Malaysia focuses on building a data driven ASEAN

MDEC Hosts Asia’s Largest Big Data Congregation at Big Data Week Asia 2016

Bigit Technology Malaysia 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, 19 September 2016 – Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Olygen Sdn Bhd today officiated the start of Big Data Week Asia 2016. The week long congregation will host over 3,500 participants from across the region, 84 world-class speakers, 38 leading exhibitors, 41 sponsors and 17 satellite events focused on building a data driven ASEAN. Kuala Lumpur is the 2016 city partner of Global Big Data Week and the congregation has been officially recognised as the biggest in Asia this year. 

BIGIT Technology Malaysia 2016, the anchor event for Big Data Week Asia 2016, is being held on 19th and 20th September at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). For the first time in Malaysia, the event will also feature Pepper, the world’s first robot that is capable of reading emotions and feelings. The two-day event is part of MDEC’s efforts to catalyse digital innovation ecosystems in expanding opportunities in the area of Big Data and Analytics (BDA). Speakers include international thought leaders such as Professor Karim R. Lakhani (Harvard Business School), Daniel Castro (Director of Centre for Data Innovation, US), Amr Awadallah (Co-founder and CTO of Cloudera) and Lutz Finger (Data Scientist, Cornell University) along with a host of regional and local speakers.

“We are thrilled to see such a great response from speakers and participants of Big Data Week Asia 2016. This is just remarkable,” said Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer, MDEC who officiated Big Data Week 2016.

“In 2014, based on the estimated demand, we had targeted for 1,500 Data Scientists by 2020. But due to the increase in awareness and adoption, this figure has now been revised to 2,000 data scientists and 16,000 data professionals. With the support of our partners – Cloudera, Coursera and TheCADs – we are producing Data Scientists through innovative working models that include forging Industry- University collaborations and formulation of industry relevant curriculum. Last year, we saw 70 data scientists emerge from this model representing corporate MNC’s, government linked companies and even start-ups.” she added. 

Ir. Dr. Karl Ng, Director, Innovation Capital, MDEC said, “Needless to say, we have achieved excellent results from our BDA initiatives until now. But the next upcoming event is even more exciting and will truly amaze the global Big Data community. The launch of ASEAN Data Analytics Exchange (ADAX) will redefine our approach to Big Data entirely by bringing together the community, enterprises, startups, academia and working professionals at a single venue.” 

“Creating niche and tailored events that address the latest technological trends and developments such as Big Data, Data Security and Artificial Intelligence is aligned with Olygen’s BIGIT expertise and experience. We share the same vision with MDEC as we strive towards propelling Malaysia to the forefront of the Big Data race. With MDEC as our strategic partner and co-organiser, BIGIT Technology Malaysia 2016 is announced as one of the key initiatives as we aim to position Malaysia as the leading Big Data Analytics hub in the SEA region,” said Alvin Yong, Managing Director of Olygen Sdn Bhd.

Malaysia as a leading BDA solutions hub in the South East Asia

Malaysia is making steady progress in becoming a hub for BDA solution providers. As of August 2016, there are 22 multinational BDA companies from six countries currently setup in Malaysia. These include IHS Markit and SiteCore. In addition to this, Fusionex and Data Micron are among the Malaysian companies who have expanded globally. In total, there are 32 BDA companies that have exported their services/solutions and 47 BDA start-ups continuously innovating and testing cutting edge technology in this space.

Addressing the Talent Gap in Asia

Technology is nothing without the people behind it and talent development is the key component of building a BDA ecosystem. As part of the BDA initiative, MDEC is also focused on filling the talent gap in Big Data Analytics. Along with key strategic partners, MDEC has been actively building industry-university partnerships to groom and nurture talent in Big Data and Analytics. In addition to introducing postgraduate courses on Data Science, undergraduate IT-related degrees with Data Science specialisation are also being introduced.
In order to reach a wider audience and lay the ground work for more future talent, Data Science modules are being introduced into non-ICT degree courses such as Actuarial Science, Business, Management, etc. As of September 2016, there are five (5) Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) offering Postgraduate degrees in Data Science and seven (7) IHLs offering undergraduate degrees with Data Science specialisation.

Additionally, MDEC has tied up with Coursera to offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for working professionals across industries. Since the start of the programme, 200 participants have completed the course.

As part of the professional development pathway, MDEC is also working with the likes of Dell EMC, SAS Institute, Cloudera and TheCADS to offer professional courses. To encourage local adoption, MDEC and the Human Resource Development Fund are also identifying training needs that corresponds with the advancement of technology, system and processes in in the area of BDA. 


About Big Data week Asia

Big Data Week Asia is in its fourth instalment and is one of the most unique global platforms of interconnected community events focusing on the social, political, technological impacts of Big Data. The anchor event, BIGIT Technology Malaysia will feature a Conference Series that focuses on the exploration and discussion on the latest technology trends. For more information and full list of speakers at the event, please visit

About Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn. Bhd. or MDEC (formerly known as Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn. Bhd.) is an agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia. MDEC has been entrusted to develop, coordinate, and promote Malaysia’s digital economy, information and communications technology (ICT) industry, and the adoption of digital technology amongst Malaysians.

Incorporated on 5th June 1996, MDEC was officially established to strategically advise the Malaysian Government on legislation, policies and standards for ICT and multimedia operations. Additionally, MDEC is also entrusted to oversee the development of the MSC Malaysia initiative, the platform to nurture the growth of local tech companies whilst attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) and domestic direct investments (DDIs) from global multinational companies to invest and develop cutting-edge digital and creative solutions in Malaysia.

In 2011, MDEC’s mandate was broadened to drive Malaysia’s transition towards a developed digital economy by 2020. In 2012, Digital Malaysia was official unveiled as the nation’s transformational programme to achieve this objective. Digital Malaysia is a national agenda that is fully developed with a sustainable digital economy built upon a vibrant domestic ICT industry, transformative adoption of digital solutions by government, businesses and citizens, as well as a robust enabling ecosystem. For more information about MDEC, please visit

About Olygen

The key to continuous innovation are knowledge acquisition and business network. With that idea in mind, Olygen Sdn Bhd was formed in 2011 to create platforms for companies to build their competency while staying competitive in their respective profession and specialisation.

In the dynamic and competitive setting of the world’s economy and business environment, skillsets are a niche and the need to develop competent talent will always be a prerequisite. Olygen actively encourages diverse knowledge creation in the industry, the development of new skills and expertise as well as the exposure to best business practices.

As this is an extremely important commitment to the company’s future, Olygen’s modules are extensively developed through comprehensive research and a collaborative pool of respected industry experts. Olygen is dedicated in upholding its standards so that their clients will receive precisely what they require and expectantly more.

Olygen organises events regionally and have attracted international coverage with delegates joining from the Middle East, Russia, Australia, Bangladesh and Asia Pacific, just to name a few. Olygen’s audience ranges from Managing Directors to Executives from leading industry players.

From small group trainings conducted by world-renowned industry experts focusing on the latest business challenges and best practices to large-scale conferences that cover the upcoming business trends with insights, experience and case studies by industry leaders, Olygen aims to empower and develop organisations, businesses and people.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Zalinda Zainon
Corporate Communications Division
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)
Tel: +603 8315 3229