Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance estimates that two million jobs or approximately 8% of the workforce are at risk of being unemployed by the end of 2020. These numbers reveal that the Malaysian economy has been severely crippled by the after effects of the movement control order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In mid-May, the Department of Statistics Malaysia also reported that 53.4 % of businesses will only survive for one to two more months if they opt to pay staff anywhere from half to full salaries. To address this, the recent National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) offers hope through its various allocations, with RM35 billion in initiatives to stimulate the economy.

In a recent webinar entitled, “Can Digitalisation Save Your Business?”, leaders from the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Selangor Human Resource Development Centre (SHRDC) and leading clean energy solutions provider, Plus Solar, revealed how businesses can effectively access the various funds and resources to help digitalise their businesses and upskill talents in the midst of reviving their operations.

“Digitalisation is the key for businesses to continue sustaining in this new norm. Our government through MDEC has introduced several initiatives on E-commerce, Gig Economy, Talent Development and SME Growth focusing on empowering people and businesses with Digital Transformation,” said Muhundhan Kamarapullai Director, Business Digital Adoption at MDEC. “MDEC is constantly promoting SME digitalisation efforts since the announcement movement control order. We have initiatives like 100 Go Digital where we educate the ecosystem on the latest digitalisation information as we continue to digitally empower the businesses.

“Recently, we announced the #SMART Automation Grant for Services Industry as part of the Government’s Penjana initiative to support the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take the digital leap in this new norm. This is necessary as many SMEs are looking at digital platforms to overcome their challenges that might negatively impact their operations and income generation,” added Muhundhan.

Also speaking at the webinar was Dr Chua Wen-Shyan, Head of Technology, Selangor Human Resource Development Centre (SHRDC) who said that the primary focus should be on developing people. “People or talent are the greatest assets in your company. Motivate them, upskill them with the necessary skills to promote innovation and development within your company to achieve a sustainable digital transformation.” “What we do at SHRDC is to design high impact programs relevant to the different industries. Each company may require a unique digitalization roadmap as there is no one size fit all.” added Dr Chua.

Also sharing their experiences with digitalisation was Plus Solar, a leading clean energy provider who received over 500% increase in enquiries on energy saving solutions since the start of the MCO. “This certainly shows that many businesses are looking at diverse ways to trim the bottom line with energy consumption being one major concern,” said Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Plus Solar, Ryan Oh. “With the push for digitalisation, it is only apt that we have developed smart energy solutions to help businesses save on the bottom line as well as to turn business insights into valuable intelligence that can translate into better business decisions,” added Oh. “Industries that can benefit from such a smart energy management system are commercial and industrial buildings. “As an industry practice, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) consume over 40% of the global energy use. By leveraging on smart energy management, leakages can be identified, energy efficiency improved and energy savings maximised.


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