Since 2016, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has made deep investments in Malaysia, serving customers and unlocking transformation across industries. Today, AWS reaffirmed its commitment, announcing that the new AWS Region in Malaysia will be live in 2024. AWS’s previously announced pledge to invest MYR 25.5 billion to build a new AWS Region in Malaysia by 2037 will give developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and nonprofit organizations greater choice when running their applications and serving end users from data centers located in Malaysia.
To support the Malaysian government’s strategic Madani Economy Framework, which aims to improve the living standards of all Malaysians by 2030, the new AWS Region in Malaysia will play a pivotal role in advancing the country’s digitization ambitions and meet the high demand for cloud services while supporting innovation in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia. This new infrastructure will nurture a vibrant community where startups, small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), enterprises, and public sector organizations can collaborate, experiment, and thrive with access to the latest technologies such as generative artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and more. This new AWS Region will also enable customers with data residency preferences to store data securely in Malaysia, help customers to achieve even lower latency, and serve demand for cloud services across Southeast Asia.
Fuelling digital transformation for local customers and AWS Partners
In Malaysia, AWS’s team is made up of diverse Amazonians from across disciplines and job functions, including sales, solutions architects, training and certification, and business development. This team is focused on supporting customers and AWS Partners of all sizes, including Al Rajhi Bank, Bank Islam, Cancer Research Malaysia, the Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education (DPCCE), the Department of Statistics Malaysia, Maxis, and PETRONAS.
Pos Malaysia Berhad (Pos Malaysia), the country’s national postal and courier service provider, is all-in on AWS to drive the company’s ambitious transformation plan to diversify its products and services. As part of this business transformation, Pos Malaysia closed its on-premises data centers and migrated the vast majority of its information technology (IT) infrastructure to AWS in 2023. With AWS, Pos Malaysia has made transactions smoother with new digital, customer-centric solutions while reducing IT costs by 50%. These solutions also help the 200-year-old organization better serve customers with seamless deliveries.
“With AWS, we can offer retail, logistics, and other innovative products and solutions to serve our customers better, while making our operations more streamlined and efficient,” said Sumesh Rahavendra, the group chief digital and transformation officer at Pos Malaysia. “Our all-in migration to AWS enables us to focus on our core operations, improve productivity, and drive profitability while delivering a great customer experience. With the new AWS Region coming to Malaysia next year, we will further reduce our latency and improve our data compliance posture to better serve customers.”
In September, PETRONAS, Gentari Sdn Bhd (Gentari), Amazon, and AWS announced that they will work together to accelerate their sustainability and decarbonization initiatives. PETRONAS and AWS will design and construct a state-of-the-art plant that incorporates cutting-edge technology, robotics, and automation solutions similar to those used in Amazon warehouses and facilities. PETRONAS will also continue using AWS’s broad and deep set of technologies to improve and expand existing and new solutions, including SETEL, Malaysia’s first e-wallet for purchasing fuel at PETRONAS stations, and STEAR, a cloud-based logistics solution and services platform built on AWS for the offshore industry.
“Collaborations like this, which build on our long-standing relationship with Amazon and AWS, as well as the expertise of Gentari in clean energy solutions, are vital to support the world’s transition to cleaner energy,” said Datuk Bacho Pilong, senior vice president of project delivery and technology at PETRONAS. “We invite like-minded innovators to join forces to strengthen a growing innovation community that can address the many challenges along our journey to drive a more sustainable future for all.”
An increase in generative AI adoption
Generative AI, a type of artificial intelligence that can create new content and ideas, will have a profoundly positive impact on industries and society, and we are now seeing the next wave of widespread adoption in Malaysia.
Headquartered in Malaysia, 123RF is one of the world’s largest digital image stock agencies serving more than 10 million registered users and three million subscribers worldwide. In March 2023, 123RF launched an AI image generation service, which uses Stability AI’s Stable Diffusion’s text-to-image foundation model (FM) and Amazon SageMaker to help users generate unique, custom images from text prompts.
“The introduction of the 123RF AI image generation service has significantly transformed our user experience and expanded our product offerings,” said Alex P’ng, chief executive officer of 123RF. “Users now have the creative power to bring their ideas to life, leading to a remarkable 20% increase in licensing rates for AI-generated content since 123RF’s launch. This success highlights the pivotal role cloud technology plays in our customers’ success as we push the boundaries of creativity in the ASEAN region.”
AWS is also helping Malaysian companies use emerging technologies to improve citizen outcomes. For example, AWS is collaborating with Ramsay Sime Darby and Annalise.AI to deploy AI tools to enhance medical patient care. The Annalise Enterprise chest X-ray helps clinicians detect and identify the suspected presence of up to 124 findings in chest x-rays in less than 20 seconds. This will help healthcare providers act quickly, especially for conditions that require urgent interventions.
Broadening AWS’s footprint in Malaysia
To better support Malaysia’s digitization efforts, AWS opened its newest office in the heart of the vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur on June 1, 2023. Spanning more than 32,000 square feet, this new facility is thoughtfully designed to foster agile work, lifelong learning, and collaboration as AWS continues to grow its business, operations, and investments in Malaysia. Decorated with Malaysian cultural motifs, it’s a welcoming space where cross-functional teams and builders can mingle, brainstorm, and exchange ideas, with interaction zones built specially for affinity groups to share ideas and innovate together.
The office is strategically envisioned as an innovation hub to deepen relationships with customers and partners. It will host various knowledge-sharing and experience-driven workshops with customers and partners, enabling them to learn about Amazon’s unique culture of innovation. The new office signifies AWS’s ongoing commitment to Malaysia since local operations began in the country in 2016.
Local knowledge and skills
AWS is also dedicated to upskilling Malaysian citizens, having trained more than 50,000 people in Malaysia with cloud skills since 2017. AWS is collaborating with World Education Placement Services to provide free cloud computing skills development and job training through the AWS re/Start program. This is a free, 12-week, entry-level cloud skills program that helps prepare unemployed and underemployed learners for vital careers in cloud computing, and connects them with employment opportunities at local employers.
Through AWS Academy, tertiary institutions such as Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) and the University of Malaya have access to a free, ready-to-teach cloud computing curriculum that prepares students to pursue industry-recognized certifications and in-demand jobs.
“In Malaysia, we’re not just building infrastructure, we’re spurring a wave of digital transformation and investing in a digital workforce that will shape the nation’s future,” said Chuah Seng Heng, country manager for Worldwide Public Sector at AWS in Malaysia. “The new AWS Region will empower Malaysia to accelerate cloud adoption in the public sector and help agencies transform the way citizen services are delivered.”
Advancing Malaysia’s digital vision
Malaysia’s growing digital economy is propelling the country forward as a regional powerhouse for innovation under the country’s Madani Economy Framework. The convergence of strategic investments, a clear vision for the nation’s digital future, and technological prowess have unleashed a transformative energy that is reshaping industries, empowering businesses, and elevating the nation on the global stage.
“Malaysian customers like 123RF, PETRONAS, Bank Islam, Principal Asset Management, Gentari, Maxis, and Carsome are already leveraging the world’s broadest and most adopted cloud technology to accelerate innovation, drive productivity, fuel economic growth in Malaysia and beyond,” said Pete Murray, country manager at AWS in Malaysia. “With the launch of our AWS Malaysia Region in 2024, we are excited to provide a further stimulus to Malaysia in its journey to be a leader in digital technology across the region, and in the process build a better future for all Malaysians.