SMEs urged to participate in govt procurement scheme

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs deputy minister Chong Chieng Jen said the allocation of RM160 billion from RM241 billion of the government allocation for management expenses in Budget 2020 is a huge chunk for SMEs to tap into. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs deputy minister Chong Chieng Jen said the allocation of RM160 billion from RM241 billion of the government allocation for management expenses in Budget 2020 is a huge chunk for SMEs to tap into. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are urged to participate in the government procurement (GP) scheme through the e-Perolehan system as it is the largest domestic market in the country.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA) deputy minister Chong Chieng Jen said the allocation of about RM160 billion from RM241 billion of the government allocation for management expenses including salary payments in Budget 2020 is a huge chunk for SMEs to tap into and help improve domestic consumption in the local economy.

“This is an opportunity for the SMEs to do better as they can supply goods and provide services to government offices, thus allowing the government to have alternate choices and quotations from more local players,” he told reporters at the one-day FMM Conference on Buy Made-In-Malaysia Products: Understanding Malaysian Government Procurement here today.

Chong said SMEs should brush off the misconception that GP is a tedious process, requires a lot of restrictions and is tainted by corruption, which has kept most of them from participating in the scheme.

“The process is not complicated as they imagine, they just need to follow a checklist of procedures and it will be processed accordingly.

“The (new) government now is adopting a more consultative approach, so it should be easier for SMEs as we go through a systematic reform,” said Chong.

He also urged SMEs to reduce their over-dependence on foreign workers and start replacing them with local ones to help stimulate the domestic economy and consumption.

“As I was once an employer myself, I understand the challenges and the inconvenience faced by employers, but if we start now, we will see the positive impact on the country within 10 years where local consumption will further be increased and your workers will also be your customers and consumers at the same time,” he added.

Meanwhile, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said while it is encouraging more of its members to participate in GP by organising conference roadshows in all its branches in the country, it is also important that the Buy Made-In-Malaysia policy be seriously implemented by all agencies at the federal and state level.

“We must also work together to build confidence in Malaysia-made products and with the more transparent approach that the government is taking, we can fight against the ‘big boys’ provided that we equip and transform ourselves to adopt Industry 4.0 including automation and big data,” he said.

Soh also noted the government’s allocation to offer a special investment incentive package worth RM1 billion per year for five years to local companies capable of penetrating overseas markets in Budget 2020, for example, would enhance the country’s export volume and boost SMEs’ international expansion aspirations. — Bernama

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