KUALA LUMPUR: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) is working towards accelerating the implementation of the 5G network to enhance internet connectivity throughout the country, thus ensuring the creative and digital industries are not left behind.

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin (pix) said currently, Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB), the country’s sole 5G wholesale service operator, was focusing on implementing the 5G technology in big cities.

“We are aware that Malaysia is lagging behind in 5G (services). As such, the Finance Ministry (MOF) has taken the effort to set up DNB to take over the (implementation of) 5G, while 4G implementation is still being undertaken by telecommunications companies.

“These efforts by MOF will focus on major cities first before moving to rural areas. We are aware that this will take some time and therefore we want to accelerate the process,” he said during the question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He was responding to an additional question from Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) about the government’s move to speed up 5G services in Malaysia so that the creative and digital industries would not be left behind, since 58 countries including Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore already have 5G services.

Answering Ahmad’s original question on plans to make the creative and digital industries the source of income for youths, Zahidi said KKMM through its agencies offered various programmes in the form of financing facilities, capacity building, access and promotion to increase youths’ involvement in both industries.

He said through MyCreative Ventures Sdn Bhd and the Cultural Economy Development Agency (Cendana), a total of RM11.16 million was allocated through the Music Equipment Financing and Online Streaming Grant programme, micro-financing for creative entrepreneurs, Create Now Funding Programme and Independent Music Funding Programme.

He added that it involved talent development, easy loan assistance, grant assistance for marketing as well as a platform for the creation of high-value products and services.

“The National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) through programmes under the Digital Content Fund is also assisting industry players, including youths, in producing creative content with a total allocation of RM38 million,” he said.

In addition, Zahidi said the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) had implemented various programmes to benefit the youth such as the Global Online Workforce programme, Premier Digital Tech Institutions programmes, Digital Content Enterprise Development programmme, Creative Content Streaming programme as well as the Young Entrepreneur Campaign under the eUsahawan programme.

“In addition, they also offer the LEVEL UP@Schools programme or the digital game application development programme and Kre8tif! @Schools for the production of simple animation.

“To date, about 270,000 participants comprising youths have benefitted from the programmes,” he said.