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By Zufazlin Baharuddin
KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 -- Efforts to enhance digital adoption among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) would help strengthen their business which has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
SME Association of Malaysia national president Datuk Michael Kang Hua Keong said SMEs need to gear up for new norms and shift towards business digitalisation to sustain operations and gradually enhance productivity.
“It is a good move for SMEs and the employers need to train their staff on working online. At the same time, work physically for the company,” he told Bernama.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin when announcing PENJANA today said eligible micro enterprises and SMEs will be onboard to shift towards business digitalisation through a co-funded programme with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and e-commerce platforms.
Participating e-commerce platforms will provide on-boarding training, seller subsidy and sales support.
Besides, the government continues to provide grants and loans to eligible enterprises under various schemes, namely the SME Digitalisation Matching Grant totalling RM100 million, in partnership with telecommunication companies; SME Technology Transformation Fund totalling RM500 million loan; and Smart Automation Grant totalling RM100 million, capped at RM1 million per company.
Kang applauded the government for its commitment in providing funds for re-skilling and up-skilling programmes which would enhance employability, especially in SMEs.
“The re-skilling and up-skilling of employees is very important because every enterprise is currently restructuring their organisation.
“So, when they replace their staff, they need re-training. I think this is a good move by the government,” he added.
A RM2 billion fund will be dedicated to re-skilling and up-skilling programmes for youths and unemployed workers from mid June until end-December 2020.
Meanwhile, Grab Malaysia managing director Sean Goh said the digitalisation become ever more vital as the country moves towards a new normal and the company hopes to continue to leverage tech solutions to empower Malaysians, local SMEs and traditional businesses to adopt the digital economy.
“We are committed to working alongside the government and partners to help bring to life the vision behind PENJANA.
“Together, we are optimistic of creating a progressive and digitalised economic environment, that is inclusive, dynamic and resilient to drive Malaysia forward in its recovery beyond the pandemic,” he said in a statement.