10 Most Interesting Malaysian Technology News 2023


What is happening in Malaysia throughout 2023 in the world of technology? The short answer is quite a lot with advances in artificial intelligence (AI), huge investments by the world's big chip companies and increasingly thriving 5G networks. Here is a list of the 10 most interesting Malaysian technology news throughout 2023.

1. SIRIM Develops Standards for Musang King Durian

SIRIM offered certification and standards for Musang King Durian last January. This technology was jointly developed for the company DSR Taiko Berhad - which has a 40.47 hectare farm in Pahang.

Through the standards developed, it makes it easy and reassuring for consumers to ensure the quality and authenticity of Musang King Durian. In addition, through the integration of additional technology, users can also track the authenticity of the durian fruit, including tracing the source and location of the fruit tree. By developing confidence, the marketability of this durian fruit is expected to be expanded further – especially on the global stage.

2. Tesla And Starlink Enter The Malaysian Market

The entry of Tesla and Starlink was the news that many people talked about last July. These two companies owned by Elon Musk are officially offered in Malaysia allowing residents to buy the world's best-selling electric car and satellite internet service with the largest network. In the early stages, Starlink was used to connect rural areas that did not have internet access or the quality of the internet was not satisfactory.

UiTM Kuala Pilih became the first to use Starlink in Malaysia by improving the internet access network in the campus. Tesla, on the other hand, surged in EV car sales in Malaysia with it being the most popular model according to DOSM's open source website.

3. JPJ Introduces the Digital Use of Driving Licenses and Road Tax

In February, the Malaysian Ministry of Transport together with the Road Transport Department realized the digitization dream that was inspired during the establishment of MSC in 1996. through the implementation of the Digital Motor Vehicle License and also the Digital Private Malaysian Driving License.

Simultaneously with this announcement, there is no longer the need to display physical road tax on private vehicles which has been the source of public complaints for years. This implementation starts from the use of private cars and motorbikes for now – and is expected to be extended to other groups soon.

This digital license and road tax can be accessed through the MyJPJ application with JPJ aiming to introduce the facility to renew the license directly through this application in the future. The long-term plan is to offer all services involving JPJ directly through the MyJPJ application by 2025.

4. OOKLA – Malaysia's Third Fastest 5G Download Speed in the World

We often report that the average internet speed in Malaysia is not very satisfactory when compared to neighboring countries in the South. Subscription prices are not as cheap as neighbors in the North or West. So when Ookla's latest report shows that Malaysia's 5G speed is the third fastest in the world in Q3 2023 it should be celebrated.

Malaysia's 5G download speed is the third fastest globally with an average speed of 485.25 Mbps. This puts Malaysia ahead of some of its closest neighbors such as Singapore (338.36 Mbps), Thailand (141.65 Mbps) and the Philippines (124.58 Mbps).

However, the use of 5G technology among the general population in Malaysia still needs to be improved because only 30.1% of them actually take advantage of 5G capabilities on devices.

5. More Technology Investment In Malaysia

Earlier this month NVIDIA confirmed that they are collaborating with YTL Power International Berhad to build an AI data center that will be operational by mid-2024. This will be one of the steps to make Malaysia an AI hub in Southeast Asia. NVIDIA has invested RM20 billion to build this AI data center.

This AI data center will be equipped with the NVIDIA H100 chip that powers the most AI data center

advanced today, and uses NVIDIA AI Enterprise software to streamline AI production. The location chosen is YTL Green Data Center Park located in Kulai, Johor with a 500MW solar power station that offers a sustainable power source.

In June, Texas Instruments will invest RM 14.6 billion to expand their operations in Kuala Lumpur and Melaka. Texas Instruments production at these two locations will begin in 2025. A total of 1300 jobs will be created in Kuala Lumpur while another 500 will be created in Melaka. This semiconductor technology company has been based in Malaysia since 1972

Also not forgotten last October, Micron opened their newest assembly plant in Batu Kawan industrial area, Penang. A total of $1 billion (~RM4.5 billion) has been spent to open this latest center which will be the location of the assembly and testing equipment for the latest NAND and DRAM components developed by Micron.

The factory is Micron's second factory in Penang, where their first factory is located in the Perai Industrial Estate which opened in 2015, where the company's total investment in Malaysia and Penang is as much as $2 billion (~RM9.5 billion) so far.

6. URL Links Via SMS Can No Longer Be Sent

Among the most frequently used scam mechanisms is sending links in emails and SMS which when clicked can cause the account to be hacked. Starting May 2, 2023, SMS with links have been blocked from being sent by all local telecommunications companies. This step is one of the government's efforts to curb cyber attacks and make people fall victim to various scams by just clicking on a malicious link.

For starters, sending SMS with URLs will be blocked between individual phone numbers. Businesses can still send SMS with links using the shortcodes 6XXXX, 2XXXX, and 1XXXX – but this is limited for a limited time, and will also be banned soon.

7. OpenDOSM NextGen Site Launched For Open Source Data Sharing

In January this year, the OpenDOSM NextGen site was launched by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) with the support of the Ministry of Economy. Through the OpenDOSM website, Malaysian users can view various data and current trends related to price pressure, inflation, OPR levels, industrial production and data involving the labor market.

This diversity will directly make it easier for the people of the country to better understand the current status of the Malaysian economy. It not only facilitates but also educates the community to be more sensitive to the uncertainty of the country's current growth. Among the data that can be seen are the total sales of EV vehicles, the most popular vehicle models and more. Since it was launched more than 11 months ago, the site has been visited more than 1,000,000 times.

8. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Malaysia – Code of Ethics And AI Faculty To Be Established

AI is the hottest technology of 2023 and its impact is also felt in Malaysia. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) has announced that a code of ethics and governance of artificial intelligence (AI) is being developed in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, representatives of government agencies, higher education institutions and industry, with it expected to be completed in 2024.

The Malaysian Standards Department (JSM) has established a special committee, the National Mirror Committee, chaired by MIMOS Berhad to produce national AI standards. This is to examine the need to create legislation and acts related to AI.

The government also announced the country's first artificial intelligence study center, namely the Faculty of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia during Budget 2024.

An amount of RM20 million ringgit is provided as an initial allocation in developing it. It is also expected to help in intensifying the exploration of cross-disciplinary AI.

9. 5G Coverage Rate Now Approaching 80% of Populated Areas In Malaysia

5G Malaysia

In 2021, 5G networks will be launched in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya. DNB aims for coverage to reach 80% of populated areas by 2024. The year 2023 will draw the curtain in just a few weeks and according to data ending 30 November 2023, the 5G network coverage rate in Malaysia has reached 76.1%.

In addition to achieving this 5G coverage rate, at the beginning of December as well, five telecommunication companies have signed a Share Subscription Agreement, and each company will inject RM233 million into Digital Nasional Berhad. Moving forward, after the coverage rate reaches 80%, a second company will be formed to develop the second 5G network in Malaysia which will be touched upon below.

10. Transition To 5G Dual-Network Model In 2024

The government announced plans to implement a 5G dual network model in Malaysia, where a second network managed by a new entity will be established in early 2024. This new entity will be created after DNB reaches the targeted 80% coverage rate by the end of this year.

In parallel, some advanced things have been shared. The government is ready to state that they will no longer have any stake in this 5G infrastructure provider, instead it will be monitored and supervised under MCMC. Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil stated that the 5G network managed by this second entity will start with a zero coverage rate in early 2024, and will be given a period of around two years to reach an 80% coverage rate like the first entity.

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