KUALA LUMPUR, 5 FEBRUARY 2009 The National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) has made proposals to Malaysian government agencies to help cope with the economic crisis.
According to a PIKOM representative, it is looking forward to the second stimulus package that is to be announced by the government soon, which follows the first stimulus package of RM7 (US$1.95) billion.
PIKOM said that Malaysia's economic growth is down from double-digit growths of recent years to 3.5 per cent the slowest growth in a decade and cited analyst firm IDC's prediction of information and communications technology (ICT) sector growth as 4.4 per cent in 2009, from 6.5 per cent in 2008.
Second stimulus package: domestic and export measures
PIKOM's proposed initiatives to the relevant government agencies to stimulate the local ICT industry included domestic driven measures such as:
- Reinstatement of the EPF (Employees Provident Fund) Withdrawal Scheme for PC Purchase, and assign PIKOM to the task of implementing it
- A tax rebate of RM1,000.00 (US$278) for PC purchase once every three years
- Government should accelerate its ICT projects and initiate quick open tenders
- Set up an ICT Retraining Fund of RM27.5 (US$7.64) million for 2009 and assign to PIKOM to manage
- Stimulate digital content creation industry, with PIKOM to lead government content creation task force ICON
- Other measures include encouragement of e-banking and e-commerce infrastructure improvements
Proposed export measures included an Export Promotion Grant of RM7.5 (US$2.01) million for PIKOM to set up offices in five overseas locations to facilitate exports, as well as RM1 million (US$278,000) to bring potential buyers to its PS3 IT exhibition, and the use of government agency MAMPU (Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit) to sell eGovernment applications overseas.
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