The National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) led by the communications and multimedia minister will require an RM21.6 billion investment from 2019 to 2023, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said a large portion of the investment would be funded by the Universal Service Provider (USP) Fund managed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) , as well as by the private sector.
“This plan will further improve Internet speed in Malaysia, and make our economy ready for the implementation of 5G,” he said in his opening remarks at the 2019 Focus Group Meeting: Embracing the Digital Economy in Kuala Lumpur today.
Lim said the government is currently organising a series of focus group discussions to obtain views and recommendations for the 2020 Budget to be tabled on Oct 11, 2019.
“Today is the first of such focus groups where we will discuss the digital economy and ways the government could catalyse the growth of the digital economy to raise the well-being of the rakyat, and fulfil the ‘Shared Prosperity’ agenda espoused by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” he said.
Lim said to support the digitalisation of the economy and wider adoption of Industry 4.0 technology in society, the government is also providing the necessary digital infrastructure by preparing to spend RM4.2 billion to provide high-speed fibre optic connectivity to schools and selected industrial zones.
“This is part of the NFCP that is designed to improve broadband quality and coverage, reduce broadband prices and increase high-quality Internet penetration throughout Malaysia.
“To grow the digital economy further, I, together with the communications and multimedia minister, will form a joint ministerial committee to address problems faced by companies working in the digitalisation space at the highest level,” he said.
Lim said this would allow the government to expedite applications for investment while solving any issues raised by the private sector faster.
“This demonstrates the seriousness the government places in the digitalisation of the Malaysian economy,” he added.