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Academia and Industry Leaders Gather To Discuss Digital Transformation Agenda


[KUALA LUMPUR, 13 OCTOBER 2022]: The Huawei ASEAN Academy, under Huawei Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Huawei Malaysia), and the Asia-Europe Institute (AEI) of Universiti Malaya (UM), organised the UM AEI-Huawei Conference to explore the diffusion of digitalisation and Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) technologies in Malaysia as part of the digital transformation agenda in the country.

The two-day conference, held from October 11 to October 12, 2022, served as a platform to review policy instruments critical to accelerate the orderly development of the embedding organisations and the regulatory framework.

Led by UM AEI and Huawei Malaysia, the conference with the theme ‘Digitalisation and Development, Ecosystem for Promoting Industrial Revolution 4.0 Technologies in Malaysia’ sought to discuss and examine the growth of digitalisation and IR4.0 technologies in the major sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, and services in Malaysia. This was to take stock of and ensure that the adoption of the digitalisation and IR4.0 technologies such as Big Data, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) are effectively synergised.

The conference was officiated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) of Universiti Malaya, Professor Ir. Dr. Shaliza Ibrahim. In her opening address, Professor Shaliza said the UM AEI-Huawei Conference is timely and pertinent as a platform to deliberate the various issues related to digital transformation in the era of IR4.0 in Malaysia.

“While the Malaysian government has invested in a number of programmes that provide access to digital technology and to also provide the necessary basic services, several universities in the country have launched IR4.0 centres to support such initiatives, Universiti Malaya is one of them.”

Distinguished Professor of Economics, Universiti Malaya, Dato’ Dr. Rajah Rasiah, presented a keynote lecture, ‘Prometheus Unbound: Digitalisation and Industrial Revolution 4.0’ in the opening session. Dato’ Dr. Rajah highlighted that the successful promotion of the embedding ecosystem for IR4.0 technologies must emphasise the role of knowledge networks to continuously evolve in the economy.

He added, “While digitalisation promises the diffusion of IR4.0 technologies, nations can open up the discourse to enable the open development of such technologies. However, as economic resources are scarce many will have to focus on a few critical sectors to accelerate its emergence and expansion optimally.”

Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications of Huawei Malaysia, Mr Oliver Liu, in his welcoming remarks said the UM AEI-Huawei Conference creates an opportunity to gather industry leaders and scholars to chart the direction of the global efforts to promote IR4.0 in Malaysia.

“At Huawei, we are working to promote open collaboration and shared success across the ecosystem. We work with local ecosystem partners to create in-depth development plans and provide them with the expertise and resources to build their own solutions.”

Commenting further, Mr Liu said, “We're also working closely with the broader digital ecosystem to cultivate talent. Through Huawei’s Seeds for the Future, ASEAN Academy, and ICT Academies as well as our ICT competitions, we bring digital education to engineers, skills development for professionals, and digital leadership for future talents.”

Vice President of Huawei Malaysia Digital Power Business, Mr Chong Chern Peng provided his insights as a panelist during the Plenary Session 1 titled, ‘Making the Technical Leap into IR4.0’. Mr Chong stressed that there should be an efficient, sustainable, and diverse domain within a business ecosystem in the pursuit of embarking into this new era of digitalisation.

“As the leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices, one of Huawei’s solutions is the use of AI in businesses. Through AI, companies are able to stay agile and competitive as it complements and supplements the business to propel forward.”

The conference gathered many notable speakers from different backgrounds and expertise such as Head of Economics and Research Department, Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Dr. Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid; Visiting Senior Fellow, Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS), Professor Emeritus Dr. Tham Siew Yean; Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Business Consulting Centre, Strand Aerospace Malaysia, Mr Naguib Mohd Nor; Senior Vice President, Cyber Security Proactive Services Division, CyberSecurity Malaysia, Dr. Maslina Daud; and Senior Lecturer, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Dr. Khairul Hanim Pazim.

The papers presented at the conference will be published as chapters in a book, ‘Digitalization and Development: Ecosystem for Promoting Industry 4.0 Technologies in Malaysia’ by Routledge Press, which is expected to be launched on February 25, 2023.

Since 2021, Huawei and UM AEI have teamed up to accelerate Malaysia’s transformation into an advanced digital economy by 2030. The collaboration, aimed to foster closer cooperation between the industry and academia, was sealed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) last year.