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Welcome Remarks by by Hon. Dato’ Sri Dr Lim Keng Yaik Minister of Energy, Water and Communications At the GK3 Gala Dinner on 11 December 2007 (Tuesday) – 7.15 p.m. At Grand Ballroom 1 & 2, Level 3 Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Y.Bhg. Dato’ Dr. Halim Man Secretary-General, Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications Y.Bhg. Datuk Dr. Halim Shafie Chairman, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Mr Walter Fust, Chair of the Global Knowledge Partnership Executive Committee and Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Ms Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Executive Director, Global Knowledge Partnership and Chair of GK3 Working Committee Excellencies Distinguished Guests Ladies and Gentlemen, A very good evening to all. 1. It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the GK3 Gala Dinner. I am indeed elated at this large turnout representing a dozen governments as well as universities, national science councils, national and international science research organizations, bilateral donors, private foundations, NGOs and the private sector. That’s an impressive range, my sincere thanks to all of you for coming. 1 2. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Global Knowledge Partnership Secretariat on organising the 3rd Global Knowledge Conference successfully. Ladies and Gentlemen, 3. Tracing the history of man, we can see that significant discoveries and inventions have transformed the livelihood of man. Discovery of fire and iron, invention of the wheel and finally the industrial revolution, were landmarks of the history of man. When the industrial revolution came, some embraced it and some didn’t or couldn’t. Seemingly there was a choice as far as the industrial revolution was concerned. 4. But the information revolution would not give you a choice. It will ultimately engulf you without you making the choice because it is unavoidable and unstoppable. Thus, it is better to embrace it as quickly as possible and benefit from it or risk being perished. 5. If we look hard enough, it is quite evident that wealth and prosperity has been the result of how we have accumulated and applied information and knowledge in our socio-economic framework. Look at the developed nations and you will see the pervasiveness of information and knowledge in their socio-economic fabric. 6. ICTs role in this phenomenon is as a catalyst. It greatly facilitates the accumulation and application of information and knowledge and enhances the efficiency of the process. 2 Ladies and Gentlemen, 7. Your theme of Emerging People, Markets and Technologies is indeed apt because ICT will transform the global socio-economic environment through these elements. Each of those elements will influence and build upon each other in a continuous and dynamic revolution. In the information age, people will use ICT to live, work and play. To reach them, market structures will change to become more virtual and to make the connection, new technologies will continuously emerge. 8. We can see it happen in front of our eyes. We become paralysed when we lose our mobile phone. We are unable to do any work without the computer and Internet. We work from anywhere and anytime, i.e. in virtual offices. We learn through e-learning. And we hardly play on fields and other recreational areas, rather just through our computers. And now we have virtual worlds where we can transform ourselves into virtual beings and do anything without moving from our chairs. On markets, i.e. a place of buying and selling, it is also getting more virtual. E-commerce has brought the market place to our computers. Even the governments had to bow to this phenomenon and provide e-government services. To facilitate all these, we have a multitude of technologies, which seem to be driving the whole transformation process. Ladies and Gentlemen 9. But there is no turning back. ICT is here to say and we better embrace it as fast as we could to stay relevant in the information age. We in Malaysia have made that decision in the mid-90’s. You would have heard about our Multimedia Super Corridor, which was our first 3 salvo into the information age. We implemented a convergent environment in the late 90’s and we have successfully projected ourselves to be an ICT-based economy in the new millennium. 10. In the early part of this millennium, the Malaysian Government proclaimed to transform Malaysia into a knowledge economy and a strategic plan was introduced. 11. In the ICT sector, access was the main problem and we implemented the universal service program to ensure that un-served and underserved areas would be connected. The government poured direct funding to establish telecenters in our rural areas. As you are aware, if you want to bet on a future driver of change and development, it is always children. So we implemented one of the most valuable projects – the Schoolnet project, where all the 10,000 schools were provided with broadband connectivity. Ladies and Gentlemen 12. You may think all that was pretty good. But the truth is, we have just scratched the surface. 13. If there is an ICT nation worth its salt, it has to have 2 important ingredients – broadband and content. Incidentally, they happen to be the 2 most difficult elements to provide because the first is very costly and the second requires much skill. 14. In 2005, we launched the new ICT strategic blueprint for the next 5 years, known as MYICMS 886. We cannot do all and sundry. We have to focus on some selected areas based on our immediate predisposed 4 capacity and capability. We have identified 6 growth engines for the ICT sector, namely content development, education hub, digital multimedia receivers, communication devices, embedded components and foreign ventures. To power these growth areas, we have identified 8 services namely broadband, 3-G, mobile TV, digital home, RFID, VoIP and universal service using 8 infrastructure, i.e. multiservice, 3-G and satellite networks and the soft elements of IPV6, home Internet adoption, security, competence development and product design and manufacturing. 15. If you look closely, you can see that the MYICMS886 is in fact the operationalisation of your theme of emerging people, market and technologies. Since I envisaged the MYICMS886 in 2005 and you have proposed this theme in 2007, I believe there is an opportunity for me to collect royalties from GK3! Ladies and Gentlemen, 16. In this quagmire, where does events like GK3 stand? I believe events like GK3 are excellent facilitators of the transformation process. Like what I am doing here now, GK3 is an excellent platform for sharing of information, knowledge and experience. You all have a great story to tell us, I am sure. We need not re-invent the wheel and make the same mistakes others have made before us. Let us share and avoid pitfalls. As you will know, the one asset which does not diminish through sharing is knowledge, in fact, sharing enhances it. 17. GK3 is also an excellent platform to forge networks for cooperation and collaboration. We have representations from various nations and 5 entities, where each has their own unique capacities. Let us through the GK3 explore opportunities for cooperation and collaboration. Let us build on each others strengths and benefit mutually. 18. And events like GK3 are excellent opportunities for capacity building as well. Ladies and gentlemen, 19. This is the 10th Anniversary of the organiser, the Global Knowledge Partnership secretariat. On this 10th anniversary of GKP, I hope that you as members of the GKP community will share, learn, network, cooperate, collaborate and derive mutual benefits from this GK3. Let us through sharing and partnerships build a future world of equal opportunities. 20. This is the 50th anniversary of Malaysia and also a Visit Malaysia Year. This is indeed a best time to be in Malaysia. Take some time off from the meetings and enjoy Malaysia. Instead of visiting Asia, you can just visit Malaysia because Malaysia is Truly Asia. 21. On that note, I would like to once again thank you for taking your time off to be here with us tonight. I wish you all a pleasant evening. Thank you. Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications Putrajaya 11 December 2007 6
"Draft Welcome Dinner Speech by The Hon Dato; Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik .doc"