Microsoft Malaysia welcomes the 2019 National Budget themed “Credible Malaysia, Dynamic Economy, Prosperous Rakyat” which focuses on people’s well-being, fosters an entrepreneurial culture and enables an inclusive society.
We are committed to partnering Malaysia in the journey to become a developed nation, fueling digital economy growth for SMEs and enterprises, driving workforce skills development as well as ensuring healthcare and education access for all.
Consolidating the Digital Economy
Among the key focus areas of the 2019 Budget is to continue building momentum for the Digital Economy with efforts to improve the physical and digital infrastructure that powers up the 4th Industrial revolution. We welcome measures for streamlining regulations related to digital economy while ensuring SMEs in Malaysia can innovate and continue to be in the forefront of development.
“Businesses that do not embrace the digital revolution and evolve fast enough will be less competitive or even obsolete as they face disruptions in every industry. As enterprises and SMEs in Malaysia look for better and faster ways to leverage on the fourth industrial revolution and transform themselves, artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data, powered by by cloud computing will have a crucial role to play. A case in point is Poladrone, that specializes in building custom UAV solutions. They are leveraging our Azure cognitive services for smart city mapping and planning to create a better, sustainable smart city,” Raman added.
The budget also pays attention to strengthening the connectivity in rural and remote areas with the implementation of the National Fiber Optic and Connectivity Plan. The aspiration of 30Mbps broadband connectivity in these areas within five years reflects the national commitment towards the digitalization of Malaysia’s economy.
Inclusive Education and Empowering Human Capital
With the education sector receiving the lion’s share of allocations of RM60.2 billion, we are heartened by the focus of Budget 2019 on future proofing the economy and empowering education, skill and talent development in the country.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng highlighted that the government will undertake interventions such as identifying skills needed by industries and mainstreaming TVET to address unemployment, especially among the country’s youth.
Allocations towards developing e-sports are also encouraging as the intent is to accelerate the growth of industry-related skills such as software engineers and game developers, among others. Impetus to National Higher Education Fund will also help improve the employability of our graduates.
This continued drive for quality education is commended by Microsoft Malaysia. Raman said, “At Microsoft, we are committed to leveraging technology’s role as an enabler, in providing 21st century education. To create a future skilled workforce Microsoft is already working with the government to equip local universities with data science knowledge. Ministry of Higher Education is on their digital transformation journey with the adoption of O365 to empower Public Universities, Polytechnics, Community College Knowledge Workers and students,” said Raman.
The increased allocation of RM29 billion for health care is a huge shot in the arm for transforming the healthcare services and delivery in the country. The government’s intention to widen the public-private partnership programs to improve health care facilities is extremely encouraging for the private sector to invest in delivering the best quality of service to the people.
Lauding the government allocation on treatment of rare diseases for the very first time in a Malaysian budget, Raman said, “Today cutting-edge technologies like Cloud and AI are transforming healthcare. There is tremendous scope to leverage these to improve how healthcare is delivered in Malaysia, enhance access to better healthcare and upgrade the existing facilities. Globally, we have partnered pharma company Shire and the patient-driven NGO EURORDIS to accelerate the diagnosis of rare disease, a process that often takes years and takes a big toll on the health of millions. We look forward to bringing the same technology advancements over the coming year to Malaysia at the back of the budgetary allocations.”
Ensuring Equitable Development of the Rakyat
Microsoft Malaysia welcomes the initiatives under the 2019 National Budget, which prioritize the bridging of the opportunity divide, particularly for various communities. We laud the efforts of government to work with NGOs and social enterprises to empower underprivileged communities. The financial aid for low-income group, health protection fund for families in the B40 category, efforts to upgrade infrastructure and enhance access of basis amenities to the population, among other efforts will go a long way in ensuring everyone can enjoy the benefits of our economic development.
“As part of our commitment towards empowering the underprivileged community, we are already upskilling and reskilling communities in East Malaysia in partnership with Generasi Gemilang foundation by increasing their access to quality education. Going forward, we look forward to continued collaboration and partnership with the Government, as we promote inclusivity, ensure equal opportunities, and deliver on our commitment to drive economic growth, innovation and societal impact in Malaysia,” concluded Raman.