Friday, February 6, 2009

The Importance of ICT for Development to My Country’s Future [Malaysia]


The Importance of ICT for Development to My Country’s Future.

In modern economy, information and communication technology (ICT) industry has emerged as the primary enabler of the knowledge economy, a major engine for growth and job creation, and also as an agent of social change. The foundation of the information revolution has been the development and rapidly declining costs of a broad range of systems and technologies that transmit, store and manipulate information electronically, and collectively, an economy's information infrastructure. ICT will be crucial enabler in helping the manufacturing, services and agriculture sectors enhance productivity, efficiency and value in an increasingly competitive global environment in Malaysia. Such business demands would result in more complex IT systems, and IT management solutions that can help simplify and unify the management of IT and enable organizations to fully utilize the various technologies created would be crucial. This would ultimately equip organizations to better compete in the international arena as well as meet the growing emphasis on global governance and compliance standards.

Malaysia has embarked on a number of measures to ensure that information and communication technologies (ICT) play a vital role in that society. The Government has invested heavily in world-class infrastructure. Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) is designed to create an ideal environment for ICT-related production as well as provide the backbone for an information superhighway. Two smart cities have been developed within this corridor, namely Putrajaya and Cyberjaya. All of these efforts are to envision the harnessing of multimedia to help spearhead economic development for Malaysia to achieve developed nation status by the year 2020. Under the 9th Malaysia Plan, ICT development is seen as an important strategic driver for positioning Malaysia as competitive knowledge based economy and global ICT and multimedia Hub. Thus, the focus of the 9th Malaysia Plan was to expand the existing communications network across the country through the phased implementation of then MyICMS 886, reducing the digital-divide, developing the existing cyber cities and developing new ones(MSC Phase II), fostering new growth sectors such as bioinformatics. Under The 9MP, development ICT talent and enhancing information security continue to be given high priority in the development of information society.

The great spread of information and communication technologies around the globe has been a key indicator of its usefulness to business, education and research. Since market demand has determined their growth, ICT have been primarily focused in the urban centers, despite the fact that two out of three people in the world live in rural areas. The people of these areas have largely been left out of this global transformation. These 'voiceless billions,' if connected to the global information network, stand to benefit enormously. There have been very few studies outlining the importance of introducing ICT to rural areas. The newness of many of these technologies, especially the Internet, has made long-term studies possible as it has unlocked potential like a breach in a dam. Here we will explore the importance and possible benefits that could result if people living in the rural areas were given access to the global information network and the importance of ICT for development in Malaysia’s future.

In exploring how important ICT for development Malaysia is; I will focus on how ICT will benefit especially at the rural areas in Malaysia in order to ensure that 100% Malaysian lifestyle are improved by using Internet. Three main themes that are being focused are the exchange of expertise, information and commodities.

The Exchange of Expertise

The exchange of expertise opens up the opportunities to Malaysians to globalize their products by the advice of the expertise. Malaysia also can improve the productivity as each worker can work from anywhere as long as there is internet. Besides that, the expose of Internet usage at rural area probably can help villagers in exchanging their expertise and do business between them in any picoseconds. Imagine if everyone living in a village had a personal email address? Not only could villagers share expertise with villagers in surrounding areas but also with villagers and experts from around the world. Here means that internet opens up the huge opportunity for the villagers to do worldwide business only by one click. They can bargain for a price with customer through instant messaging at ease. If all rural people are using internet as their lifestyle, Malaysia’s economic may increase. This is one of the importances of ICT in developing Malaysia’s future.

The Exchange of Information

The Internet has the power to inform the world of issues and ideas that otherwise would be suppressed or overlooked. Everybody can share information and technical skills anywhere as long as there is internet. For example, a farmer could find the cause of a malicious fungus plaguing his fields. A village medical specialist could get advice from doctors at the world's most advanced medical institutions. Village engineers could obtain information and advice to take on the most sophisticated projects. Villages could participate in a global forum where the development successes could be shared. No longer will they have to wait, oftentimes months, to receive such information through post. As a result of their being connected, a new type of philanthropy could emerge between experts of the developed world and village specialists. Doctors, engineers, agriculturists, and businesspeople from around the world could serve as village consultants. Youth, from both urban and rural environments would also benefit by having the resources to learn about the world. They would grow up ready to be global citizens, capable of making informed decisions. As populations increase and local issues become global ones, this will be increasingly important.
If introduced into the rural areas, the Internet has the potential to lessen the information gap. It could give villagers the resources needed to solve local problems and not sit idly waiting for their governments and NGO's to provide the expertise. It will also provide the youth of the world with a balanced global perspective, empowering them to be active participants in the information age.
Information is the linchpin to democracy. An informed public is empowered to make informed political decisions. With two-thirds of the world living in virtual information isolation, democracy can never be achieved. The voices of this great majority have had little influence in a world that is becoming increasingly interdependent. While the superpowers of the world have the ability to destroy the world with their arsenals, the people living in the rural areas have not had a voice in the global debate. For the world to have an 'open society' where ideas and information are free to all, we must allow the rural peoples to participate. With ICT's remote villagers can have a voice and can influence local, regional, national, and even global politics. With the Internet, virtual interest groups can form, even in areas of low population density, amplifying their voice with numbers. Their voices would have so much influence that politicians would be forced to distribute resources based on need rather than the clientlaistic relationships that dominate the developing countries.

The Exchange of Commodities

Besides that, the Internet has become the most liberal marketplace known in history. The laws of supply and demand play out on a global scale. In this global bazaar, the price of commodities is determined by real-time market demand and not by projections. The power of this new economy has been realized, virtually overnight, with the transformation and explosive growth of the U.S. economy as well as Malaysia economy if this kind of economy is been used start from now . However, the benefits of the global bazaar are not exclusive to the macro-economies of the developed countries. The benefits of a highly liberalized economy can also benefit the micro-economies of the rural world. The Internet can give villagers the ability to shop for the best price for raw materials, machinery, and services in the global/local marketplace. It will also give them access to markets that before were not accessible, a place where even niche products find their market.

Rural access to ICT will also facilitate the formation of trade groups and cooperatives that would increase the efficiency of trade in the rural areas by organizing people to work together in production, processing, and transportation their products. From this, the movement of goods and services would be coordinated to benefit states of Malaysia not just single village. Malaysian people for sure will become the most information society which will not be left behind anymore. This is most important for Malaysia future development.

For the conclusion, by making the modern information and communication technologies of the world accessible to the two-thirds of the world's population living in the rural areas, we are giving their voices a platform, where their ideas and concerns can be heard by their governments and around the world. Their participation in the global communications transformation will not only support a more open global society but will also give them access to the resources that will allow them to control their own social and economic change. Without a more equitable distribution of the global information network the information divide will cause an even greater social and economic disparity between the developed and undeveloped countries; therefore will assist Malaysia in future development.


des@line said...

my essay....huuu

des@line said... essay in your blog?u got it from UNAPCICT?

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