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Budget 2016: Here's what the tech industry has to say

By Ian Chee - 26 Oct 2015,4:17pm

Budget 2016: Here's what the tech industry has to say

Last Friday, Prime Minister Najib Razak presented the national Budget 2016 in Parliament. One of the announcements made was the allocation of RM1.2 billion by the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to improve the telecommunication infrastructures. One such improvement is the increase of broadband speed of rural areas from 5Mbps to 20Mbps. While this is something some of us consumers can be happy about, here’s what some of the big names in tech think about the whole thing.

Microsoft

Microsoft Malaysia welcomed the RM1.2 billion allocated to increase the Internet speeds of rural areas up to 20Mbps from 5Mbps. Other things Microsoft Malaysia is happy about are initiatives like reinforcing the importance of education, with a total allocation of RM41.3 billion for it. The government’s aim to strengthen young entrepreneurs’ programs with an allocation of RM30 million was also lauded by Microsoft Malaysia.

K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia, said, “The 2016 National Budget is another step forward in paving the way for Malaysia to become a knowledge-based, high-income nation by 2020. We remain committed in supporting the Government when it comes to empowering every person and every organization in Malaysia to achieve more. In line with the Budget, we are focusing on continuously providing inclusive education, enabling businesses, as well as empowering people to do more.”

MyIX

Malaysia Internet Exchange (MyIX) also welcomes the RM1.2 billion budget allocation to improve the Internet infrastructure of rural areas, in line with the government’s aim to increase Internet penetration among Malaysians.

Kim Chee Meng, Deputy Chairman of MyIX, says “We should see a significant increase in Internet subscription and usage within these areas especially in East Malaysia where the infrastructure and operating cost is not comparable to Peninsulas’.”

Cisco Malaysia

Cisco Malaysia joins other tech companies in welcoming the government’s planned expenditure of RM1.2 billion on improving the Internet infrastructure for rural areas. The company also welcomes the allocations for the development of Cyberjaya’s Cyber City, as well as the Malaysia Vision valley project.

“The allocations and incentives that are geared towards making Malaysia a regionally competitive technology hub and a center for innovation, R&D and commercialization will excite local startups, innovators and technopreneurs to be the agents of change that will spur greater private-public collaboration,” said Albert Chai, Country Manager, Cisco Malaysia.

Ideate Media Sdn Bhd

As a content company, Ideate Media welcomes the allocation of RM250 million for the national broadcasting digitalization project outlined in the Budget 2016. That said, the company hopes that the government will continue to support the creative content industry as a sustainable catalyst for the nation’s growth.

“As we move forward, the industry needs to better optimize the support by creating meaningful, original content that can be owned and linked to commercial outcomes,” said Zainir Aminullah, CEO of Ideate Media.

Autodesk

While Autodesk is pleased with the government’s allocation of RM1.5 billion to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the company urges the government to further promote a new way of working through the adoption of next-generation technology like Building Information Modeling (BIM) to create a more effective and resilient infrastructure.

“At Autodesk, we have worked with government agencies and partners across the globe by using BIM solutions to help turn information into insight, resulting in the optimization of designs and accelerated approvals,” said Tan Choon Sang, Country Manager, Autodesk Malaysia.

CA technologies

Software company CA Technologies commends not only the SME transformation fund and the National Fibre Backbone Infrastructure, but also the provisions to enhance Malaysia’s Cyber City in Cyberjaya as well as Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s high impact domestic projects getting a RM6.7 billion allocation for healthcare, tourism, software and communications infrastructure.

Nick Lim, Vice President of CA Technologies, Asia South, said, “We believe that Budget 2016 has put Malaysian businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators in great stead to support this ecosystem of development through the allocations to the Malaysian Innovation Agency and the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation to make the nation a competitive technology hub in the region.”

Gartner

Also in support for the RM1.5 billion allocated to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Gartner joins other tech companies in welcoming the improvement to broadband connectivity and infrastructure of rural areas. Gartner also predicts that the development of Cyberjaya as Malaysia’s leading smart city will translate to opportunities for Malaysian innovators and technopreneurs to introduce a range of enabling technologies.

“Budget 2016 is a testament to Malaysia’s ambition to build a progressive digital economy. We are confident that Malaysia will reach a developed nation status with greater participation of entrepreneurs, SMEs, individuals and across all sector regardless of current and future economic challenges,” said Mano Govindaraju, Area Vice President for Gartner Malaysia, Research and Advisory.

Cyberview Sdn Bhd

Cyberview welcomes the implementation of Cyber City in Cyberjaya and allocations for innovation, SMEs and entrepreneurship. This includes the RM1.5 billion allocations to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the RM200 million for the SME Technology Transformation Fund and the RM1.2 billion allocated to the improvement of telecommunication infrastructure of rural areas.

“We support and believe such allocations are crucial to Cyberjaya as it will not only solidify the tech city’s resources, but also be an important push in our journey to make Cyberjaya a smarter city, and ultimately a Global Technology Hub,” said Faris Yahaya, Managing Director of Cyberview Sdn Bhd.

11street

As one of the largest online market places in Malaysia, 11street welcomes the tabling of the Budget 2016. More specifically, 11street voices its pleasure with the initiatives for SME development within the Budget 2016, and the allocation of RM1.2 billion by the MCMC to offer high-speed broadband to rural areas.

Hoseok Kim, CEO of 11street, said, “These allocations are certainly a step in the right direction to positively enhance, support and grow the Malaysian e-commerce market. The advancement of e-commerce in Malaysia will undoubtedly benefit market players, sellers and consumer alike. This will also further bolster the industry which is growing rapidly in the country at 30 percent CAGR. Likewise, this will build upon Malaysia’s vibrancy as a profitable market for e-commerce.”

iMoney

Financial comparison website iMoney, however, was not pleased with Budget 2016. Lee Ching Wei, Co-founder and Group CEO of iMoney said in a statement that while the Budget did address the needs of the B40 (40 percent of citizens in Malaysia that live within a household income of below RM3,050 per month) through many necessary rural development allocations, other initiatives focused on easing cost of living are focused solely on civil servants.

“In a budget that was supposed to be for the rakyat, it seems like it only benefits a specific group of people. Those who fall into the middle-income group will have to improve their own finances through smart saving and investing, and not rely too heavily on the government for additional aid or support,” he added.