Digitally mature SMEs poised to add billions to Malaysia’s GDP

Digitally mature small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could add billions to Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2024, according to a study. The 2020 Asia-Pacific Small and Medium Business Digital Maturity Study was commissioned jointly by technology company Cisco and market intelligence company International Data Corporation. The results of the study noted that digitally mature Malaysian SMEs could add between RM79 billion and RM99 billion to the GDP by 2024. It added that purchasing or upgrading IT hardware (18%) is the top technology investment priority for Malaysian SMEs, followed by purchase or upgrade of IT software (14%), and cybersecurity (11%). SMEs which are digitally mature enjoy higher benefits in revenue and productivity compared with those that have an indifferent approach to digitalisation. The study also stated that SMEs are facing challenges in adopting digitalisation strategies. According to the respondents, the shortage of digitally skilled talent is the biggest hurdle they face (21%), followed by a lack of budget and commitment from the management (16%). It highlighted that nearly 70% of SMEs in Asia-Pacific are accelerating the digitalisation of their businesses because of the pandemic. (Mala Mail)

Monthly wages up 4.4% in 2019 but weaker this year

The mean monthly salaries & wages rose by 4.4% to RM3,224 last year from RM3,087 from 2018 but they are expected to be weaker this year due to the impact of the Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed on March 18. The Statistics Department said the increase of salaries and wages in 2019 was in line with Malaysia’s economic performance which recorded a growth of 4.4% at current price in 2019. “For 2020, it is expected that the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic will affect the salaries & wages received by employees especially in the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, transportation and storage, accommodation and food & beverage service activities and arts, entertainment and recreational activities due to the MCO, ” said Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin. In 2019, the median monthly salaries and wages received by male employees increased 5.8% to RM2,477 while female employees saw their wages increase by 6.4% to RM2,370. He pointed out the value of median and mean monthly salaries and wages for employees with tertiary education remained high, increasing by 6.9% and 2% respectively. (The Star Online)

NRD encourages public to use online applications during pandemic period

The National Registration Department (NRD) encourages those who want to apply for various documents, such as identity cards as well as birth and marriage certificates, to do so through the online application system. Its director-general, Datuk Ruslin Jusoh said the online system only required an individual to be present when collecting the new documents, therefore, this procedure is also time-saving. The implementation of the online application system, which commenced in July, is an effort by the NRD to ensure that citizens’ registration records are always updated and in order, in line with the Security and Public Order Policy. (Bernama)

Sabah biggest beneficiary of JENDELA initiative worth RM2.45 billion

Sabah is the biggest beneficiary of the infrastructure development project under the government’s National Digital Network (JENDELA) initiative with an estimated cost of RM2.45 billion, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said. He said the implementation of the initiative would turn the broadband facilities and services for the people of Sabah to be at par with those provided in other states in Malaysia. “The people of Sabah will have wider broadband access starting at the end of this year until 2022. A total of 419 new towers will be built and 1,972 existing transmitters will be upgraded to 4G. The fixed line fibre optic coverage will also be expanded to cover 251,166 premises across Sabah,” he said at the launch of Gerbang Sabah, which is the largest component of JENDELA to strengthen the construction of the national digital infrastructure. (Bernama)

Malaysia hopes to announce air traffic bubble with Singapore soon

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong hopes that Malaysia can announce an air traffic bubble with Singapore and other bilateral partners, soon. The matter was among the issues discussed in a courtesy call by Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia Vanu Gopala Menon. “The closely-linked business communities on both sides urgently need to be able to commute back and forth soon with stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place,” said Wee. The meeting also updated the ongoing discussions on the Malaysia-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) 2.0 project, as both sides approach the Dec 31 deadline to ink the bilateral agreement. (The Edge)

(Source: The Star Online)