Early industry comments included a welcome to the proposals, which enhanced the well-being of all Malaysians and set the pace for continued transformation of Malaysia into a developed and high-income economy by the year 2020, from Security solutions provider Symantec Malaysia senior country manager, Alex Ong. "Amidst the challenges of the external market environment, we believe the Budget 2012 will not only enable Malaysia to be resilient but to drive growth in the challenging outlook over the next 12 months."
To the PM's expectation that a Gross National Income of more than RM30 billion (US$9.5 billion) would be generated by 2020 from commercialisation of some 300 intellectual properties, Ong said: "Human capital development and innovation are the new currencies of the 21st century and there is a significant opportunity for Malaysia to become a high-income economy driven by knowledge, creativity and innovation.
"With increasing investment potential and confidence shifting to Asia, human capital development and innovation are the necessary factors that will give Malaysia a competitive edge," he said. "Symantec looks forward to a long term initiative in this area beyond the year 2012 to cultivate and retain Malaysia's best talents in the country and in building an innovative culture which will spur technology innovation in the local market."
"A knowledge-based economy is dependent on cultivating a highly-skilled workforce to be innovative, creative, and resourceful," said Ong. "Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) could work together and partner with the private sectors to find out what skills are lacking and required in the industry, therefore developing plans to bridge the skill gaps. This is an important initiative that would contribute towards nurturing a pool of skilled and knowledge workers to meet the local needs especially in the ICT industry."
Technology solutions firm Intel Malaysia country sales manager, sales and marketing, Prakash Mallya said the budget included a commitment to transform Malaysia's education and innovation landscape.
"Intel advocates education transformation because we believe it is crucial to nurture critical thinking Malaysians," said Mallya . "Hence, Intel lauds the Malaysian government's decision to allocate funds to the education sector so that it can continue to develop talented, creative and innovative people. Additionally, allocation made available to support the 1Malaysia Award (C1PTA) for innovative student inventions is definitely a step in the right direction to promote a culture of innovation and creative thinking among the younger generation."
"To cultivate the next generation of innovators who can support Malaysia's national agenda of developing a knowledge-driven and high-income nation, Intel would like to see a portion of the allocation channelled towards integrating technology in the entire education process," added Mallya. "Through our various education initiatives in Malaysia, Intel has remained committed in supporting the government's efforts to integrate technology into the teaching and learning of subjects that promote innovation such as math, science and engineering."
"It is imperative that the nation creates a local talent pipeline that has the knowledge and skills that are industry- and market-relevant," said technology firm Dell's Global Business Centre, Cyberjaya, managing director & executive director, advanced systems group, APJ CSMB, Pang Yee Beng. "The allocation of RM50.2 billion [US$15.9 billion] for the education sector is a positive step that will hopefully be channelled towards developing the necessary foundation to produce a workforce that is ready to compete, with a mindset geared towards creativity and innovation."
Commenting on the gap between the ICT industry's talent requirements, Pang said: "We believe the government's move to encourage private sector participation in the form of tax incentives for company-funded internship and scholarship programmes is a favourable one towards achieving the objective for a skilled talent pool."
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.