Malaysian Budget 2015 Commentary

1.) Outsourcing Malaysia (OM) - David Wong, the Chairman of Outsourcing Malaysia (OM), an initiative under PIKOM

Fourth: Reintroducing the Services Export Fund (SEF) Services Export is an important thrust under OM and the reintroduction of SEF augurs well for our members. The financial assistance provided will help accelerate growth as well.

More comments from David Wong.

2.) AIMS Group - Chiew Kok Hin, CEO and MyIX Chairman

Implementing the Services Sector Blueprint;

We welcome the governments continued focus on the services sector where we hope the Business Services sector that is made out of Outsourcing and Data Centre players will benefit from this Services Sector Blueprint. As the world becomes more digital, more and more data will need to be hosted and it is wise on the government to leverage on boosting this sector.

More comments from Chiew Kok Hin.

3.) MSTB (Malaysian Software Testing Board) - Pn Mastura Abu Samah, President
Pn. Mastura Abu Samah, President, MSTB

Budget Measure 14: Developing Innovation and Commercialisation

Currently, Malaysia’s R&D expenditure as a share of GDP is low, compared with advanced economies such as Japan and South Korea. In this regard, the Government will allocate RM1.3 billion to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to implement several related programmes including:

MSTB lauds the emphasis on R&D and commercialization initiatives contained in Budget 2015.

For example, we see that the proposed Public Private Research Network initiative, under the purview of the Ministry of Education in collaboration with MTDC, can be an effective platform for encourage collaborations between the private and academic sectors, particularly the area of applied research.

More comments from Pn Mastura Abu Samah.

4.) Epicor Software Asia - Craig Charlton, Senior Vice President of Epicor’s Asia Pacific Operations
Craig Charlton, Senior VP, Epicor's APAC

The impending implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) this coming April 1, 2015 is currently the chief concern for most businesses. The concerns of business owners are evident given the hesitance of businesses to register themselves. The Royal Malaysian Customs recently stated that only 17% of the 300,000 businesses affected by GST have registered in spite of 31 December deadline looming.

More comments from Craig Charlton

5.) Microsoft - Carlos Lacerda, Managing Director, Microsoft Malaysia

Enhancing SMEs with Technology

Carlos Lacerda, M.D, Microsoft Malaysia

99.2% of businesses in Malaysia are SMEs, which presently employs 56% of the Malaysian workforce and generates 33% of the national GDP. Many SMEs are not really aware of the necessity of building a solid IT platform which enables them to improve effectiveness and increase productivity. The announcement of RM375 million to assist SMEs in enhancing their business potential and increasing their contribution to 41% of GDP by 2020 is a welcome move. The allocation is an opportunity to support SMEs in setting up a modern IT platform based on advanced, innovative solutions and services to build their business and improve their competitiveness. The SME Investment Partner initiative, where SMEs will be given financing assistance in the form of loans, equity or both, is a step forward to support SMEs to become strong GDP contributors.

More comments from Carlos Lacerda.

6.) Autodesk - Tan Choon Sang (CS Tan), Country Manager, Autodesk Malaysia

Advancing the Creative Industry

The Government continues to recognize the creative industry as a strategic growth sector, with the allocation of RM100 million under a Digital Content Industry Fund set up under the Communications and Multimedia Commission. As we step into a new phase of more immersive and engaging content, aspiring Malaysian artists should look at utilising the best design and entertainment tools that allows them to unlock their creativity to its best capabilities.

More comments from Tan Choon Sang

7.) CA Technologies - Chua I-Pin, Vice President, Asia South CA Technologies

The proposed measures in Malaysia’s 2015 budget reflect the government’s focus on innovation, commercialization and transforming the nation into a startup hub.

The RM1.3 billion allocation to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and establishing MaGIC to enhance innovation and commercialization is a testament of this.

The development of many Asian nations, including Malaysia, is underpinned by the creativity, progressiveness and dynamism of its industry. This has become increasingly evident in the application economy, where everything is enabled by software. Retail, news, entertainment, banking, education, government, and communications, for example, are being driven by a connected, mobile, application-based world where consumers are far more likely to interact with the government, organizations and businesses through a software application rather than with someone face-to-face.

More comments from Chua I-Pin.

