Microsoft Corp. has recently announced its “Bersama Malaysia” (Together with Malaysia) initiative, which marks a significant commitment to empowering Malaysia’s inclusive digital economy and advancing the nation’s digital transformation across the private and public sectors.
As part of the plan, Microsoft will establish its first data centre region in the country to deliver trusted cloud services locally, with world-class data security, privacy, and the ability to store data in-country. Microsoft also announced plans to skill an additional 1 million Malaysians by end of 2023 to help create economic opportunities for people and businesses in the digital era. Finally, Microsoft will help form the MyDigital Alliance Leadership Council to collaborate on cloud-first and digital-native policy recommendations.
Microsoft’s recent announcement represents a significant milestone in Microsoft’s 28-year history in the country and supports the Government of Malaysia’s MyDigital goals to transform the country into a regional leader in the digital economy. According to research carried out by ICD, Microsoft’s investment in Malaysia will help generate up to $4.6 billion in new revenues for the country’s ecosystem of local partners and cloud-consuming customers over the next four years. Additionally, the research estimates Microsoft, its partners, and cloud-using customers will together contribute more than 19,000 new direct and indirect jobs.
“As we cement the Microsoft partnership, I hope this is just the first green shoots of a broader meadow of investments in Malaysia, for Microsoft and other data players,” the Prime Minister of Malaysia YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said. “This significant investment from Microsoft further fortifies Malaysia’s position as a potential regional data hub and we stand ever ready to welcome more such partners as we work with our stakeholders to continually improve Malaysia’s value proposition in this big data space.”
“The announcement represents a major milestone for Microsoft in the 28 years we have been operating in Malaysia. We share the Government’s commitment that digital transformation must be inclusive and responsible. As such, we pledge to empower 1 million Malaysians with digital skills, helping them to take advantage of the opportunities this new investment will bring. Building digital infrastructure is fundamental to advancing a nation’s digital economy. The upcoming data centre region will be a game-changer for Malaysia, enabling the government and businesses to reimagine and transform their operations, to the benefit of all citizens,” added Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations.
Digital infrastructure and partnerships to advance Malaysia’s digital economy Microsoft will establish its first data centre region in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area and deliver access to the full Microsoft Cloud, which includes:
- Microsoft Azure, enabling anyone to invent with purpose using cloud services and capabilities that span computing, networking, databases, analytics, AI, and Internet of Things (IoT).
- Microsoft 365, to connect, collaborate, work remotely and learn online with innovative productivity tools.
- Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, to rapidly build and manage critical enterprise business solutions at scale with intelligent business applications.
The new data centre region will also deliver Azure Availability Zones, providing additional resilience options for highly available applications, and support Microsoft’s sustainability goals. Microsoft has a global commitment to shift to 100% supply of renewable energy by 2025. This means Microsoft will have power purchase agreements for green energy contracted for 100% of carbon-emitting electricity consumed by all its data centres, buildings, and campuses, including the planned Malaysia data centre region.
Microsoft will work with the government, startups, and enterprises to support the country’s digital transformation goals. Specifically, Microsoft in partnership with the Social & Economic Research Initiative (SERI) has established the MyDigital Alliance Leadership Council to collaborate on cloud-first and digital-native policy recommendations. The Alliance’s first meeting discussed digitalisation in the education sector to nurture a globally competitive Malaysian digital workforce. Additionally, Malaysia’s leading companies, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) and Celcom Axiata Berhad have committed to helping advance Malaysia’s nation-building and digital ambitions, as well as using the Microsoft Cloud from the new data centre region when available.
“The partnership with Microsoft underlines PETRONAS’ commitment to nurturing a sustainable pipeline of a future-ready workforce equipped to support Malaysia’s digital economy. As a progressive energy and solutions partner enriching lives for a sustainable future, continuous human capital development will be integral to our ability to operate and compete. We look forward to accelerating efforts in upskilling local talents, with a view to creating an inclusive digital future for the benefit of both the people and the nation,” said Tengku Muhammad Taufik, President and Group Chief Executive Officer for PETRONAS.
Microsoft, together with its local partner Enfrasys Solutions, has been appointed by the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) to provide cloud services to the Malaysian public sector agencies through 2023. Microsoft will also partner with Censof Holdings, Silverlake Group, and Web Bytes to accelerate digital transformation in the nation’s key industries, including financial services, retail, food, and beverage, as well as the public sector.
Empowering Malaysians with inclusive opportunities
As part of the Bersama Malaysia initiative, Microsoft is committed to equipping individuals with equal opportunities to thrive in a cloud and AI-enabled digital economy. To achieve this, Microsoft will skill an additional 1 million Malaysians by December 2023. This includes work with the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), Social Security Organisation (SOCSO), Junior Achievement Malaysia, TalentCorp Malaysia, MAMPU, Grab Malaysia, Biji-Biji Enterprise, and local universities to reach people of all socio-economic backgrounds, including young adults and people living with disabilities. This commitment is a continuation of Microsoft’s global skills initiative since July 2020, which has reached more than 110,000 Malaysians to date.