being to attract maximum value investments for both investors and the nation, our policies and incentives are designed to help propel Malaysia towards a high-income and technologically advanced future. To guide the direction and selection of policy and incentive implementation against five National Investment Aspirations:

  • To increase local economic complexity
  • Create high value job opportunities:
  • Extend domestic linkages
  • Develop new and existing clusters
  • Improve inclusivity

With each step taken in these aspirational directions, MIDA is committed to providing the right type of support in helping manufacturers and business practitioners alike, going hand-in-hand towards preparing Malaysia for a digitalised, economically resilient future.

Empowering Care: Digital Healthcare Solutions in i-Kiddo Ward

June 22, 2023

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Experience a new era of healthcare at ParkCity Medical Centre's i-Kiddo Ward. Discover how innovative digital healthcare solutions are transforming patient care, enhancing comfort, and empowering families. With cutting-edge technology and personalized experiences, we're revolutionizing the way children receive medical treatment. Join us on this extraordinary journey towards a brighter and smarter future for healthcare.

Kuala Lumpur, 20 June 2023 – In collaboration with TM One, the enterprise and Government sector solutions arm of TM, ParkCity Medical Centre (PMC), a multidisciplinary hospital under Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care (RSDH) is proud to announce the launch of i-Kiddo Ward with smart patient suite features. It aims to offer high-quality services and ensure a better overall experience for patients and their families. This is one of PMC’s digitalisation initiatives that leverages digital healthcare solutions to revolutionise patient care experiences.

The i-Kiddo Ward is PMC’s new paediatric ward equipped with cutting-edge room capabilities, driven by Internet of Things (IoT) technology for automation and surround control. It is designed to enhance patient comfort, streamline nursing care activities and provide convenience to parents and caregivers.

Each of the 35 rooms within the i-Kiddo Ward creates a home-like environment within the hospital setting, allowing patients to customise their in-patient environment. Patients can effortlessly control lighting, air conditioning, curtains and reduce the need for assistance from nursing staff through user-friendly interfaces. These innovative features enhance the patients’ experience and support parents in ensuring their children’s utmost comfort and well-being throughout their hospital stay.

“In collaboration with TM One, we take great pride in being the first hospital to leverage their Smart Patient Suite Solution in our innovative i-Kiddo Ward. By embracing digital technologies, we are revolutionising the way patients and their families experience healthcare within our hospital. This has marked a significant milestone in our digitalisation journey,” said Mr. Peter S. Kasinathan, CEO of ParkCity Medical Centre.

“We are excited to partner with Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care in launching our first Smart Patient Suite. This innovative solution will provide an enhanced patient-centric care experience that puts the patient at the centre of their health journey. By integrating IoT, AI, and digitalisation, RSDH is at the forefront of healthcare innovation. This collaboration will revolutionise patient care and improve in-patient experience through the latest technology. We’re proud to play a role in shaping the future of the nation’s future healthcare,” said Shazurawati Abd Karim, Executive Vice President, TM One.

As part of its ongoing digitalisation efforts, PMC has implemented a smart queue system for outpatient services, ensuring seamless and efficient patient flow. A smart car parking system utilising car number plate recognition has also been recently introduced. Looking ahead, the hospital has several other digital healthcare initiatives in the pipeline, including an innovative ward that enables patients to use bedside terminals for ordering meals, monitoring medication and accessing personal treatment information.

Peter Hong, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care (RSDH) said, “We are proud of our collective efforts in driving digitalisation, and it exemplifies our commitment to leveraging technology for enhanced patient care. Through the collaboration with TM One, we aim to harness the power of digitalisation to create a seamless healthcare ecosystem, providing more personalised and patient-centred services to our community, ultimately shaping a brighter and smarter future for healthcare together.”

For more information on PMC and its services, visit

TM’s new Fibre Optic Network HUB (Point of Presence) brings Faster, More Reliable Internet Connectivity to Rural and Remote Areas.

April 18, 2023

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  • Installed 233 PoPs under phase 1 with 100% completion, across northern, Sabah and Sarawak
  • Enabled greater digital inclusion and opportunities to all layers of community

Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) has today announced the completion of its new fibre optic network hub or point of presence (PoP) project phase one (1) installations, across northern region, Sabah and Sarawak. The launch ceremony, which was officiated by YB Fahmi Fadzil, Minister of Communications and Digital, took place at SMK Padang Terap, Kuala Nerang, Kedah. Also present were Dato’ Haji Pkharuddin Bin Haji Ghazali, Director-General of Education and Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad Bin Mentek, Secretary-General, Ministry of Communications and Digital.

