Malaysia PM splits Ministry of Communications and Digital in two

Malaysia PM splits Ministry of Communications and Digital in two

Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital has been split into separate entities to enable the government to better focus on its digital transformation policies amid the rapid evolution of digital technologies.

The split, which was announced on Tuesday, comes as part of a broader move by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to reshuffle his cabinet.

Current Communications and Digital minister Fahmi Fadzil will now head the Ministry of Communications, while former communications and multimedia minister Gobind Singh Deo will head the Ministry of Digital.

According to media reports, Anwar justified the split by saying that the digital sector in Malaysia needs a dedicated ministry, partly because digital transformation is a major plank of the unity government, but also because the digital sector itself is rapidly evolving.

“There are new data centres emerging and the issue of artificial intelligence to be looked into,” he said according to local newspaper The Star. “There is also the need to enhance understanding of digital and its issues among students. It is a challenging task and I believe this particular issue is daunting. That is why we have the new ministry.”

Anwar also said the Communications and Digital Ministry has not been effective at communicating the government’s digital transformation policies, which have received a barrage of criticism in traditional and social media.

“Communication with the media and social media is a challenge,” Anwar said in the Star report. “The criticisms levelled against us are that while policies are impressive, their impact and the dissemination of information have not been effective or satisfactory. So, this must be the focus of the Communications Ministry.”

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