Anwar seeks improved communication, focus on digital transformation

ASHWIN KUMAR
ASHWIN KUMAR
12 Dec 2023 01:29pm
Fahmi, Teo, Gobind and Ugak
Fahmi, Teo, Gobind and Ugak
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SHAH ALAM - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced a major shake-up of the Communications and Digital Ministry, splitting it into separate portfolios for communications and digital transformation.

During a press conference on the Cabinet reshuffle, the Finance Minister explained the rationale behind the division.

"Effective communication with media and social media remains a critical challenge.

"Despite impressive policies, our communication efforts have not been satisfactory, necessitating a dedicated focus," Anwar said during a media conference earlier today.

Anwar further stressed the importance of digital transformation for the government's agenda.

"This is a rapidly evolving field, requiring constant attention.

"Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and equipping students with the necessary skills must be prioritised," he added.

While the responsibility for regulating telecommunications companies and internet service providers (ISPs) remains unclear, the split creates two distinct ministries with specific mandates.

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Fahmi Fadzil and his deputy Teo Nie Ching will helm the Communications Ministry, responsible for communication strategy, media engagement and public relations.

Damansara MP Gobind Singh Deo will lead the newly created Digital Ministry, tasked with driving the country's digital agenda, including infrastructure development, digital literacy initiatives, and fostering innovation in the technology sector.

His deputy would be Datuk Ugak Anak Kumbong. Ugak was previously Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Sabah and Sarawak.

Gobind's previous experience as Communications and Multimedia Minister under the Pakatan Harapan administration, where he oversaw a significant reduction in broadband prices, bodes well for his new role in leading the digital transformation effort.

The coming months will reveal how the responsibilities for regulating telcos and ISPs will be allocated between the two ministries.

However, the split itself signifies a positive step toward strengthening communication strategy and accelerating digital transformation in Malaysia.