Vote of confidence

Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai (pic) said he was pleased that more prominence has been given to the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry as a potential contributor to the country’s economy.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian businesses are confident that the newly tabled 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) will help steer the country out of the Covid-19 pandemic and spur economic growth.

Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai said he was pleased that more prominence has been given to the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry as a potential contributor to the country’s economy.

“I’ve been calling the E&E sector the golden goose of the Malaysian economy for years.

“I’m pleased that it has now been identified as a key growth priority and we need to grow this sector and move it up the value chain,” he told StarBiz.

Under the 12MP, the E&E industry is targeted to contribute RM120bil to gross domestic product (GDP) and generate RM495bil in export earnings by 2025.

E&E industry players will be encouraged to adopt advanced technologies and produce more sophisticated products, resulting in higher productivity and growth.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad (pic below) is hopeful of incentives that can help spur the local automotive industry, especially with regards to green vehicles.

MAA Aishah AhmadMAA Aishah Ahmad

“Having read the 12MP, not much had been announced by the government for green vehicle manufacturers.

“What MAA is hoping for is the improved incentives on electric vehicles to be announced soon,” she said.

According to the 12MP, incentives provided to local manufacturers to produce green vehicles and the purchase of these vehicles by consumers will be reviewed.

This is in line with the government’s aim of enhancing green mobility towards achieving low-carbon nation status.

Separately, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai commended the 12MP for addressing the immediate and medium-term issues and challenges faced by the nation.

“Four catalytic policy enablers, namely developing future talent, accelerating technology adoption and innovation, enhancing connectivity and transport infrastructure as well as strengthening the public service will support the achievement of the themes of the 12MP,” he said in a statement yesterday.

More importantly, Soh said these policy enablers would be key to ensuring that Malaysia is able to achieve the targeted annual GDP growth of 4.5% to 5.5% and the higher gross national income per capita of RM57,882 by 2025.

He added that the policies under the 12MP will also support the manufacturing sector to achieve an average growth rate of 5.7% over the period.

“FMM strongly believes that as the main catalyst of growth with extensive upstream and downstream linkages throughout the value chain, the manufacturing sector can contribute significantly towards helping to achieve the strategies of productivity, investments, moving up the value-chain and strengthening exports.”

Soh is also calling on the government to continue to support the manufacturing sector by ensuring a business-friendly operating and investment environment.

“The priority should be to support and promote the expansion of the manufacturing and manufacturing-related services sectors, especially in this very critical period that we currently are in.

“This is to enable the reaping of higher returns to revive the economy, enhance business sustainability, ensure job security and more importantly, for medium and long-term growth.”

Meanwhile, Mah Sing Group Bhd founder and group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum (pic below) lauded the 12MP for outlining strategies that will strengthen economic growth and preserve environmental sustainability.

Mah Sing Leong Hoy KamMah Sing Leong Hoy Kam

He noted that the five-year development roadmap outlined strategic directions and key initiatives for the country to revitalise its economy post-pandemic and ensure a fair and equitable distribution of the country’s prosperity.

“The 12MP also displays the government’s commitment to provide quality and affordable housing for Malaysians, especially the B40 and M40 groups, which will see another 500,000 units of affordable homes being built.

“The government will also be enhancing financing facilities such as the “Fund for Affordable Housing,” Youth Housing Scheme” and “Rent-to-Own Program,” to ensure that the B40 and M40 groups are not burdened with instalment payments,” he said in a statement.

Leong also said the 12MP will help strengthen economic growth, as well as emphasise social welfare and protection for Malaysians.

“This creates a conducive environment for the rakyat and local businesses to build a strong foundation for the next five years, as the nation works towards ensuring sustainable and inclusive economic development for all Malaysians.

“For the property industry, the private sector can also echo the government’s initiative to offer more affordable homes for the B40 and M40 by playing its part to provide affordable homes in strategic locations with innovative layouts, which is appealing to the mass market,” he said.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) chief executive officer Mahadhir Aziz said in a statement that the 12MP will help steer the country out of the Covid-19 pandemic effect and put the economy back on track.

“Efforts to achieve this will focus on digitalising micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to broaden market access and facilitate strategic and quality digital investment.”

He said MDEC will intensify efforts to encourage MSMEs to adopt digital technologies in production, processes and business services, mainly in the back-end of business operations.

“The 12MP also includes the positioning of Malaysia as the Asean digital centre, given the country’s strong capability in cybersecurity solutions and digital content products.

“We will continue to push forward initiatives to establish a progressive and inclusive digital economy, in line with our vision as well as the goals of the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint.”

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