U Mobile chief executive officer Jaffa Sany Ariffin also welcomed the government initiatives to provide more access to the Internet and broadband services. "In line with the [the national regulator] MCMC's 'Pakej Mampu Bayar Jalur Lebar 1Malaysia' ['Can afford broadband package 1Malaysia'] initiative, U Mobile has plans to roll out similar services to cater for the rural states, as this will greatly provide them a gateway to access enormous opportunities and information globally."
"One of the reasons that underpinned our confidence in the Malaysia market is the rapid broadband adoption and strong smartphone penetration rate," said Rakuten's Ueno. "Thus, we laud the Youth Communication Package rebate programme to encourage further smartphone and mobile Internet penetration, especially among youth in Malaysia. By enabling greater Internet access, we believe more Malaysians can benefit from various Internet services including online shopping. This would certainly continue to make Malaysia an attractive market for e-commerce."
Fortinet regional director, Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, Dato' Sri George Chang said the budget proposals broadly address all key sectors and the government good intentions are clear.
" However, it could perhaps do more to ease the implementation of some of the ICT programmes," said Chang. "For example, in addition to the rebate for smartphone purchase, the government could consider measures to facilitate the long-term adoption of these phones. It could, for instance, ensure that telecommunication networks are upgraded to handle higher data traffic, encourage the creation of more mobile content, and deploy the necessary security measures to deter higher incidences of cybercrime. More emphasis could also be placed on the continuous development of knowledge workers.”
In a statement dated 2 October 2012, PIKOM chairman Woon Tai Hai added the national ICT association's welcomed fiscally and economically responsible budget proposals. "Despite lingering economic doldrums in Eurozone, PIKOM is delighted with the Prime Minister’s announcement in the Budget 2013 of achieving 4.5 to 5 percent growth in 2012. Of this, PIKOM believes significant contribution likely to come from the ICT contribution, particularly on going corridor projects and NKEA projects, which are ICT intensive.
"The new budget that I have tabled for 2013 is the last budget before the 13th General Election. This is among the series of budgets that will propel this beloved nation towards achieving the national vision," said Najib in his concluding remarks.
(An updated and edited version of this article will appear in the Nov-Dec 2012 print edition of Computerworld Malaysia.]
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