Malaysian regulators still slow in adapting to business innovations

Commuters pass Grab transport booking service app advertisements at a train station in Singapore February 10, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian regulators need to change their mindsets and adapt to changes in technology at a faster pace, said Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.

Speaking about the initiatives outlined in Budget 2018 to expand the regulatory sandbox to allow companies to test innovative ideas and business models, Irwan said Malaysian regulators were still slow in adapting and reacting to such changes.

"For example, the entry of ride-hailing apps - the regulators took very long to act and to decide how to handle it.

"They must be more open and be quicker to react to changes" he said in his keynote address at the 2018 Post-Budget Dialogue organised by the Malaysian Economic Association on Monday.

During the Budget 2018 announcement last week, the Prime Minister announced that the government will create a conducive ecosystem to gain benefits from innovation, particularly ideas from local startups.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the government will expand regulatory sandbox approach to facilitate companies to test their new innovative ideas and business model which will be implemented by all related regulators.

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