PoP is a place where different devices connect to each other and to the internet. In simple terms, PoP brings fibre closer to users. By setting up PoP locations near schools, people in rural and remote areas can get better and faster internet services in their homes, instead of relying on mobile internet. This will improve internet access and connectivity for more people in the community.

During the ceremony, YB Fahmi highlighted the significant benefits and opportunities that the new PoPs would bring. The new PoPs represent a major step forward in the Government’s efforts to narrow the digital gap and promote digital inclusion across Malaysia.

A total of 4,370 PoPs had been planned under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) where 4,323 PoPs will be installed near rural schools and 47 PoPs near industrial area. Phase one (1) of the project, involves 677 sites and the remaining will be implemented under phase two (2) over the span of three (3) years, 2022-2025. A total of 233 PoP circuits were installed under phase 1, with 100% completion achieved by TM, ahead of other industry players.

YB Fahmi Fadzil, Minister of Communications and Digital, and puan Shazurawati Abdul Karim, Executive Vice President of TM One at the launch.

“We are thrilled to see the progress and achievements of this project, which will bring significant benefits and opportunities to the community, including improved internet quality, economic development and the development of new infrastructures,” said Shazurawati Abdul Karim, Executive Vice President of TM One.

PoP will create a more balanced and inclusive regional development, boosting the growth of new technologies like 5G and future generations of communication technologies. Through this initiative, users in TM’s PoP area have now reached over 9,000 and are increasing. A total of 58 of its users are schools that have subscribed to Unifi services. The widespread internet accessibility will not only help to develop the rural economy but more importantly allow learning materials to be downloaded, to improve the quality of education in schools, equipping the future generations with a wealth of knowledge.

“As the nation’s telecommunications leader, and enabler of Digital Malaysia, TM is committed to support the nation’s development agenda through the benefits brought by hyperconnectivity and digital solutions, which will accelerate digital adoption and new economic growth,” added Shazurawati.

“The presence of PoP can attract technology companies, start-ups and other businesses that require a high-speed internet connection to operate. This can create more job opportunities, increase innovation, and stimulate economic growth in local communities,” concluded Shazurawati.

The collaboration between TM and the Government demonstrates the shared commitment to deliver digital inclusivity throughout Malaysia. For phase two (2) of PoP project, TM has been awarded with 174 sites in the central region. This phase is expected to further boost digital connectivity and economic development for Malaysia.

NCT Group and TM Collaborate to Future-Proof Selangor Smart Industrial Park Through Integrated Digital Solutions

March 10, 2023

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  • Integration of TM’s robust and secure digital infrastructure for fixed and wireless connectivity and smart solutions will position SSIP as one of the leading industrial parks in Selangor to implement end-to-end digitisation across facilities
  • Smart solutions for businesses, industries, residences and community with advanced analytics to deliver a smarter and more efficient city for a greener Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, 9 AUGUST 2022 – NCT Group of Companies (NCT) and Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) through its enterprise and public sector business solution arm, TM One, have today signed a Collaboration Agreement for the integration of end-to-end digital solutions for NCT’s landmark Selangor Smart Industrial Park (SSIP).

The collaboration is aligned with NCT’s aspirations to establish dynamic and future-ready property developments while redefining Malaysia’s industrial park concept, with SSIP on track to become the first Managed Industrial Park (MIP) certified park in Malaysia.

Powered by TM’s robust and secured digital infrastructure for both fixed and wireless connectivity, as well as digital solutions including Smart Services, ICT Solutions, Cloud and Cybersecurity Services, among others, SSIP will offer a differentiated experience with the latest in smart innovations – becoming one the leading developments in Malaysia to effectively implement end-to-end digitisation across all its facilities that will enable more efficient, modern and sustainable operations.

In addition to the digitalisation of business and residential facilities, SSIP will also include an AI-managed centralised employee quarters complete with smart surveillance, supporting NCT’s close to 10,000 workforce more efficiently, in a safer and secured environment. It will also house a Smart Wellness Centre leveraging on TM One’s end-to-end comprehensive digital solutions.

SSIP will reflect NCT’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) aspiration and decarbonisation goals, with plans for 1,000 units of solar-ready factories and warehouses. Coupled with TM’s Smart Service solutions such as Smart Surveillance, Smart Street Light, Smart Building, Smart Premise, Smart Parking and Smart Community, this will also factor into creating a comfortable and greener ecosystem in SSIP.\

photo: NCT Group and TM One

Dato’ Sri Yap Ngan Choy, Group Managing Director of NCT said “It is a privilege to work alongside TM to ensure full suite of connectivity to power our SSIP. The role of TM is crucial in providing the groundwork and framework to realise our vision of creating a fully integrated end-to-end digital solution for our clients. With the development and application of advanced technology, we aim to set a new benchmark to transform the design of industrial parks in the country while playing an active role in advancing Malaysia’s digital aspirations. Coupled with the immense economic potential, SSIP will continue to enhance Selangor’s position as the top investment destination in the country.”

