KUALA LUMPUR, 26 OCTOBER 2009 Malaysia's ICT industry has applauded certain elements of the Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's Budget 2010, themed 1Malaysia, Together We Prosper'.
Tabled in the Malaysian parliament on 23 October, the prime minister's Budget 2010 speech comprised three core strategies, one of which was to become a high-income economy. The other two themes were sustainable development and people's welfare, said Najib, who added that Budget 2010 would provide the context for a new economic model based as preparation for the 10th Malaysia Plan [10MP].
Now we have to shift to a new economic model based on innovation, creativity and high-value added activities, said Najib, whose budget proposals included initiatives to develop a sustainable environment through green technology, as well as further strengthening of the local information and communications technology (ICT) industry through promoting broadband penetration, with personal tax relief on broadband subscriptions and ownership of computers.
Government ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) CEO Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said the Budget 2010 has given prominence to ICT's role in driving the nation towards becoming a high-income economy.
For example, the Creative Industry Policy, which provides US$59.12 million (RM200 million) through Creative Industry Fund in the form of soft loans to finance activities, such as film and drama productions, music, animation, advertisements and local content development, will further complement the M-CMCI [MSC Malaysia Creative Multimedia Content Initiative] plans for the development of the creative industry encompassing the performing arts and music, design, animation, advertisement and content development, said Badlisham.
The National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) chairman, Wei Chuan Beng, generally welcomed the ICT initiatives. Several of the proposals in the budget utilises ICT as an enabler, such as the use of a single reference number for individuals and companies with MyID and MyCoID across multiple government agencies, and implementation of petrol subsidy control that could save billions for the country.
Green' technology, SMEs, security
According to Symantec 2009 Asia Pacific and Japan Green IT Report released in April 2009, 92 per cent of Malaysian companies surveyed are expecting green IT budgets to increase over the next 12 months, said security provider Symantec Malaysia managing director, Suzie Tan. In addition, 72 per cent of respondents state that they are working on creating a green IT strategy. While these organisations might be the first beneficiaries of the incentives, we hope the initiative will drive many more companies to adopt similar practices.
Tan added that government's commitment in the development of sustainable environment through green technology. The US$440 million (RM1.5 billion) fund to provide soft loans to suppliers and users of green technology, as stipulated in Budget 2010, would solidify the government's effort for the development of green technology in Malaysia.
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