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Universiti Malaya and Huawei Join Hands to Increase Knowledge Sharing on Advancing Malaysia’s Digital Economy


(L-R) Oliver Liu, Choh Yau Meng, Professor Dr. Noorsaadah Abd. Rahman, and Associate Professor Dr. Jatswan Singh at the MoU exchange ceremony

[KUALA LUMPUR, 12 APRIL 2021] The Asia-Europe Institute (AEI) of Universiti Malaya (UM) and Huawei Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Huawei) have teamed up for the purpose of accelerating Malaysia’s transformation into an advanced digital economy by 2030.

The collaboration comes in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, or MyDIGITAL, which was launched by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on February 19 this year.

MyDIGITAL maps out the many aspects of the digital economy as it looks to ensuring that the public, as well as the business and government sectors, are digitally enabled and integrated.

The collaboration, which aims to foster closer cooperation between the industry and academia, was sealed today through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will first see a jointly hosted Digital Economy Summit in September 2021, which will include the participation of universities, think tanks and industry associations.

Mr Michael Yuan, CEO of Huawei Malaysia signed the MoU on behalf of Huawei with Ms Rita Irina Abd Wahab, Huawei Malaysia’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications, as the witness.

Professor Dato’ Ir. Dr. Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor, Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaya, signed the MoU while Associate Professor Dr. Jatswan Singh, the Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Institute (AEI), acted as witness.

It is also worth noting that both parties will be releasing a collection of academic papers focusing on the digital economy, to be published by the Oxford University Press, which will then be a source of reference for global technology leaders.

Speaking on behalf of Professor Dato’ Ir. Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor, Professor Dr. Noorsaadah Abd. Rahman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) said that the exchanging of this MOU today builds and further strengthens the collaboration between Universiti Malaya and the private sector on common areas of interests between both parties.

"This is a joint public-academia and industry initiative to introduce and nurture digital competencies, creativity and innovation among students and also to help accelerate the nation’s digital economy vision for the country," she said.

She also noted that in this era of Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4) and as the nation progresses towards Malaysia 5.0, it is important to recognise the value of digital technology and telecommunications.

“By harnessing the power of the latest advancements offered by AI (Artificial Intelligence), Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), automation, augmented reality and Big Data Analytics (BDA), UM is looking to expand its reach and value by partnering with industry players like Huawei and other organisations to strengthen digital creativity and innovation amongst students.,

“With this smart partnership between UM and Huawei, we hope to create a future-ready workforce, by empowering students and the younger generation with critical and digital skills required to meet the demands of digital jobs. This joint venture will see the creation of possibilities and opportunities with limitless boundaries through technology, eventually bridging the digital divide in the country. This partnership marks an important milestone in UM’s continuous efforts to digitally empower our students, academics and researchers in building a vibrant digital ecosystem and further accelerate the Malaysian digital economy,” Professor Dr. Noorsaadah said.

In his speech at the MoU exchange ceremony, Mr Choh Yau Meng, Huawei Malaysia Vice President of Human Resources, said that in light of the accelerated need for digitalisation across all sectors of the economy, which has been catalysed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was crucial for businesses, organisations and individuals alike to pivot towards a more digital economy.

“The convergence of new technologies will pave the way for new and modern business models, innovation and a wide pool of opportunities for advancement of industries, which in turn will accelerate the growth of Malaysia’s digital economy,” he said.

“A more advanced digital economy will open up many more job opportunities, which will then widen the nation’s capacity for a larger talent pool of tech experts which are already highly sought-after skillsets, as the world moves rapidly further into the digital era,” Mr. Choh commented, adding that this will also firmly place Malaysia at the forefront among its neighbours, as a regional digital hub.

“As a global technology leader, Huawei is always ready to lend our knowledge and resources towards helping the country achieve its digital transformation goals. Hence, collaborations such as our latest initiative with Universiti Malaya’s Asia-Europe Institute are crucial to encourage knowledge sharing as well as to establish best practices for driving change,” Mr. Choh said.

Huawei and Universiti Malaya have enjoyed a good working relationship since 2018, when the Huawei ICT Academy programme with the university was rolled out.

To date, 120 UM students have benefitted from the Huawei ICT Academy.

More than 180 UM graduates are also currently employees of Huawei Malaysia.

As part of its commitment to nurture the next generation of digital talents, Huawei Malaysia has taken in 18 UM graduates as interns since 2018 and offered scholarships to six of its students.

The Huawei ICT Academy is now part of the Huawei ASEAN Academy, which was established in May 2020.

As of March 2021, the Huawei ASEAN Academy has trained more than 8,800 Malaysians and intends to train 50,000 ICT talents over the next five years.

Huawei Malaysia plans to continue providing talent training services for Malaysia's digital economy through Huawei's online and offline platforms.

Also present at the event today were Professor Dr. Rofina Yasmin Othman, Associate Vice-Chancellor (Industry & Community Networks), Universiti Malaya; Associate Prof. Dr. Jatswan Singh, Executive Director of the AEI, Universiti Malaya; Oliver Liu, Vice-Chancellor, Huawei ASEAN Academy; and Dikhwan Hady Darnalis, Director, Public Affairs and Communications, Huawei Malaysia.