Sunway and Digital Penang Enters Agreement To Build A Digital Talent Development Ecosystem for the North

18 November 2022, George Town – The Sunway Education Group (SEG) and state government agency Digital Penang signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore opportunities in building the digital ecosystem to strengthen Penang’s vibrant digital talent pool. In line with the national agenda and the state’s Penang2030 vision, the MOU will see collaboration opportunities and synergies to groom software tech talents to become world-class developers and tech entrepreneurs, as well as create job opportunities to meet the growing industry demands. Under SEG’s extension of 42 Kuala Lumpur (42 KL) and Sunway iLabs, both parties will explore opportunities to curate tech workshops, talks, building a peer-to-peer coding learning environment, and jobs matching to create a sustainable digital ecosystem in Penang.

42KL is a non-profit initiative through a partnership between Sunway Education Group and MDEC, together with the support from the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation and Sunway iLabs. Laying the foundation for Malaysia to become the leading digital economy in ASEAN, the ground-breaking French-founded coding school, 42 is currently situated in Sunway FutureX, Sunway University. Its unique and disruptive educational model offers zero tuition fees, zero teachers and zero traditional classrooms where students learn and grow in a peer-to-peer environment on a 100% merit-based through practical, project-based learning.

Matt van Leeuwen, Chief Innovation Officer for Sunway Group and Director of Sunway iLabs believes that Penang’s strong foundation in the manufacturing and engineering sector makes it an ideal location for it to be the digital talent hub of the North.

“Penang’s vibrant ecosystem and its digital aspirations is a match-made in heaven to cultivate hardware expertise and software skills. Being a part of this digital ambition truly aligns with our Sunway iLabs vision. We’ve set out a target to train and develop 10,000 students over the next 10 years through programmes like 42KL that will be present in more state across the country and the potential 42 Penang will play a key role for this vision.”, said Matt.

“To meet the ever growing and evolving demands for tech talents in the state, Digital Penang is committed to exploring initiatives and programmes to develop local talent with industry and global validated skills to accelerate digital tech careers. As ecosystem partners to build capabilities of tech talents and entrepreneurs, the state welcomes this partnership and look forward to investing in talent development programmes that will benefit industry demands and the ecosystem in Penang. We place high priority in developing talents in the software tech industry, enhance employability for software talents especially the B40 category to provide high-income and high-skill jobs to further attract investments and talent into Penang’s digital ecosystem”, said Tony Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer of Digital Penang.

Anticipating an increase of new tech startups, tech talent demand from budding startups, this partnership is timely to foster and upskill potential tech talents in Penang. This initiative is also in line with Penang’s Digital Transformation Plan under the Digital Economy pillar to develop talent pipeline in STEM, E&E engineering and deep software technology as we adapt to a world of rising automation and robotics.


Digital Penang ( is a government linked company owned by the State of Penang, which began operations in April 2020 to accelerate efforts to capture opportunities in the digital economy and promote a digitally engaged society. To bring to life the Penang2030 vision of a family-focused, green Smart State, the journey of transformation will focus on driving digital adoption amongst the community, more data-driven governance, a diverse talent pool for entrepreneurship and investment, and a resilient digital infrastructure to sustain a liveable environment.



Launched in 2017, Sunway Innovation Labs (Sunway iLabs), the innovation arm of Sunway Group and Sunway University, aims to foster entrepreneurship and stimulate market-driven innovations, to help entrepreneurs become more competitive in this rapidly changing environment. It is well connected with the wider start-up ecosystem in Malaysia and abroad through collaborations and strategic partnerships, to enable entrepreneurs to scale their business faster. Sunway iLabs was awarded Outstanding Property Development for Start-ups in 2019 and Outstanding Incubator/Coworking Space in 2021 by the Malaysian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (MVCA). It is structured as a unique, smart partnership between Sunway Group, Sunway Ventures/Sunway CVC and Sunway University.

For more information, log on to


ABOUT 42 Kuala Lumpur | No Teachers. No Classes. No Lecturers. No Tuition Fees.

42 Kuala Lumpur (42KL) is a not-for-profit, tuition-free computer programming school with a peer-to-peer learning environment that does not involve teachers and lectures. We use an innovative education model that was designed to develop the skills needed to jumpstart a career as a software engineer using a project-based learning approach.

Visit for more information. Applications are open to any individuals who are 18 years and above.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates from Digital Penang!

More To Explore