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Budget 2012: Malaysian ICT industry's careful welcome

AvantiKumar | Oct. 10, 2011
Malaysian PM continues transformation theme in Budget 2012 proposals, which will cost US$74 billion.

Malaysian ICT services provider HeiTech Padu Berhad's group chief executive officer Harris bin Ismail said 2012 budget was aimed to broadly improve the well being of every Malaysian. "ICT growth will be driven by the private sector,  PEMANDU and the ETP will play a major role in facilitating this growth. We also expect to see consolidation of spending but with a high expectancy of service levels. There will also be a higher demand for data management related products and services, for example data centre-related services, business intelligent, virtualisation, security and the like."

"I believe it was not an easy task for the Prime Minister to strike a balance between managing the economic 'roller coaster' and the need to spend for continuous growth towards achieving high income nation status by 2020," said internet service provider JARING's chief executive officer, Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Yaacob.  "Earlier, the government has chartered four economic pillars of national transformation plans such as the 10MP [10th Malaysia Plan], NKEA [National Key Economic Area], GTP [Government Transformation Programme], and ETP [Economic Transformation Programme]-  all intended to catapult the Malaysian economy and maintaining Malaysia’s competitiveness level. The 2012 Budget will of course help to navigate Malaysia on sustaining domestic growth and to accelerate the nation’s transformation into an advanced economy."

Though unified communications provider Interactive Intelligence's regional general manager for Asia Simon Lee commented that the budget 2012 proposals were welcome and augured well for the services sector, he added, "We were however, disappointed that broadband and ICT related tools were not given further tax exemption especially in the era of digital communications. We were expecting the government to push for lower broadband rates to encourage the use of the internet.   The proliferation of Internet today has without doubt allowed people into a borderless world with information almost at its finder tips and services conducted at a faster pace."

Malaysia's economic expansion will be about 5.5 percent this year, according to the government's latest economic report, lower than an earlier target of as much as six percent growth in 2011. The economy grew at the slowest pace since 2009 in the second quarter, climbing four percent from a year earlier.

"The growth momentum is expected to pick up in the second half of the year on the back of resilient private consumption and strong private investment," continued the report. "For 2012, GDP growth in Malaysia will remain largely domestic driven, due to heightened uncertainties in the global economy."

However, The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) has revised the country's GDP growth to 4.6 percent for 2011 compared with an earlier forecast of 5.2 percent, due to the impact of a fragile global economy on reduced exports and domestic demand, with 2012's GDP growth reduced from 5.5  to 5 percent.


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