CYBERJAYA: Cyberjaya, home to many multinational corporations (MNC) and technology companies, is expected to rope in more investors with the upcoming roll-out of 5G technology, said Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) COO Datuk Ng Wan Peng.

The 5G technology test started last month in Cyberjaya and Putrajaya and will continue for the next six months, as telcos and industry players explore the capabilities of 5G. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has previously stated that the commercial roll-out of 5G network in Malaysia is expected to take place in 2021/2022.

“There will be both the infrastructure-based and solution-based (players). 5G can drive many things, such as smart cities. There is continuous engagement on this (getting investors) and we’re talking to quite a few investors. We believe that when we put Malaysia as a place to roll out 5G, there will be a lot of interested parties,” Ng said during an interview recently.

She said there were already many players showcasing their products at the 5G Malaysia showcase in Putrajaya last month and these players definitely want a place to invest in and market their products.

“We also hope that once they test the solutions in Malaysia, Malaysia can become their base for them to further develop (their products) and sell it to the global market.

“Today, there are many tech companies here (Cyberjaya). We have big numbers like the services companies, data centres, cloud service providers, animation companies and other tech companies here and there will be more, especially with the opportunities driven by 5G,” added Ng.

According to Cyberjaya’s master developer Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd, there are 1,815 companies in Cyberjaya as at December 2018 consisting of 506 Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) companies, 845 non-MSC companies, 429 start-ups and 35 government/government-linked companies.

Although Cyberjaya may be “under the radar”, Ng pointed out that many things are happening in the tech hub, given that it has an active digital services sector, animation centres, data centres, and even an active drone tech community.

“There will continue to be efforts in driving more activities in Cyberjaya,” she said.

Ng said MDEC continues to advocate the digital economy and wants to ensure that the country has the right policies for investments to thrive. She opined that Malaysia is attractive enough as an investment destination and has existing incentives for companies.

“We have to continue to invest in talent development. Coupled with the right policies that make it easier for business to operate, then we will have the right ingredients to attract and retain (investors).

“We also need to be sensitive towards companies’ needs and work together to understand where they’re going. If they need talent for data, we can’t be doing nothing about it. We need to identify the global trends and invest in those.”

Citing awareness, cost and talent as reasons why businesses are unable to adopt digital technologies, Ng said it is addressing these three concerns through working with relevant agencies, while suggesting that businesses can start small and scale fast.

“We need to have a concerted effort to move forward, like to get more traditional sectors to adopt digital technology. Some are advanced, some are lagging. We want to accelerate the pace,” she added.

The services sector contributes 51% of total investments into MSC last year, the largest among various sectors.

“We believe services will continue to be a key contributor as we have the most number of MNCs in services sector,” said Ng.

She said MDEC is confident for the digital economy to contribute 20% to Malaysia’s gross domestic product by 2020, from 18.3% in 2017, with key investors working hand-in-hand with industries to drive the adoption of digital techonology.

A player in the services sector, Shell Business Operations Kuala Lumpur (SBOKL) in Cyberjaya delivers global business operations for Shell such as creative solutions, customer operations, contracting and procurement, finance operations, human resource operations, information technology and more.

SBOKL general manager Nyon Kam Yew said the company, with over 1,600 staff, it is upskilling and reskilling its talent by coming up with its Big Data Upskilling Program. This programme provides an overview of big data analytics and its real-life applications in presenting actionable insights and solutions. It is also providing certification of qualified data analysts.

“The upskilling and reskilling is not just to make the workforce better in data and digital. We’re hiring 140 new roles in global commercial business, a downstream business such as data marketing and customer operations data analytics.

“Another area we’re hiring for digital is creative solutions, production, interface with customers via digital channel ... these are jobs that we’re now creating and we want to make sure Malaysia has a place to play in getting roles on data and digital,” said Nyon.

SBOKL wants to use data as an enabler and to generate new insights to the business. Over the last five years (2014-2018), SBOKL has invested RM4 billion, mainly in operating expenditure.

“Moving up the value chain means you’re going to invest more in your people, hire people with skills for the future and this is where we’re looking at increasing the level of investments.”