By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Aug 29: Local villagers have been urged to take advantage of the digital economy by marketing their produce such as belacan, cencaluk and bubur kering through electronic commerce sites to generate more income for themselves.
Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said local villagers need to use modern technologies such as mobile apps and the Internet to market their produce so that they will not be left behind in economic development.
“Nowadays, most of the businesses are going digital and online. This means using mobile apps, laptop and computer.
“At present, the people can sell products without having an office. Take pictures and then use an application and market it online.
“Whether it is belacan, cencaluk (fermented shrimps) or bubur kering, they can be sold online.
“Imagine if we visited Shopee (e-commerce website) and were surprised to discover that belacan Bako is being sold online.
“Local produce can also be sold at Shopee, Lazada or other electronic commerce sites using the apps which are available,” he said during a programme organised by the Cooperative Institute of Malaysia Sarawak zone at Kampung Bako Hulu here today.
When asked by reporters on any plan to create an electronic commerce platform for local entrepreneurs, Wan Junaidi said the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Medac) is in the midst of creating an online market platform for local entrepreneurs.
He believed that by having an online platform set up by the government, it will assist local entrepreneurs to reduce their marketing costs.
Wan Junaidi noted that marketing through electronic commerce sites such as Shopee and Lazada could pose a financial burden for local entrepreneurs.
Nonetheless, Wan Junaidi opined that there is a big potential for electronic commerce to grow in the future.
The growth of electronic commerce for Malaysia is between five to six per cent a year, he said.
He is confident that the electronic commerce industry will register an enormous growth this year as more people have been using the Internet to do businesses online in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wan Junaidi noted that many people have been doing businesses using smartphone apps and social media such as Instagram.
Besides, he also urged the Bumiputera and Malays to emulate the Chinese community by focusing their mentality on generating more income from businesses.
He said there are many Malaysian products which can be popularised and marketed by entrepreneurs.
Wan Junaidi who is Santubong MP encouraged the youths especially university graduates to be involved in entrepreneurship.
Wan Junaidi said Medac has formed collaborations with the Education Ministry and the Youth and Sports Ministry to attract university graduates who were unemployed to venture into entrepreneurship.
He explained that under Medac, there are various agencies such as the Cooperative Institute of Malaysia, SME Corp which can train up and guide the youths in their journey in entrepreneurship.
For financial assistance and financing, he added there are National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional), SME Bank and Bank Rakyat.
Citing an example of a young and successful entrepreneur from Sarawak, Ahmad Shafiq Ahmad Sabirin who ventured into planting gronong chilli, Wan Junaidi said the young man had earned more than RM1 million yearly by selling his produce.
Thus, he encouraged the youths to start-up businesses or venture into entrepreneurship rather than seeking stable jobs or working in the civil service.
He added that Medac in collaboration with the Malaysia Co-operative Societies Commission and Cooperative Institute of Malaysia will be implementing a transformation exercise to modernise and improve the management of cooperatives.
Wan Junaidi said Medac will also be launching a cooperatives university which is slated to be located in Kuala Lumpur this year.
He said Medac wants to upgrade the Cooperative Institute of Malaysia to become a university so that the next generations of the cooperatives members have preference to study and generate income to raise their standard of living.
Among those present at the programme were Malaysia Co-operative Societies Commission executive chairman Datuk Nordin Salleh, Cooperative Institute of Malaysia director Mohd Roslan Bani Amin, Demak Laut assemblyman Dr Hazland Abang Hipni, representatives of Medac, Bank Rakyat, Tekun Nasional, SME Bank and community leaders. —DayakDaily