Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) is going to work on minimising overlaps between various government agencies focused on technology and innovation.
“There have been concerns on the overlap of government agencies that exist across different ministries. And it’s one thing that we’re looking at… There will be a need for me to sit with the ministries concerned to decide how we can move this forward. There are concerns that people do not know which agency to approach, so we have taken note on this and will work on it,” said KKMM Minister Gobind Singh Deo, who was speaking at a press conference at the Malaysia Tech Week 2019.
In Malaysia, there are several agencies under different ministries that are in charge of technology-related matters, including the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
MaGIC was rumoured to be disbanded last year after Malaysia’s general election on May 9 as the government looked to streamline its budget. The agency survived and has been moved to the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development from the Ministry of Finance.
MDEC is under the purview of KKMM, while Cradle Fund is currently administered by the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC).
DEALSTREETASIA had earlier reported that state-linked venture capital funds, including Cradle Seed Ventures (CSV), the VC arm of Cradle Fund, are being restructured. The restructuring exercise may result in the closure of CSV, as well as Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) and Kumpulan Modal Perdana (KMP). Although MESTECC Minister Yeo Bee Yin has yet to announce the results of the restructuring exercise, CSV saw its CEO Dzuleira Abu Bakar move to MaGIC in April.
Meanwhile, Gobind added that the recently introduced Malaysia Innovation Policy Council (MIPC) also attempts to assuage the concerns raised by the tech industry.
“Not only that we have many agencies and ministries, but there also isn’t a government body or tool for the ecosystem. So how do you facilitate the process so that the government could hear directly about the concerns/problems that the ecosystem has?
“The government needs to play an active role because this is a huge industry and we have to work and try to find ways to energise the ecosystem and make sure we’re a global player. I believe we have the capacity and talent to do that. So this council serves that purpose,” he said.
MIPC will have its first meeting in a week’s time since its introduction two months ago.
“The key word here is access. What we’ve done with the council is that we have set up a forum by which associations can get together to drive innovation in particular areas.
“And the council will have the opportunity to raise any concerns that the ecosystem has to the cabinet and get things done. It’s designed to be an action-oriented council with actual representation from the industry and ecosystem,” said MDEC CEO Surina Shukri.