Underscoring its commitment toward strengthening Malaysia’s digital competitiveness in collaboration with the Government of Malaysia, Google has on Thursday announced two focused initiatives.

Google said in a statement on Thursday, the initiatives will equip Malaysian youth with future-ready skills focused on artificial intelligence (AI), and enhance public service delivery with the help of cloud-native, AI-driven productivity tools, in alignment with Malaysia’s MADANI Economy Framework.

According to the statement, the first initiative involves Google and the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) working together to upskill Malaysian youth from diverse backgrounds by providing 161 institutes of higher learning with 500 Google Career Certificate scholarships each.

The second initiative involves equipping 445,000 public officers with Google Workspace tools to boost productivity across the public sector in collaboration with Jabatan Digital Negara (JDN), the government agency in charge of coordinating and implementing national and public sector digitalization projects under the Ministry of Digital.

These new initiatives are part of the strategic collaboration announced at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in San Francisco last year.

The collaboration is focused on four strategic areas to strengthen the country’s digital competitiveness: 1) advancing digital infrastructure investments to help companies expand online and overseas; 2) developing cloud-first policies for the AI economy; 3) making digital skills more accessible to Malaysians; and 4) accelerating secure and responsible AI adoption across the public and private sector.

“This is a significant step toward creating inclusive growth opportunities for more Malaysians and strengthening the country’s digital advancement—goals that were central to the strategic collaboration we signed with the Government of Malaysia late last year,” said Karan Bhatia, Global Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google.

“As governments around the world consider how they can make the most of the AI opportunity, Malaysia is embracing technology as a key driver of national competitiveness and spearheading secure and responsible AI adoption in the public sector,

“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,” he added.

To help uplift the workforce, Google will partner with MoHE 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.

This strategic initiative with MoHE marks a significant expansion of Gemilang, the digital training program launched by Google in 2022 to help more Malaysians acquire digital skills—at no cost—for jobs in high-demand technology fields.

Since its launch, Gemilang has already provided 31,000 Google Career Certificate scholarships to benefit individuals in Malaysia.

In addition, Google Cloud has made data management, cybersecurity, and AI skills development training options accessible to working professionals through the Google Cloud Skills Boost program.

“Our collaboration with Google will equip Malaysian students of all backgrounds with essential skills to participate in and contribute meaningfully to our digital economy,” said Zambry Abdul Kadir, Minister of Higher Education, Malaysia.

“In-demand skills in cloud computing, data analytics, cybersecurity, and AI, which can be acquired at no cost through the certificate programs offered by Google, will lead to stronger job readiness and a rise in income,

“This will also translate to higher job satisfaction for workers and a larger digital talent pool for Malaysia,” he added.

Meanwhile, to enhance communication and collaboration across government agencies and enable improved public service delivery, JDN will embark on a strategic initiative to deploy Google Workspace for 445,000 public officers.

This significant move would, for instance, help public officers accelerate policy development, budget planning, and public consultations by allowing them to work together on tasks without switching between tools, easily find information across internal document repositories using Google-quality search capabilities, and leverage other embedded AI tools to streamline workflows and facilitate data-driven decision-making.

“Strong inter-agency coordination is crucial for delivering responsive, high-quality public services that improve the lives of Malaysians,

“In line with the MADANI Economy Framework, our whole-of-government adoption of Google Workspace’s 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,” said Haji Rodzi bin Md Saad, Secretary-General, Ministry of Digital.

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