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Malaysia – Government embraces crowdsourcing

13 June 2014

In 2011, the Malaysian government planned and approved a far reaching set of reforms aimed at improving the economic standing of the country and its citizens. The reforms, collectively known as Digital Malaysia, aim to derive 17% of the nation’s GDP from the digital economy by 2020, reports crowdsourcing.org

As a result, crowdsourcing, an amalgamation of the words ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing’, has become a part of state policy.

Crowdsourcing company Massolution has been working with the Malaysian government since early 2013 to create a blueprint for a micro-sourcing programme to generate income for the bottom 40% of the country’s citizens. The partnership also aims to create additional digital jobs for the existing 100,000 Malaysian online workers; 70% of whom are in the 17–30 age range and are well educated.

Digital Malaysia is made up of eight specific projects, ranging from turning the nation into an Asian e-fulfilment hub and creating shared cloud enterprise services, to developing an online education program and growing the embedded systems industry.

Together, the eight projects aim to facilitate three core principles that will help Digital Malaysia reach its 2020 target of turning Malaysia into a high income digital economy.

The first principle is to shift the economy from a supply to a demand-focused one. The second is moving Malaysian businesses from low- to high-knowledge, partly by nurturing the country’s SMEs. The third principle is moving from consumption to production, namely to “nurture a generation of IT-savvy youths,” who see the internet not just as the information highway but as a tool to harness and deploy talent, and generate income.

Andrew Karpie, an Affiliate Analysts with Staffing Industry Analysts, commented: “This really is an interesting development in Malaysia. Over the past 10 years (the first stage of development), online staffing and crowdsourcing platforms have demonstrated that they are viable mechanisms for enabling cross-border talent sourcing and work arrangements on a very large scale.” 

“We are now seeing the next stage of this “flat-world talent market” for knowledge workers taking shape, with some governments of supply-side countries (Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, et al) establishing policies supportive of online workers.  The Malaysia case is interesting because it is clearly geared to support a capable, digitised workforce that can “plug in” to the 21st century global services and knowledge economy,” he added. 

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