KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Industry players have lauded the grassroots approach in Budget 2021 that caters to the current needs of all Malaysians while placing equal importance on economic recovery.

VentureTECH’s managing director Dr Norida Abd Rahman said as an investment company for high value-added and emerging industries, it welcomed the budget provision of RM4.6 billion to spur micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and Bumiputera industries.

“The allocation, despite remaining fairly small, should still be lauded in view of the current government constraints since the initiative would ease businesses to some extent and, more importantly, help maintain jobs in these trying times.

“Our priority is to create or maintain jobs as an immediate to long-term solution for socioeconomic growth and sustainability,” she said in a statement today.

To-date, VentureTECH has built 20 Bumiputera technology leaders in the high value-added industry, generated highly skilled Bumiputera employment, promoted innovation and forged strategic collaborations for the company’s investees, Norida said.

Meanwhile, Funding Societies Malaysia, which provides financing solutions to SMEs, has lauded the government’s recognition of the peer-to-peer (P2P) financing industry’s growth of almost RM1 billion in SME financing opportunities.

Co-founder and chief executive officer Wong Kah Meng said combined with its relatively short tenure, more SMEs will benefit from the government’s RM50 million in matching investment for P2P platforms.

“This is timely given the challenges that local businesses face to ensure they can bridge their short-term cash flow arising from the invoice credit period.

“On the other hand, it is generally a lower risk financing product, thereby ensuring self-sustaining funding for SMEs for years to come,” he said.

Meanwhile, the National Tech Association of Malaysia (Pikom) viewed the Budget 2021 announcement as a continuation of ongoing programmes to enable the pandemic-hit economy to recover.

Pikom chairman Danny Lee said the association applauded the RM27 million allocated to CyberSecurity Malaysia to increase the country’s cybersecurity controls.

“The budget allocation of RM100 million for the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to facilitate the transition of existing workforce talent in the information and communications technology industry will complement the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) programme that is ongoing till 2022.

“Under the programme, Pikom brings along 100 member-companies and training providers to run more than 13 tech-related programmes for new employees to meet the demands of the industry,” he said in a statement. — Bernama