8.) MDeC - Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer

The Budget 2015 will drive the Malaysian digital economy in several key areas and serve to raise productivity, improve efficiency and accelerate the contribution of key sub-sectors and communities as Malaysia transforms into a knowledge society.

Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, CEO, MDeC

Budget 2015 also brings benefits of the digital age to SMEs via the RM80 million allocated to a Soft Loan Scheme for Automation and Modernisation of SMEs. Greater adoption and use of digital tools will see further productivity increases in the segment.

More comments from Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood

9.) MyKRIS - Chew Choo Soon, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman

In the last two years, the Government has continuously allocated funds for HSBB. Clearly the government continues efforts to spur internet penetration by providing resources for wireless mobile internet with the building of more transmission towers to extend nationwide mobile coverage.

This move definitely helps to improve the overall wired or wireless last mile connectivity especially in underserved areas. Then for the domestic network, government has also budgeted to extend international network connectivity by investing into submarine cables.

We see that the additional capacity provided by the submarine cable will help to drive the Internet charges down and to attract more international telcos and regional countries to transit via Malaysia.

But to make the investment more fruitful, the project is preferably undertaken by a neutral party with a fair pricing mechanism. And to make the submarine project more attractive, MCMC is welcomed to review the cable landing station rights to facilitate Malaysia as the preferred communications transit hub.

More comments from Chew Choo Soon.

10.) George Kent (Malaysia) Berhad - Bernie Ooi, Executive Director, George Kent Malaysia Berhad
Bernie Ooi, E.D, George Kent Malaysia

George Kent is especially encouraged by the government’s emphasis on infrastructure growth and economic development – we see this as an impetus to strengthen our investment drive in our core businesses in engineering and meter manufacturing.

George Kent is a significant household brand in the water metering industry around the world. With close to 80 years in the business, we provide the region’s broadest portfolio of internationally certified water meters and brass fittings for the water industry.

More comments from Bernie Ooi.

11.) Rakuten - Masaya Ueno, Vice President of Regional Management Group

Rakuten welcomes the Government’s initiatives to boost the country’s small and medium business by allocating RM 375 million towards the implementation of the SME Investment Partner programme. SME friendly initiatives like reducing the income tax rate to 19% from 20% for the 2016 assessment year resonate with Rakuten’s philosophy of empowering merchants especially SMEs, through initiatives ranging from knowledge sharing at EXPO live events and with e-commerce consultants, to providing a platform for merchants to create a unique offering and build a loyal consumer base. We are committed to growing the local commerce ecosystem by forging key partnerships within the private and public sectors.

More comments from Masaya Ueno.
Ivan Tjahjadi, Country Manager, Axis Comm.

12.) AXIS COMMUNICATIONS - Ivan Tjahjadi, Country Manager, ASEAN & Indo China, Axis Communications

Axis Communications welcomes the renewed focus on enhancing Malaysia’s national security and public order by strengthening surveillance and upgrading defence equipment. It is encouraging to note that the government has allocated RM 9.1 billion to the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and RM 17.7 billion to the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), marking an increase of around 3.4 percent from the last fiscal budget.

Axis Communications supports the Government’s comitment to reduce the crime rate as part of Malaysia’s National Key Results Area (NKRA) which will lead to an increasing demand for new IP surveillance technology to provide more effective frontline policing and crime prevention. The additional allocation of RM 7 billion to purchase and maintain defense assets have the potential to have a significant impact in tackling crime across Malaysia.

More comments from Ivan Tjahjadi.

13.) Cisco Malaysia - Albert Chai, Country Manager, Cisco Malaysia

I’m particularly enthusiastic about the Prime Minister’s efforts to enhance talent development by intensifying upskilling and reskilling programs and certifications. Cisco has, over the last 20 years in Malaysia, trained more than 44,000 students and 242 trainers through our Cisco Networking Academy programme and we are looking forward to working with the government and other private sector partners on the Globally Recognised Industry and Professional Certification Programme or 1MalaysiaGRIP.

Albert Chai, Country Manager, Cisco Malaysia

In my future, Malaysia will reach a developed nation status with these government policies that will: create a robust foundation and infrastructure; encourage a thriving public-private partnership and embrace a visionary approach to industry and talent development. Together, Cisco and Malaysia can build a partnership for skills and innovation and we’re excited by today’s Budget 2015 announcement.

More comments from Albert Chai.