Growing entrepreneurs requires transforming Malaysia’s education system

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

KUCHING, Sept 9: Transforming Malaysia’s education system is a way to inspire the youth to take up entrepreneurship for the country to generate inclusive growth.

Acknowledging that not every aspiring entrepreneur would be involved in government training and education programmes, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said there has to be a way to guarantee more partnerships that will generate inclusive growth.

“The answer is transforming the education system. Education transformation may come in the form of schools and universities emphasising entrepreneurial skills in their courses that train students about risks, finance, opportunities and self-efficacy.

“There is a need to instil entrepreneurial ambition in young people at an early stage through entrepreneurial studies and co-curricular activities because this will empower the young to utilise their business acumen,” Wan Junaidi said when addressing the 2020 Asia Economic and Entrepreneurship Summit which was jointly organized by KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific (KSI), The Pacific Basin Economic Council (PBEC) and China Daily Asia Pacific (CD) in Kuala Lumpur recently.

In fact, he pointed out, the education system must encourage those from deprived communities to believe in their passions by encouraging them to be leaders rather than simply employees.

This, Wan Junaidi believed, will ensure no community is left behind by economic growth.

The government will also be launching the Technopreneurship Programme for Fresh Graduates which aims to train 400 young graduates from local institutions of higher education to explore a career in technology-based entrepreneurships.

“Under this programme, the ministry intends to enhance the training and education of aspiring entrepreneurs by guiding 20 per cent of the 400 young graduates to become technopreneurs. We are optimistic that these trained technopreneurs will collaborate with each other in the future.

“Malaysia must tackle the issue of training and education among entrepreneurs. Therefore, we are collaborating with the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Higher Education Ministry through the SMEBank Young Entrepreneurs Innovation Programme to increase youth and graduate involvement in business,” he added.

As for sustainable growth through people-centred initiatives that stress the principle of ‘justice for all’, Wan Junaidi stressed that the government must take measures that will ensure that employment provides job security, stability and adequate income.

“It is pivotal that entrepreneurs and cooperatives pay their workers adequately wherein ‘adequate’ does not mean simply meeting the minimum wage threshold of RM1,100 to RM1,200 as the cost of living continues to soar.

“However, the government recognises the concerns raised by the Malaysian Employers Federation that the cost of entrepreneurships would rise if employers are forced the bear the increase. Therefore, the government should consider partnering with entrepreneurs and cooperatives to bear some portion of the cost of wage increments,” Wan Junaidi suggested.

Nonetheless, he said the onus is also on employees to be more productive and hardworking to prove that any pay rise is matched with increased output.

He added that the government, through SOCSO may incentivise all entrepreneurs to register themselves and provide employees with social security protections.

“By doing so, entrepreneurs would benefit from their ability to access government aid in difficult times such as the wage subsidy programme, thereby rectifying the issues such as SMEs facing hurdles in accessing aid,” he pointed. — DayakDaily