SMEs yet to fully embrace new industrial revolution

(From right) Muhamed Ali, Abdul Halim and Boey at the Industry 4.0 forum at PSDC in Bayan Lepas.

ONLY a small number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Penang have adopted the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) since its introduction in 2016.

Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC) said the SMEs were told that the IR 4.0 could increase their profitability and put them on a better footing to compete in their respective industries.

“In Penang, we have carried out promotion and awareness of IR 4.0 since 2016.

“But we don’t see a great migration.

“There are probably between 10% and 15% of SMEs who adopted IR 4.0 because they are dealing with tier one multinational companies. These SMEs don’t have a choice,” said PSDC chief executive officer Muhamed Ali Hajah Mydin recently.

IR 4.0 refers to the initiative launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in November last year. It focuses mainly on digitally transforming Malaysia’s manufacturing sector and its related services.

Ali said although Dr Mahathir had launched the IR 4.0 blueprint and announced a RM2bil loan for Budget 2019, a lack of information on the loan has hampered the migration.

“Nobody knows how these things can be drawn down.

“There is a lack of structured information,” he said.

Earlier, Ali joined Penang local and international trade, consumer affairs and entrepreneurship development committee chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain to launch the Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific 2019 forum at PSDC office in Bayan Lepas.

Organised by SingEx Exhibitions, the forum was attended by about 100 people representing various companies.

SingEx executive director James Boey said the series of roadshows held across the country would culminate with a grand exhibition in Singapore from Oct 22 to 24.

He said the exhibition would feature some 18,000 industry professionals from 60 countries.

“The event is curated for the needs of the regional market by empowering the industries on the benefits of digital transformation that will be taking place.

“The important value is to bring out and extract the valued proposition of IR 4.0 and make it meaningful.

“The transformation is not just a pledge. We want them to embark on the journey,” he said.
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