KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 — The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) will embark on a pilot programme to use of robotic technology in various sectors to replace human labour, hence reducing the country’s dependence on foreign workers.
Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said the privately-developed programme would be implemented first in the manufacturing sector soon.
He said the implementation of the programme was made possible under the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) initiative outlined in the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA).
“This is mainly for industries that need low-cost labour involving foreign workers…old jobs will disappear and new ones (involving digital technology) will be created,” he said when interviewed in RTM’s Selamat Pagi Malaysia programme today.
Khairy also said that MOSTI would expedite the implementation of the smart farm programme to ensure the country’s food security and hence, achieve a better level of self-sufficiency.
“During this COVID-19 pandemic, for example, we are worried that the country will not be able to import food items…the level of our food self-sufficiency is still low.
“Among the technologies that we need to explore are sensor technology and the internet of things (IoT),” he said.
To achieve the objective, Khairy said the government has been intensifying efforts to upgrade broadband infrastructures across the country.
Elaborating, the minister said MOSTI would also take more initiatives to enhance public awareness on cashless transaction, especially among those in rural areas.
“Our goal is to become a cashless society, so we must ensure it become a new normal not only in urban but also in rural areas.
“I want to see e-wallet become the new normal even at a farmers’ market,” he said, adding that he planned to make his own constituency of Rembau as a case study.
The NTIS initiative, led by MOSTI, was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin while unveiling the PENJANA on June 5, to complement the national digitalisation process.