While Intel Malaysia country manager Ryaz Patel generally welcomed the initiatives, especially the netbook bundle to students, he said: Intel hopes that this can be scaled out to students at all educational levels, ensuring a stronger integration of ICT in education, particularly to drive learning in and outside of the classroom.
Patel hoped that the 10MP would help address the need to encourage competition and liberalisation among Internet service providers (ISPs) so that broadband costs and quality could be improved.
"Malaysia's ICT industry is still facing a serious shortage of skilled IT professionals despite several key measures to tackle the problem," said Malaysia-based Dell Global Business Centre managing director, Bobbi Dangerfield. "There are a large number of unemployed ICT graduates who do not meet today's industry requirements. This alarming situation is further aggravated by corporate expansions and brain drain to other developed countries which offer far better job prospects and remuneration. There is also a growing mismatch of graduates' expectations and industry needs."
Storage solutions firm Hitachi Data Systems' Malaysia managing director Johnson Khoo welcomed the allocation of more than US$0.59 (RM2) billion towards education and public institutions of higher leaning, and added: "The company also welcomes the government's move to make it easier for skilled workers and professionals to obtain permanent residence status in the country. However, we feel that more can be done to attract more skilled workers from abroad, to enhance the transfer of skills and knowledge to our local workforce."
While PIKOM welcomes the budget proposals, we hope that in the future the government would consider double tax deduction for SMEs who invest in ICT products and services, as well as organisations that outsource their business process and ICT services to local outsourcing companies, said PIKOM's Wei. In addition, we recommend the re-introduction of the EPF [Employment Provident Fund] Withdrawal Scheme for Computer Ownership be made available to the general public.
Malaysia is currently ranked the world's third most competitive country in the outsourcing business by analyst firm AT Kearney, said Wei. This is indeed a rare achievement and we must strengthen the industry further and hopefully become the world's top outsourcing destination.
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