Facebook Malaysia on Tuesday celebrated the opening of its new expanded office space in Kuala Lumpur and announced new investments in local programmes and partnerships to support business growth and community building.
The move reinforces the company’s commitment to the country, with the overarching “Fast Forward Together” long-term initiative designed to help fuel the nation’s progress towards a digital economic development path. The initiative will see the company focusing on three key tenets: to help Malaysian business grow and transform both locally and at the global stage; enabling improved internet connectivity; and supporting community building efforts.
Officiating the launch was the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Yang Amat Berhormat, Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad who said, “The opening of Facebook Malaysia’s new expanded office in Malaysia reaffirms the nation’s commitment to ensure that our people are communicating and staying connected. In building a new Malaysia, we are on a mission to build, rebuild and reinforce our positions as a nation of strength, integrity and commerce where prosperity is shared and growth is accelerated. We are committed to working with companies like Facebook to move forward our digital economy and help Malaysian businesses grow into global brands and to also continue to build a safe online environment for all people. I believe Facebook Malaysia’s Fast Forward Together initiative will help support Malaysia’s efforts to progress in its digital economic development path.”
Also gracing the event were key Government leaders: YAB Tuan Gobind Singh Deo, Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Malaysia; and Yang Bersama Tuan Al-Ishal Ishak, Chairman of The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
Facebook revealed that 98 percent of internet users are Facebook users, with 99 percent of users access Facebook monthly on mobile.
“Malaysia is an important country to Facebook, contributing to our continued growth in Asia Pacific, where we see over 23 million Malaysians on our platform every month, connecting to family, friends, businesses, and communities. The country’s economy is in the midst of a societal and digital transformation, coupled with a tremendous push for industrial growth, technological innovation, and entrepreneurship. It is exciting to be part of this, and we are investing in our partners, programmes, opportunities and people that are helping us create a positive impact to their communities, said Nicole Tan, Country Director of Facebook Malaysia.
Here’s how Facebook is fast forwarding the nation’s digital transformation:
Digital skills building
Made by Malaysia, Loved by the World: Launched last year, in partnership with MATRADE and Avana, the first-of-its-kind programme in ASEAN helped empower more than 1,000 businesses across seven cities in Malaysia. With DHL joining the effort, Facebook aims to continue engaging with another 1,000 businesses by end 2019. Learn more at https://made you.fb.com/my
Facebook Blueprint: Free education to help entrepreneurs and marketers master marketing across Facebook’s family of apps and services. According to Facebook, in Malaysia, 58 percent of total course enrolments are taken by SMEs, with more than 51,000 people currently registered and learning with Blueprint.
The platform also educates and inspire marketers to build for mobile through various programmes and events. To date, it has engaged more than 3,000 industry partners, advertising and media agencies and brand marketers.
Developers Circle: Facebook builds programmes that support education, innovation and community of developers and startup community. The MDEC e-Usahawan programme helps provide coaching support to produce up to 100 Blueprint Associate Certified trainers in 2019. These trainers then train micro entrepreneurs and young people across the country.
Infrastructure, connectivity, technology
Facebook in collaboration with YTL Communications (“Yes”), deployed the first large-scaled Terragraph market pilot in Georgetown Penang. The Terragraph network consists of 400 notes installed on street furniture throughout the heritage zone. The network connects 100 business with wireless broadband at fibre level speeds. The network also includes 50 public Wi-Fi locations, offering ultra-high-speed Wi-Fi speeds that have so far been enjoyed by 10,000 users.
An upcoming trial will take place in Cyberjaya, in partnership with a yet-to-be-revealed local telco partner.
Facebook Community Leadership Circle Programme: More than 1.4 billion people use Facebook Groups every month. The programme was created to empower and support the Facebook community leaders who foster and strengthen these groups. Facebook is planning to launch the programme in Kuala Lumpur by end 2019.
We Think Digital: This programme offers digital literacy resources designed to help people think critically and share thoughtfully online. It will be launched in Malaysia sometime in 2019. It aims to train 1 million people across 10 Asia Pacific countries by 2020.
Why am I seeing this: Launched recently, this feature aims to help people understand and more easily control, and personalise what they see from friends, Pages and Groups in Facebook News Feed.
NUR Alert: The first National Urgent Response Alert (NUR-ALERT) was launched in December 2016 on an 8-year old girl. She was found thanks to a member of the Facebook community flagging her whereabouts to the Malaysian police. Facebook is Police Diraja Malaysia’s 36th NUR Alert task force member. The service helps deliver NUR Alerts to people’s Facebook News Feed if they are in the designated search area after a child has gone missing, and PDRM has issued an alert.
Safety Check: In Malaysia, this feature has been activated three times to date: a flood incident in Penang and Malacca; and during a building fire in Sabah. It allows people to assure and inform their loved ones on their safety during disasters or emergencies.
Facebook also shared how Malaysians are using Groups to connect over common interests, share passions and causes. In Asia Pacific, nearly 60 percent of people on Facebook use Groups.
A couple of powerful examples include Encik Daud Abdul Gadar, a fisherman in Miri who uses Facebook and WhatsApp to collaborate with a community of fisherman. By harnessing these platforms, daily catches have improved by three times, and they also keep fishermen safe from violent tides.
Next, a social enterprise called Yellow House uses Facebook to gain public interest in promoting a lower carbon footprint. It helps the homeless to be financially independent by training and turning them into tour guides for “Unseen Tours.” It has drawn international volunteers to help run the community group.