Shazurawati Abd Karim, TM One’s Executive Vice President shared, “We are excited to embark on this alliance with NCT and to support their aspirations to establish a smart, efficient, resilient and sustainable industrial park – one that will redefine the digitalisation of property developments in Malaysia.”

“Aligning with TM’s mission to become a human-centred technology company, our comprehensive solutions from connectivity to smart services and digital innovations will advance the quality and efficiency of businesses and residents within SSIP – taking transformation forward for future communities,” she concluded.  

For further information on TM One, visit

TM One named FROST & SULLIVAN Malaysian Cybersecurity Services Company of The Year

March 02, 2023

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Recognised for extensive capabilities and resources to address cybersecurity gaps among organisations and support data protection efforts in the evolving digital space

TM One, the enterprise and government sector solutions arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (“TM”), was named the Frost & Sullivan Malaysian Cybersecurity Services Company of the Year for 2022.

The award was decided based on a series of detailed evaluations following Frost & Sullivan’s best practices criteria, in which TM One excelled as a service partner in addressing Malaysia’s enterprise and government sector cybersecurity needs.

“TM One is recognized based on its extensive cybersecurity capabilities and resources. With a full suite of cybersecurity services and infrastructure, coupled with a deep understanding of the Malaysian market landscape, TM One continuously upholds a strong reputation of effectively addressing its customers’ security needs,” said Anh Tien Vu, Industry Principal, Global Cybersecurity Research Team at Frost & Sullivan.

Shazurawati Abd Karim, Executive Vice President, TM One, said: “We are honoured to receive the Frost & Sullivan Malaysian Cybersecurity Services Company of the Year Award. With cybersecurity emerging as a top priority for organisations in their transformation journey, we are committed to growing our end-to-end solutions so that we can provide our customers digital freedom and peace of mind as they expand their businesses in the digital space. Understanding their unique business needs, we work with organisations to assess their cybersecurity capabilities and provide advisory services through our dedicated TM One Cyber Defense Centre (CYDEC) – helping them make the right choices to respond to cyber threats more effectively.”

Addressing Cybersecurity Gaps among Enterprises and Public Sector

More Malaysian organisations are now investing heavily in cybersecurity. As they become increasingly present and vulnerable in the digital space, organisations need to adopt a stronger security posture in their information technology, operational technology, and cloud infrastructure capabilities.

Shazurawati said, “One of the key challenges for organisations is the shortage of in-house security expertise, professionals, and tools, requiring them to outsource their security operations. By working closely with customers to assess their security posture, technology maturity, and business needs, TM One offers customised solutions for managed security services, consultation and advisory, and other value-added services to help them navigate today’s complex technological landscape.”

TM One is also strengthening the public sector’s cybersecurity, working alongside the Malaysian Government to enhance digital connectivity and smart innovations for cities and industries to propel the nation towards becoming a digital economy. In addition to connectivity, TM One continues to invest in local data centres, digital infrastructure and services, ensuring data sovereignty remains within Malaysian borders while bringing global best practices to the nation’s public sector.

Its investments to strengthen Malaysia’s Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII) is one of its efforts to protect government and public data, with its cybersecurity solutions developed in compliance with Bank Negara Malaysia’s Risk Management in Technology (RMiT) policy and the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (PDPA).

Anh Tien Vu said, “One consideration that stood out for Frost and Sullivan was that TM One has earned endorsements and collaborations from local cyber authorities, such as Cybersecurity Malaysia and the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) of Malaysia through its implementation of best practices, and world-class infrastructure backed by experts. Frost & Sullivan commends TM One’s steadfast efforts in providing cybersecurity services that exemplify this implementation of best practices, which have benefited customers and communities tremendously.”

“On top of developing our own end-to-end solutions, TM One continues to strengthen its partnership ecosystem, collaborating with companies from various security domains to diversify its offerings and coverage. This includes FNS Value Co. Limited, the sole distributor of its Blockchain Secure Authentication solution in Malaysia, which helps secure digital transactions and online credentials, and Telefónica Tech – a global leader in cybersecurity, Cloud and IoT, as a partner in delivering Digital Risk Protection,” explained Shazurawati.

“Our efforts to expand our cybersecurity services and to provide customers with cutting-edge security reflect our commitment to tackling today’s growing cybersecurity concerns. With next-gen technologies such as 5G opening up both new opportunities and threats, TM One is poised as the enabler for organisations’ next advantage and security, today and tomorrow,” she concluded.

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