The Malaysian government has allocated RM 27m (approximately $6.5m) for cybersecurity purposes during the announcement of its National Budget for 2021. Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz announced the budget today and designated these funds towards enhancing cybersecurity measures.
In October, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin hinted that cybersecurity will “continue to be a priority in national defence and security agenda.” Clearly, the budgetary allocation is a testament to his determination to enhance the country’s cybersecurity.
As part of the cybersecurity initiative, the Malaysian government launched the Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy (MCSS) for 2020-2024. This national programme was allocated RM 1.8b – of which the RM 27 for cybersecurity budgetary allocation for 20121 falls.
The MCSS will be led by two ministries in the central government – Communications and Multimedia Ministry, and the National Cybersecurity Agency. These two dockets are expected to draft, finalise, execute, and review a medium-term plan to develop Malaysia’s cybersecurity.
The two ministries will be tasked with coordinating and implementing the formulation and implementation of the medium-term action plan. Specifically, the plan is anchored on five pillars, which include: enhancing the management of national governance and cybersecurity, empowering innovation and world standard technology, and enhancing international cooperation.
Undoubtedly, Malaysia has the potential to lead the APAC region in cybersecurity matters. The country itself is home to several global organizations that are constantly at the risk of a data breach and leaks.
The national plan for cybersecurity will also strive to boost entrepreneurship to develop new cybersecurity businesses.