Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.
Beta bersyukur ke hadrat ILAHI kerana dengan izin dari Nya juga Beta dapat berangkat hadir untuk menyempurnakan perasmian “Minggu ICT Perak 2005” dan melancarkan “Pelan Induk ICT Perak”.
- Langkah Kerajaan Negeri menyediakan Pelan Tindakan Strategik Teknologi Komunikasi dan Maklumat (ICT) adalah satu langkah bijak dan amat bertepatan. Beta disembah maklumkan bahawa Pelan ini bertujuan menjadi landasan memandu ke arah usaha membangunkan negeri Perak berasaskan pengetahuan. Semoga Pelan yang telah gariskan secara terperinci itu dapat berperanan sebagai pemangkin meningkatkan daya saing dalam membangunkan ekonomi negeri Perak.
- For over one hundred and sixty years, from the discovery of tin in Larut in 1824, Perak was known to the rest of the world as a major tin producer. Tin mining, and later the rubber industry, gave Perak an early entry into the global playing field and brought prosperity to its people. At its peak, Perak was supplying 55% of the world’s tin requirements.
- Alongside these development came modern communication systems. The use of telephones, roads and rail began to take off at the end of the 19th century. ICT in Malaya took early shape in the form of the first telephone – installed at the British resident’s office in Pasir Salak in 1875.
- Early educational institutions in Perak were noted for their quality. They played a significant role in nurturing leaders and prominent personalities. The Malay College Kuala Kangsar was referred to as the “Eton of the East”. Other premier secondary schools were recognised as select providers of pre-university education to students from all over the country. The first teacher’s training college in Malaya was established in Perak.
- Perak was the cradle of Malaya’s early economic development and intellectual growth, and for over two decades after independence, Perak continued to fuel Malaysia’s progress. During this time, the state saw significant improvements in living conditions. Literacy rates among those aged ten and above reached 87 percent in 1990 and 91 percent in 2000. Child mortality fell from seventeen per thousand to ten per thousand live births during the same period. The incidence of poverty fell dramatically – from 53 percent in 1970 to 19 percent in 1990 and 8 percent in 2002.
- The early 1980s saw the decline of the tin mining industry due to depleting resources, rising costs of production and unfavourable price trends. By 1983, over 300 mines had to be closed. In the closing decades of the twentieth century, Perak was falling behind and was beginning to lose its status as one of the premier states in the federation.
- The tides of modernisation and globalisation have jolted us into realisation that our past is past. We in Perak need to ‘fast-forward’ and play ‘catch-up’. The present finds us at a crossroads – facing formidable challenges on both the global and domestic fronts. In the Information Age, economic advantage can migrate to other locations with unprecedented speed and ease. Emerging powers like China and India are challenging the manufacturing-led growth our people have relied on over the last thirty-five years.
- With globalisation, the world economy is becoming increasingly integrated. The internationalisation of services is setting the stage for new economic relationships. Figures for the year 2000 show that an average of RM150 billion worth of trade was transacted every minute. Of this figure only 2 percent, or RM3 billion, was attributed to merchandise trade. The remaining 98 percent was in the form of services and royalties.
- Only if we are able to transform ourselves into a knowledge-based, performance-driven society can we remain relevant and competitive in the new global economy. This is our strategic imperative. Our growth strategy must focus on knowledge acquisition and productivity enhancement.
- Knowledge acquisition and generation are the precursors of technological innovation. Developing a strong backbone of many superior educational institutions will allow us to increase our home-grown capacity in science and technology and in research and development – thereby increasing home-grown innovation and entrepreneurship.
- The convergence between Information and Communication Technologies has provided the catalyst for industries such as telecommunications and software design. The convergence between ICT and multimedia has also given birth to new industries, such as edutainment, infotainment and high value-added communications services. We must seize these opportunities or risk being left behind.
- However, there is no need to abandon long-standing businesses that have served Perak well. Instead traditional activities should be repositioned to a new level. The challenge is to utilise ICT to enhance current economic and business models.
- The challenges ahead will be demanding but by no means insurmountable. Reinventing Perak as a prosperous, competitive, developed State requires the sharing of responsibilities – between the government, regulatory bodies, the educational sector and other business sectors – to unleash the ‘enablers’ of growth. Knowledge infrastructure needs to be strengthened to support the transition and service delivery needs to be upgraded to meet ever-rising demands of businesses. In addition, stakeholders must influence the overall readiness of society to accept and endorse ICT development.
- In developing our K-State, our efforts must also ensure widespread diffusion of ICT and its equitable access to everyone – including to rural areas and underprivileged groups. The rural and less affluent groups make up the majority of our society. Every step must be taken to ensure that none is left behind. A community that cannot advance its majority cannot sustain the wealth of a minority. Balanced development is of utmost importance in overcoming the widening digital divide.
- I wish to record my appreciation to all those who have contributed to the production of this ICT Blueprint. The Blueprint can only provide a roadmap. It is the continuous efforts and collaboration between the government, businesses and the people of Perak that will enable us to reach our aspired destination. Let this roadmap be a dynamic document, not a static one. The ICT Blueprint should be periodically reviewed and updated to remain abreast of the latest developments. The effectiveness of its outcomes should be monitored, and where necessary, corrective action taken.
- Harapan Beta semoga Pelan Induk yang telah disediakan ini dapat difahami dan dihayati sepenuhnya. Pelan Induk ini tidak akan memberi makna jika gagal dilaksanakan secara berkesan.
Semoga “Minggu ICT Perak 2005” ini mencapai kejayaan. Semoga usaha yang dirintis ini mendapat kejayaan dan keredaan ILAHI. Dengan kalimah Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim, Beta dengan sukacitanya merasmikan “Minggu ICT Perak 2005” dan mengisytiharkan pelancaran “Pelan Induk ICT Perak 2010”.
Wabillahi Taufiq Walhidayah
Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.