Deq on Deck: United For Digital Sovereignty

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Ta’ala Wabarakatuh and Salam Sejahtera,


You may have heard of the term ‘Digital Sovereignty’. It is the idea of having control over our own digital destiny through the data, hardware, and software that we create, share and rely on.

On a policy-making level, digital sovereignty is an important aspect to consider, as there is a growing concern that too much digital control is ceded to too few places, in a tech market that has too little choices.

By upholding digital sovereignty and integrating technology with society, we can chart our digital course on our own terms. More importantly, we can frame policies on digital use, consumption and investment that will drive inclusivity, sustainability, and shared prosperity.

We can better our nation, lower the income gap, democratise digital access and opportunities for all Malaysians.

It is easy to be driving progress for progress’s sake, forgetting that progress should ultimately benefit the people. Serving the Rakyat is our primary mandate – an aspect that I am sure we always keep in mind.  

On 6 September, MDEC was graced with an official working visit by Communications and Multimedia Minister YB Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima TPr Annuar Haji Musa. Our discussions with him and the Ministry not only gave us the opportunity to align our vision and mission with the government and policymakers, but also to reiterate our focus–that we, as a whole, serve the interests of the Rakyat.

It begins with our own self-improvement. YBM reiterated for MDEC to be positioned as the leading agency for Malaysia and ASEAN’s digital economy and aspires for us to improve our internal processes to emerge as a high-performance agency.

There is no doubt that this is what we will be striving for moving forward, as we re-emphasise our focus towards driving positive impact to the people.

Throughout the week, I have been able to connect and continue to seek deeper collaboration with digital economy stakeholders.

I also had the opportunity to meet with Dato’ Azmar Talib, CEO of Tun Razak Exchange (TRX). We had a great discussion on MDEC’s investment promotion activities to support TRX and Bandar Malaysia.

Our recently announced DIF5 strategy allows us to focus on bringing digital investments and sustainable ecosystem development programmes in both Islamic Digital Economy and FinTech–two segments crucial to the development of the economy and the expansion of financial access across the country.

Last week also ended on a good note. By the good graces of the Prime Minister and the Malaysian government, the creative industry is allowed to resume operations from 9 September.

This is a tremendous step towards national recovery, and a relief to more than 19,000 companies in the industry. MDEC has been doing our best to bolster this important segment throughout the pandemic, with initiatives that include the Digital Content Creators Challenge and the Digital Content Grant.

Now it is time for us to redouble our support and help them overcome the rocky terrain as they reopen during an ongoing pandemic.

Digital Sovereignty is something Malaysia must build and uphold for ourselves. To do so, we need to empower the people to take that step with us through the right tools, access, and support.

We need to stand #DigitalUnited.

Yours, Mahadhir @ maDEQ


Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Ta’ala Wabarakatuh and Salam Sejahtera,


This has been my first (short) week at MDEC, and it has been an eventful one at that. My week was filled with several important visits to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia.

My courtesy visit to YBhg. Dato’ Sri Mohammad Mentek, KSU of KKMM & Board Member of MDEC, on my 1st day on the job was filled with amanat and a list of priorities to be addressed.

I also paid a courtesy visit to YBhg. Dato’ Asri Hamidon, Secretary General of Treasury and the Director of Agensi Pelaksanaan Ekonomi Dan Koordinasi Strategik Nasional (LAKSANA) of MoF, YBhg. Dato Shahrul Nazri Abdul Rahim at the Ministry of Finance.

I was invited to the inaugural meeting of the Consultative Council on Foreign Policy chaired by YB Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and I am certainly looking forward to the role MDEC will playing in contributing to the Council’s output.

In the weeks to come, I will continue to engage with more industry stakeholders and Government officials to listen and discuss how we can achieve the objectives in MyDIGITAL together.

I plan to strengthen collaborations with other digital ecosystem drivers, including the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) through the Digital Investment Office (DIO) to continue supporting investments in our digital economy.

It is equally important that I say how privileged I am to be given the opportunity to work alongside the experienced and passionate MDEC team, made even more meaningful as MDEC marks its 25th anniversary Silver Jubilee year.

For 25 years, MDEC has indisputably affected change in the ICT and digital ecosystem of Malaysia. For me, MDEC has always represented the way forward, not just for the digital economy and tech industry, but also for the nation.

While the pandemic has certainly posed a challenge, I have witnessed the resilience and determination that my new colleagues have exhibited to ensure progress is achieved. The digital movement is sweeping swiftly across the country, and I believe that our experience, innovation, and ability to execute will enable us to be at the forefront of this movement.

Change can be unsettling, but in change, lies opportunities. We must be clear on delivering the best possible experience for our industry, investors and our people, by keeping it simple and customer-focused.

I commit to always communicate openly and transparently and I’d like to encourage everyone to do the same. I want to hear your thoughts and ideas. I want to hear what you think, what we could do differently and better.

This has not been an easy time for our families and businesses. The landscape is changing faster than ever. There are key issues around health, income, and mental wellbeing. We can address this with a digital approach, and with urgency.

MDEC is driven by great people with proven expertise. I am confident that together, with all our stakeholders and partners, we will succeed in establishing Malaysia as the Heart of Digital ASEAN. In closing, I also want to pay tribute to all my predecessors over the past 25 years who have contributed towards the success of MDEC. A united team can most definitely turn any dream into a reality. 

I look forward to connecting with all of you in due time, perhaps over food or sports – my passions!

Till then, stay safe and let’s all do our part to build a better Malaysia together. 


Mahadhir @ maDEQ

© 2020 Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn Bhd (389346-D). All rights reserved.