Google: “Malaysia is on the cusp of something big”

We speak to Sajith Sivanandan, Country Head at Google Malaysia, about the growth he has witnessed in Malaysia’s broadband scene, and the opportunities he sees for Google as a result of this growth.

What progress have you seen in Malaysia’s broadband networks and consumer usage patterns over the past year or so?

The progress has been impressive. The private-public partnership initiative between the government and Telekom Malaysia has made high-speed fibre broadband a reality for 200,000 households in 18 months.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission figures put household broadband penetration at over 60 per cent of the population at the end of 2011.

At the same time, it estimates that the number of internet users in Malaysia is around 18 million today, including those accessing via mobile broadband.

With over 120 per cent mobile penetration among Malaysians, it appears that Malaysia is on the cusp of something big with regards to the digital economy.

What online services do you believe particularly resonate with Malaysian consumers?

Booking their travel plans online is certainly a huge draw for Malaysians. We increasingly see interest and activity in retail, finance, technology and telco verticals.

What major opportunities do you see for Google in the Asian digital landscape?

Mobile is the biggest opportunity, along with introducing new modes of digital advertising via our search, YouTube and display platforms that engage and inform the consumer. This combination, given the sheer size of the Asian population, puts Google in a fantastic position.

How can governments and regulators encourage even greater growth for Asia’s broadband scene?

Malaysia’s private-public partnership is a good example of how the state can come together with service providers to address a supply-based approach which was conceived in 2008, while planning for demand-based is being developed, as is the case now.

Sajith is speaking at the Broadband IP&TV Asia 2012 event, taking place in Malaysia on 15th-16th May. For more information and to register, please visit

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