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Microsoft Commits US$2.2 Billion to Fuel Malaysia’s Cloud and AI Transformation

Published: 6.4.2024

Microsoft has announced an unprecedented investment of US$2.2 billion to accelerate Malaysia's digital transformation. This investment, the largest in Microsoft's 32-year history in Malaysia, was unveiled by CEO Satya Nadella during the Microsoft Build: AI Day event in Kuala Lumpur.

The investment will focus on several critical areas, beginning with the construction of state-of-the-art cloud and AI infrastructure that will cater to the increasing demand for cloud services in Malaysia, driving economic opportunities through advanced AI technologies. Moreover, Microsoft plans to establish a national AI Centre of Excellence in collaboration with Malaysia’s Ministry of Digital. This center will spearhead AI adoption across various industries, ensuring robust AI governance and regulatory compliance.

Most of the investment is earmarked for skilling and education, targeting 200,000 Malaysians. Through AI TEACH Malaysia and Ready4AI&Security programs, Microsoft will provide vocational training and education in AI, focusing on women, underserved communities, and employees of nonprofit organizations. This initiative builds on Microsoft’s previous efforts under the Bersama Malaysia initiative, which has already equipped over 1.53 million Malaysians with digital skills.

The Malaysian government has strongly supported Microsoft’s investment, recognizing it as a catalyst for the nation’s digital empowerment. Microsoft will collaborate with various government agencies to enhance AI capabilities and cybersecurity. For instance, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry will utilize AI to analyze international trade negotiations. At the same time, the National Cyber Security Agency of Malaysia will work with Microsoft to improve public sector cybersecurity through the Perisai Siber (Cyber Shield) initiative. These efforts aim to bolster the country's digital resilience and security.

Several Malaysian organizations already leverage Microsoft's AI and cloud solutions to enhance productivity and innovation. Agroz, for example, uses Azure OpenAI Service to assist farmers with daily tasks, improving farm efficiency. Doctor2U employs GitHub Copilot to expedite software development, significantly reducing task completion times. PETRONAS, a leading energy provider, uses Copilot for Microsoft 365 to enhance operational efficiency and employee productivity. These implementations demonstrate the transformative impact of AI and cloud technologies on various sectors in Malaysia.

Satya Nadella emphasized that this initiative ensures that all Malaysians benefit from the AI transformation. "We are committed to supporting Malaysia’s AI transformation to ensure it benefits all Malaysians," Nadella stated, highlighting the goal of making Malaysia a global hub for cloud and AI technologies. This significant investment aligns with Microsoft's mission to foster a robust digital ecosystem, drive innovation, and create new economic opportunities across Malaysia.

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