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KUCHING: Tech and digital companies in Malaysia commended the government’s focus on expediting the nation’s digital transformation via various measures introduced under the recently announced Budget 2021.

“We welcome inclusion of measures outlined in the Budget Speech 2021 aimed at accelerating implementation of digitalisation in businesses. Budget 2021 identifies digitalisation and automation as key strategies to achieve long-term productivity in the country in efforts to speed up the country’s journey to become a high-income economy.

“These measures include an allocation of RM1 billion under the digital transformation scheme for industry, and an additional fund of RM150 million for digitalisation and automation grant for small and medium enterprises. In addition, there is also continued commitment to introduce digital technology in delivery of public sector services to increase their speed and ease of use,” Dagang NeXchange Bhd (DNeX) group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir commented.

“What is important is that disbursement of these funds can reach intended businesses in a timely manner especially when they are now facing with unprecedented situation with headwinds from multiple fronts including the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These measures certainly come at the right time where businesses can leverage and step up the use of digital technology, which is emerging as a key solution for businesses especially when physical movements and physical contact are restricted,” he added.

Cybersecurity company Trend Micro also applauded the Malaysian government’s continued commitment to Malaysia’s digital transformation as a key component of the nation’s post-pandemic recovery.

“ The emphasis on digital technologies and upgrading telecommunications networks will propel Malaysia further, accommodating the needs of our digital lifestyles while spurring economic growth for our nation,” said Trend Micro Malaysia and Nascent Countries managing director Goh Chee Hoh.

“We commend the efforts to provide stable internet connection for students in tertiary institutions by upgrading the Malaysian Research and Education Network (MYREN) access from 500Mbps to 10Gbps, and the Skim BSN MyRInggit-i COMSIS laptop computer loan scheme that will support students in the new normal of digital learning,” he added.

“It is crucial to balance rapid digitalisation with cybersecurity awareness and a commitment to protecting all organisations against the actions of malicious players. We applaud the allocation of RM 27 million to CyberSecurity Malaysia to improve cyber security controls across the country, deterring cyberattacks that come at a staggering cost to organisations as well as individuals.

“We are also encouraged by the strides being taken towards improving connectivity across the country. For the manufacturing sector, the RM 42 million allocated under the National Digital Network (Jendela) plan to improve internet connectivity in industrial locations will propel development as we move towards 5G networks that will enable the Internet of Things (IoT),” Goh said.

Meanwhile, Cisco Malaysia commended the focused measures to accelerate digital transformation in various areas and industries, including the emphasis on Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) technologies such as automation in the commodity and SME sector.

“Moving forward, we believe digital transformation readiness will be especially critical for the small and medium business (SMB) sector to encourage operators and owners to turn what were started as stop-gap measures into long-term gains.

“As we foresee the sector’s continued digitalisation potentially adding between US$19 to US$24 billion (RM79 billion to RM99 billion) to the country’s GDP by 2024, we welcome the additional funding and incentives that continue to support SMEs along their recovery path while spurring the pace of their technological adoption and digitalisation,” said Cisco Malaysia managing director Albert Chai.