By K. Raman, Managing Director, Microsoft Malaysia
As Malaysia reopens for business, the ‘Stand United, We Shall Prevail’ themed budget is both timely and bold as it will accelerate the nation’s economic recovery and build resiliency.
At Microsoft, we are committed to partnering our nation to build resilience and drive competitiveness. The comprehensive measures unveiled by the government in this budget which prioritise digitalisation in business and education as well as our nation’s talent – are critical steps forward for our nation’s economy.
Elevating Malaysia’s digital transformation aspirations
Based on Microsoft’s Culture of Innovation study with IDC Asia Pacific, 77% of organisations in Malaysia wants to accelerate the digitalisation of their businesses as a response to COVID-19, by launching new digital products, digital payments, e-commerce and automation. Meanwhile, 43% of local businesses have indicated that they would further invest in their technology capabilities, cognizant of the fact that a tech-savvy workforce is essential to support businesses’ growth.
In this regard, we are encouraged that digitalisation will remain a major catalytic driver for the nation’s economy, with various initiatives to address the common challenges faced by businesses today. The government’s investment of RM1 billion under the Industrial Digitalisation Transformation Scheme is a much-needed impetus for organisations to adopt new technologies in order to remain competitive in the new normal.
Recently, we’ve joined hands with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and Cradle Fund through Microsoft’s “Highway to a 100 Unicorns” initiative to strengthen our local startup ecosystem, whilst actively collaborating with industry players to jointly upscale local MSMEs.
Empowering the rakyat through skilling
In support of the government’s priority to nurture local talents, Microsoft will continue to offer Malaysians with free learning resources from LinkedIn, Microsoft and Github under our Global Skilling Initiative. Using data, we’ve identified career paths that are in-demand in today’s economy and are well positioned to grow in the future. Much of our skills work is targeted at providing people with the technology and digital skills required for these growing disciplines. To date, more than 36,000 Malaysians have accessed our learning resources.
Moving forward, we want to strengthen our collaboration with the government and industries to ensure more rakyat can benefit from our skilling initiatives. By equipping our talents with the in-demand skills they need to thrive in the roles of tomorrow, this would help accelerate Malaysia’s transition to a high-income economy with the creation of high-quality jobs in fast-growing industries.
Nurturing students’ success for tomorrow
We are also pleased that RM150 million has been allocated for the Ministry of Higher Education’s professional certification programmes (KPT-PACE), allowing fresh graduates to pursue a professional certification course at public or private universities. Coupled with the investments made into technical and vocational education and training (TVET), we are hopeful that the future of education in Malaysia will help ensure no one is left behind – with enhanced access to the right platform and tools they need to succeed in tomorrow’s digital future.
Inclusive, digitalised, and resilient Malaysia
We believe Malaysia’s success must continue to be driven by people’s capabilities and digital technology and as key enablers. The Budget 2021 with its rakyat-centric digital-first approach signals a strong direction on the future our nation is building towards – one that will be even more inclusive, digitalised, and resilient.
We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Government, industries and communities to accelerate Malaysia’s economic recovery and build resilience together, in fulfilling our mission to empower every person and every organisation on this planet to achieve more.