By Karen Bong
KUCHING, June 5: From July 2020, the government will be crediting a RM50 digital incentive to consumers’ e-wallet accounts as a way to encourage Malaysians to use contactless payment.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin pointed out that some 15 million Malaysians will benefit from this initiative involving RM750 million through the ePenjana Programme.
“On top of that, this will be matched by additional vouchers, cash returns and discounts worth RM50 from e-wallet operators,” he said when unveiling a short-term economy recovery plan in a televised address in Putrajaya today.
To enhance the digitalisation efforts, he added that the federal government together with the private sector will finance the effort through a matching grant of RM140 million to encourage micro enterprises and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to shift to digital or online services.
“The allocation will be utilised for training sessions, vendor subsidies and sales assistance. This initiative will be spearheaded by MDEC with selected e-commerce platforms,” he explained.
The government in collaboration with private companies, he continued, will be running a ‘Shop Malaysia Online’ campaign to encourage people to shop online, where promotional codes and various discount vouchers will be provided through the e-commerce platform
“To begin with, the government will allocate RM70 million which will be matched with the same amount by the e-commerce platform,” he said.
This initiative was in response to feedback from the business sector which was facing challenges of reduction in consumer demand, as well as traders’ inability to use digital technology to generate online sales after most sectors of the economy had reopened.
Furthermore, for SMEs and mid-tier companies, Muhyiddin emphasised that the government will continue to provide grants and loans worth RM700 million to enable more companies to subscribe or use digital services.
“RM100 million SME Digital Matching Grant will be provided in collaboration with telecommunication companies, RM500 million under the SME Technology Transformation Fund as simple loan, and RM100 million Smart Automation Grant, in which each eligible company will receive a grant of up to RM1 million,” he said.
To further promote digitalisation in the government service delivery system towards the Industrial Revolution 4.0, Muhyiddin added that the government will ready more online services or e-counter include reviewing and claiming Unclaimed Money starting Oct 1, 2020 and e-interview sessions for government scholarship applications.
“In this regard, I urge more agencies and ministries to accelerate digitalisation and automation efforts,” he called on.
To encourage people to support local products and services, the government will also continue its “Buy Malaysia” campaign with activities to encourage supermarket chains to promote local products and set up dedicated Malaysian product channels on e-commerce platforms.—DayakDaily