Malaysia’s blockchain taskforce to boost industry to the next level

MIMOS and Standards Malaysia are among the national agencies delving deep into the opportunities presented by blockchain technology.

By AvantiKumar
Oct. 20, 2017

KL skyline (Storyblocks)

Credit: Storyblocks


  National government agencies MIMOS and Standards Malaysia are among the national agencies delving deep into the opportunities presented by blockchain technology to support the drive to Digital Malaysia.

During  forum in Kuala Lumpur (18 October 2017), a speech by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau confirmed that the Malaysian give "is looking at Blockchain technology in a big way with the formation of a National Task Force soon."

Themed 'Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies,' the forum, which was organised by MOSTI's national research agency MIMOS and the Department of Standards Malaysia (Standards Malaysia), was held in conjunction with the five-day National Innovation and Creative Economy (NICE) Expo 2017 organised by MOSTI.

The announcement of the national task force was included in the minister's official speech read out by MOSTI deputy secretary-general, Prof Madya Dr Ramzah Dambul (pic below).

MOSTI - Prof Madya Dr Ramzah

MOSTI will lead the task force to form the policy, framework, strategy and implementation plans for Blockchain in both the Government and the non-government sectors.

"Key government departments and agencies as well as several non-government organisations will be participating in the Task Force," said Wilfred.

Also present were Standards Malaysia's director-general Datuk Fadilah Baharin, and MIMOS' chief executive officer Ahmad Rizan Ibrahim.

Understanding blockchain impact

Blockchain has been described as an emerging technology, which provides a way to make electronic payments "without needing any financial institution such as banks or electronic payment agency. A blockchain is a 'distributed ledger' -a digital record that is shared and synchronised across multiple networks of web addresses, institutions or geographies. The intention is to effect value transactions with enhanced security In an era of increasing cyber threats.

Wilfred explained that MOSTI is deepening its understanding of blockchain and its ongoing development. Malaysia intends to drive a path to blockchain adoption in line with emerging standards.

"In the context of standards, the development of international standards is critical not only to ensure smooth transactions but also to protect consumers, as challenges do exist on the side of the governing authorities," he continued.

"MOSTI supports Malaysia's involvement as an ISO member country through Standards Malaysia, to ensure that the country is not left behind in the Blockchain race," the minister said. "With the Fourth Industrial Revolution wave already reaching the country, the emergence of Blockchain and distributed ledgers technology is apt and timely to support the needs for digital information management and protection."

"The advent of Blockchain cannot be viewed lightly as its impact to the nation's economy, social and technology is great," he added.

Opportunities and pitfalls

Fadilah commented that at the national level, Standards Malaysia has already established a technical committee on Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers, which will spotlight the appropriate standards for Malaysia.

"The technical committee is also the national mirror committee to the ISO technical committee for Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers at the international level. This will provide Malaysia with first-hand information on the international development and directives that will assist the national committee to develop standards that are aligned to international practices," she said.

Adding his insights, MIMOS' Ahmad Rizan pointed out that with Blockchain, there would be opportunities and there would also be pitfalls.

"Our job at MIMOS is to investigate both, "he said. "With millions of potential players and users around the world, the technology can create great value, at the same time it can also create chaos. Standards for Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies will build confidence and a sense of control in areas such as privacy, security, governance, identity and other risk-related issue."

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