Prof. Datuk Dr. Khairuddin Abdul Hamid, University Malaysia of Computer Science and Engineering (UniMy)


Digital economy is already here and it is sure to stay and will definitely evolve. It marks the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will change dramatically the way we communicate, do businesses and lead our everyday lives. It is a new form of economic model that is based on digital computing technologies, the Internet, wireless and mobile communications. Previously, digital technology has been used to facilitate and support business and economic activities, but today “digital” is the economy! Despite the fact that digital economy will bring significant advantages and benefits to a country as a whole, concerns have been raised against not just the possible widening of the digital divide, but a more serious challenge of addressing the new “digital economy divide”. Therefore, this presentation is looking at digital economy from a different perspective. Imagine how digital economy will affect the livelihood of rural communities, the challenges they might face and the opportunities they have not yet realised. Digital economy could be the new great opportunity for them to do things differently and be part of the players rather than just being spectators or bystanders. The concept of digital economy “cluster” is introduced for rural areas in order to optimise the limited local digital infrastructure and skills, and at the same time to enable them to participate in actual digital economy activities that are unique to their geographical locations and culture.

Brief biography:

Prof Datuk Dr Khairuddin is currently the Vice-Chancellor of University Malaysia of Computer Science and Engineering (UniMy) based in Putrajaya. Prior to that he served as the Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) from 2008 until 2013. He holds a PhD degree in Electronic Systems Engineering from University of Essex, United Kingdom, Master of Science degree (Electrical Engineering) from University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA, and Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). Prof Dr Khairuddin was a pioneer staff of UNIMAS since it was established in 1993 and had held various posts in the university. He was the founding Dean for the Faculty of Engineering, Dean Faculty of Information Technology as well as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs & Alumni) before became the 4th Vice-Chancellor in 2008. In 1993 he was a research fellow at East West Center, Hawaii and in 1998 he was at Global Information and Telecommunication Institute (GITI) at Waseda University, Tokyo as a visiting professor for 6 months.

In 2001, he was presented with the prestigious “Information Technology Teacher” award by Malaysian National Computer Confederation (MNCC). He was also presented with a number of awards at the national and international levels for his contribution in university leadership, research and pioneering community-based projects related to rural ICT and bridging the digital divide (in particular, the e-Bario Project), such as the Prime Minister’s ICT Award, e-Asia Award, Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) Gold Award and Geneva International Quality Award. Last year, he was one of the finalists for the ICT Educator of the Year Award organised by Southeast Asia Regional Computer Confederation (SEARCC).

He is a member of various national and international committees on telecommunications, ICT education, and professional organisations. He was the Deputy Chairman for the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Malaysia Section between 1984 and 1986. Internationally, he served as the Chairman of Working Group on Policy, Regulations and Special Projects under the Asian Info-communications Council (AIC) from 2001-2008 and currently being appointed as an expert consultant for the Telecommunications Technology Committee (TTC) of Japan to carry out rural ICT projects in ASEAN countries.

At the national level, he is was the Chairman of the National ICT Human Resource Task Force, Chairman of the Expert Panel on Human Capital Development under the National Information Technology Council (NITC) and Chairman of the Technical Committee on the Collaboration between Malaysia and Infosys Ltd., India. He was also a member of the National Science and Research Council (NSRC) and National Higher Education Council of Malaysia. Currently, he is the Chairman of Special Working Committee on the Formation of Board of Computing Professional Malaysia (BCPM), Chairman for the Education Cluster under FELDA and Vice President of MNCC.