KUCHING, June 7 — Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Women chief Kho Teck Wan today welcomed the recent announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that RM700 million will be allocated to finance the digital transformation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana).
However, she said the amount allocated is barely enough for SMEs to finance their digital transformation.
“Out of the RM700 million, RM500 million is in the form of soft loans for SMEs to adopt technological transformations,” she said, pointing out that over 98 per cent or about 900,000 of all businesses in Malaysia are SMEs.
“Based on that figure, RM500 million is a very small allocation, and in my honest opinion, it is not enough to make a difference,” Kho said.
She said if 20 per cent of the total number of SMEs applied for loans of an equal amount, they would each get a little over RM2,500.
“One can barely get a decent laptop with RM2,500, and we will need to add some business-related software to go with the laptop in order to fully transform the manual tasks to digital operation,” she stressed.
She urged the government to seriously consider increasing the allocation not only for technology adoption, but also to help the SMEs to get through the tough times ahead.
“I truly understand that the journey of economic recovery during the Covid-19 pandemic is tough not only for SMEs but for the government as well.
“In fact, Malaysia is not the only country facing economic recovery challenges. I do hope with the statistics, the government can focus recovery efforts on SME survivability. When SMEs survive, the economy will survive,” she stressed.