By Niam Seet Wei
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 -- Malaysian Technology Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (MTDC) has called for more allocation in the 2020 Budget to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) embrace digitalisation in their operations.
Its chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Mamat said more funds are needed to support SMEs in modernising their operations in order to propel in the digital world.
“But at the same time, the government has to ensure that the funds are only channelled to those who are well-prepared for the transformation process,” he told Bernama and Astro Awani on the sidelines of the two-day MTDC Technology Conference and Exhibition (MTCE 2019) here, today.
The 2020 Budget will be tabled in Parliament on Oct 11.
Themed “Engineering an Industry 4.0 (I4.0) Eco-System, the MTCE 2019, beginning Tuesday, brought together industry leaders, SME entrepreneurs, start-up business owners, academicians, researchers, and students to share ideas and get inspired with I4.0 developments.
Abdul Rahman, who is also a former secretary-general of the International Trade and Industry Ministry, also urged the government to “Malaysianise” jobs held by foreigners, and emulate China and South Korea in strengthening the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) among local industry players.
“China and South Korea have transformed hundreds of millions of their labour force through educational or vocational training.
“We should emulate them, and we should start by training our school leavers, retrenched workers or graduates,” he said, adding that once local workers have been trained, coupled with adoption of high technology and funds, it would be easier for SMEs to transform their businesses and reduce dependency on foreign workers.
On the readiness of local SMEs in embracing I4.0, Abdul Rahman said he saw their willingness and eagerness to digitise their operations.
“They have the right attitude as they are aware that if they do not embrace I4.0 or digitise their operations, they are going to be out of business.
“But the problem is, they don’t know how to start, as SMEs are usually small businesses with limited number of workers and operation costs,” he said.
Hence, he encouraged SMEs to approach MTDC to ensure better understanding on how they could evolve their businesses by riding the wave of digitalisation.
MTDC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, promotes the adoption of technologies among local companies via commercialisation of research and development or acquisition of foreign technologies.
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