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Malaysian PM promotes 'greener, high-income economy for 1Malaysia': Budget 2010

AvantiKumar | Oct. 26, 2009
Malaysia's ICT industry cautiously welcomes Budget 2010

Power and cooling solutions firm APC Malaysia country general manager, Ng Hon Chun, said: The government acknowledges the potential of green technology, which is seen in the National Green Technology Policy announced in August 2009, and the restructuring of the National Energy Centre to become a National Green Technology Centre.

PIKOM's Wei said under Budget 2010, there would be an allocation of US$103.5 million (RM350 million) worth of funds to SMEs [small and medium enterprises] for soft loans, capacity enhancement, branding and promotion. This allocation to SMECorp means that SME ICT companies will benefit in terms of loans and capacity enhancement funding. Other SMEs will also be able to capitalise on this funding to enhance the productivity and competitiveness, indirectly benefitting the ICT industry as a whole.

He said these technologies should address SMEs' critical concerns, especially on automating key processes that will allow SMEs to be more efficient. Malaysian SMEs have high awareness of security and disaster recovery, but there is still a relatively low adoption of basic IT security and disaster recovery measures in Malaysia.

Surveillance solutions firm Axis Communications Malaysia country manager, Nafis Jasmani, said: The government's priority in reducing crime rate, focusing on crime prevention measures, is to be applauded. The US$1.09 billion [RM3.7 billion] fund injection to increase efficiency of the security force, including the provision of modern and sophisticated equipment is a commendable measure to curb crime. Surveillance cameras play an important role to help reduce crime and increase emergency responsiveness.


Tax relief on broadband and computer purchase

MDeC's Badlisham welcomed the government's assistance in making access devices such as computers more accessible to university students by offering a netbook package, which includes free broadband service for US$14.8 (RM50) per month for two years. Civil servants can also apply for computer loans once in every three years, and there is a proposal for tax relief for individual taxpayers on broadband subscription fees up to US$148 (RM500) a year from 2010 to 2012.

These steps will see a big jump in the number of PC ownership and broadband take-up in the country and the demand for local online content, which will encourage Malaysians to acquire knowledge and information through the Internet, said Badlisham.

The combination of netbooks with quality broadband connectivity is now an indispensible tool for learning, work and play, said WiMAX firm Packet One (Malaysia) Networks [P1] chief executive officer, Michael Lai, who hoped that the incentive was for all wireless or wired, mobile, and fixed broadband users.


Looking ahead

As the country gets more connected, Symantec recommends that the government will also continue to strengthen the cyber-security framework, as increasing broadband usage will expose users to more risks from cyber threats, said Symantec's Tan. As such, we recommend leveraging on the public-private partnerships to determine the data protection legislation structure, national infrastructure and technologies and industry best practices. This will be critical to ensure that we are prepared to provide an environment where businesses and consumers can continue to engage in and benefit from the online world.


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