The Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) and IBM Malaysia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in developing the digital industry in Sarawak state on Borneo Island, Malaysia. The agreement reportedly focuses on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain technologies, according to a report by The Borneo Post. 

IBM will be responsible for ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the digital transformation in Sarawak. With the tech firm’s participation, the state expects to achieve its target for economic growth set under Malaysia’s Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2022.

SMA-IBM Program for AI and Blockchain

The two parties are currently working together on a joint program at the Centre of Excellence for Digital Economy to facilitate research activities, business development, and the commercialization of research findings. 

According to SMA General Manager Dr. Zaidi Razak, Sarawak aims to apply emerging technologies in becoming a digital state.


“Sarawak is leveraging on emerging yet practical technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to help us in our journey to be a digital state. Working with partners that have a strong track record such as IBM would help us in our journey to be a digital savvy state,” Dr. Zaidi said.

IDECS 2019 Presides Over Digital Tech Advances in Malaysia

The MoU was signed at the International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak 2019 (IDECS 2019). Among the witnesses to the signing ceremony was Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg.


Sachin Gupta, Program Director of Research BD at IBM Singapore, and Freddy Lee, CTO of IBM Malaysia, participated in the two-day exhibition to facilitate sessions for more than 100 delegates from government and business sectors on topics involving the application of AI and blockchain technologies in agriculture and food trust.