Microsoft lays out $1bn to build first data centre in Malaysia

19 April 2021 | Antony Savvas

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Microsoft is to build its first data centre in Malaysia as part of a $1 billion investment in the country over the next five years.

As well as the new facility the cash will be used as part of the company's “Bersama Malaysia” (Together with Malaysia) initiative - which aims to up-skill 1 million citizens in digital - and help roll-out the government-backed MyDigital Alliance Leadership Council for business to collaborate on cloud-first and digital-native technology.

Microsoft reckons its investment, its partners around it and their cloud-using customers will help create over 19,000 new direct and indirect jobs.

YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, prime minister of Malaysia, said: “This significant investment from Microsoft further fortifies Malaysia’s position as a potential regional data hub, and we stand to welcome more such partners as we work with our stakeholders to continually improve Malaysia’s value proposition in this big data space.”

Microsoft rival Google does not yet have a data centre in the country and international cloud services market leader Amazon Web Services only has a relatively small edge data centre in the capital of Kuala Lumpur.

The Microsoft investment will pay for a hyperscale cloud facility in the “Greater Kuala Lumpur area”, although the timescale for its completion has not yet been revealed.

“The upcoming data centre region will be a game-changer for Malaysia, enabling the government and businesses to re-imagine and transform their operations to the benefit of all citizens,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president of Microsoft global sales, marketing and operations.

Malaysian corporate heavyweights Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) and Celcom Axiata Berhad have already signed up as cloud customers for the new facility.