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Google & Malaysia unite for AI development & public service advances
Thu, 21st Mar 2024

In a new development, Google has declared a collaborative effort with the Government of Malaysia to initiate two significant developmental projects. These programmes aim to equip the youth of Malaysia with skills pertinent to AI and improve public service delivery utilising cloud-native, AI-driven productivity tools, in line with the country's MADANI Economy Framework.

The first initiative involves Google providing 161 institutes of higher learning with 500 Google Career Certificate scholarships each, in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE). As part of the second project, Google will facilitate 445,000 public officers with Google Workspace tools to enhance productivity across the public sector. This endeavour is in association with Jabatan Digital Negara (JDN), the regulatory body responsible for executing and coordinating national and public sector digitisation ventures under the Ministry of Digital.

These initiatives are an extension of the strategic collaboration announced at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting in San Francisco last year, the company states. This collaboration was led by Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia, and Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry. The collaboration centred around four strategic domains aimed at reinforcing the country’s digital competitiveness, encapsulating digital infrastructure investments, cloud-first policies for the AI economy, making digital skills accessible to Malaysians, and catalysing secure and responsible AI adoption across the public and private sector.

Karan Bhatia, Global Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google, commented on the initiatives, stating, "This is a significant step toward creating inclusive growth opportunities for more Malaysians and strengthening the country’s digital advancement goals.” He further added that “these initiatives have the potential to transform the way services are delivered for the benefit of all Malaysians, while working to equip people with the digital skills they need.”

In light of the escalating demand for digital skills driven by Malaysia's fast-growing digital economy, Google's collaboration with MoHE is set to provide 161 public universities, polytechnics, and community colleges in Malaysia with up to 500 Google Career Certificate scholarships each until the end of 2024. These Google Career Certificates cover areas such as cybersecurity, data analytics, and IT support and can be completed within three to six months through self-paced online training.

Dato' Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir, Minister of Higher Education, commented, “Our collaboration with Google will equip Malaysian students of all backgrounds with essential skills to participate in and contribute meaningfully to our digital economy.” He further opined that this would result in “stronger job readiness and a rise in income” which would contribute to the “larger digital talent pool for Malaysia.”

The partnership with JDN envisages deploying Google Workspace for 445,000 public officers for enhancing communication and collaboration across government agencies. These efforts target improved public service delivery by allowing public officers to accelerate policy development, budget planning, and public consultations, leveraging embedded AI tools to streamline workflows and facilitate data-driven decision-making.

Datuk Haji Rodzi bin Md Saad, Secretary-General, Ministry of Digital, stated, “In line with the MADANI Economy Framework, our whole-of-government adoption of Google Workspaces secure, cloud-based, and AI-powered capabilities will foster seamless real-time information exchange, enabling government agencies to work closer together toward optimal and effective public service delivery."