Malaysian Budget 2017 Commentaries

The government of Malaysia has just announced the Budget 2017 coined as a balanced deal.

Here are some commentaries gathered across the ICT industry.

1.) Troy Martin, Director of APAC for Canvas, Instructure.

1.1) For education.

"We laud the government’s practical allocation, especially in the area of advancing education standards, as we focus on continuously providing inclusive education by making software that makes people smarter"

Troy Martin

“Instructure is encouraged that the Government continues to place high importance in the area of education, leading to improved learning outcomes. Instructure understands and supports this commitment, as we believe in the power of transformation through comprehensive collaboration. Comprehensive collaboration is more than just bringing teacher feedback online and offering pupils the right to reply. A 360 approach to connected learning combines peer to peer engagement, reciprocal teaching and parent-teacher collaboration. It provides teachers with a better view of their pupils’ progress - allowing timely intervention and the ability to adapt, enabling students to learn on their own terms, in their own way. This is the value of holistic education, and we believe the Malaysian government is on the right track to achieving its goals in this vital area,” explained Martin.

2.) K Raman, Managing Director, Microsoft Malaysia

2.1) For a better Digital Economy

“We are thrilled that the Budget for next year recognizes the contribution of the digital economy to the country’s GDP. Initiatives such as the Malaysia Digital Hub and the creation of the world’s first Digital Free Zone are steps in the right direction to bolster the country’s strategic ICT thrust,”

K Raman

2.2) For Education

“Education is the bedrock of today’s society. At Microsoft, we’ve always been committed to transforming education with technology. This year, we’ve accelerated our support by working with the Government to reach out to underserved communities – for instance, we’ve forged a three-year partnership with the Malaysian Prisons Department to provide juvenile inmates with digital literacy and upskilling opportunities.”

3.) Chin Chee Seong, PIKOM Chairman

3.1) For a better Internet

While allocations of RM1 billion have been made to ensure that broadband speed hits 20 megabytes per second nationwide, we hope the implementation will be swift.

3.2) For a better Digital Economy

Chin Chee Seong

We also welcome the increase in facility for public servants to RM5,000 for smartphone purchase once every three years.

The provision of RM2500 lifestyle tax relief for various items including smartphones and tablets and broadband purchase is spot on. PIKOM has been calling for the current relief to be extended to include smartphones and available at a closer interval.
Dato' Yasmin Mahmood

4.) Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)

4.1) For a better Digital Economy

The eRezeki and eUsahawan initiatives were launched last year to target key communities such as youth, SMEs, digital entrepreneurs and the B40, with an initial allocation of RM100 million. These initiatives have benefited 100,000 Malaysians and we expect more people to benefit in the coming years. With the Government allocating RM100 million, we will be able to drive these initiatives further and encourage greater cross collaboration to support our nation’s digital inclusion programmes.

The measures announced under Budget 2017 will definitely help us seize the opportunity in capitalising on the Internet Economy. Our forecast reveals that we need one million digital workers, such as coders, application developers and software engineers, by 2025. We are pleased for the support for Digital Maker Movement, i.e. the initiative to identify and nurture young talents to be future digital innovators. It includes the move by Ministry of Education to incorporate computational thinking and computer science in schools from January next year, and private sector and academia support to further nurture these bright young talents.

5.) Sanjay Rohatgi, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, Symantec

Sanjay Rohatgi

5.1) For a better Digital Economy

As more Malaysians embrace the Digital Economy via government initiatives such as eRezeki, eUsahawan and eCommerce, there needs to be an increased awareness on cybersecurity. Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report 21 shows that cyber attackers are not slowing down. Malaysia ranks 47th globally in terms of ransomware attacks, with 5,069 attacks in 2015 alone.