Traditional banks tend to favor big corporations with higher volumes, while the underserved micro-businesses and SMEs must endure expensive fees and complex processes from using financial products that are catered to the big boys. “That…
BRIOHR, Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing end-to-end HR platform, praised the government for introducing measures that will drive the creation of new jobs, drive innovation, and improve the quality of life for all Malaysians.
The revised Budget 2023, with the theme “Membangun Malaysia Madani (Developing Malaysia Madani)”, which was presented last Friday, also included a number of initiatives aimed at assisting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are the backbone of Malaysia’s economy accounting for approximately 97% of all businesses in Malaysia.
Benjamin Croc, CEO and cofounder of BrioHR, said, “We are delighted to see that the budget’s total allocation of RM386.14 billion is focused on reducing government debt, tackling inflation, supporting SMEs, advancing green initiatives, and promoting digital advancement. This includes significant investments in infrastructure, education, healthcare, and innovation, as well as measures to support SMEs.
He added, “We are particularly pleased with the government’s commitment to meaningful employment, strengthening Malaysia’s human resources, and driving digitalisation. We also commend the government for its commitment to building a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive economy that works for all citizens as the nation recovers from the impact of the pandemic.”
SME Sector Revitalization
According to Croc, the SME sector is a key driver of economic expansion because it creates jobs and greatly boosts the GDP.
“The SME sector is indeed a crucial engine of economic growth, providing employment opportunities and significantly contributing to Malaysia’s GDP. The government understands the significance of this industry and has taken several steps to help it grow. The allocation of funds for the development of the SME sector is one of the budget’s main highlights. The government has set aside a large sum of money to help SMEs expand their operations, invest in technology and innovation, as well as create more jobs,” explained Croc.
Investment in infrastructure, education, healthcare, innovation, and support for small and medium-sized businesses are all welcomed as they will help drive economic growth.
Croc shared, “Infrastructure and education investments, for example, can create jobs and increase productivity, whereas assistance to small businesses can encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. The budget addresses critical economic issues while also providing new opportunities for businesses and individuals.”
Prioritizing Upskilling and Job Creation
Croc also stated that several provisions in the national budget are aimed at promoting employment and human resource development. The government has set aside RM750 million for the People’s Income Initiative (IPR) to stimulate economic growth at the grassroots level while also combating poverty and inequality in the country. Agriculture (Intan), food (Insan), and service providers would be prioritised in the initiative (Ikhsan).
“Some 100,000 households from the hardcore poor and B40 groups are expected to benefit from this as it aims to upskill them into small-scale entrepreneurs. By investing in upskilling and combating poverty, the government is laying the groundwork for a stronger and more inclusive society,” explained Croc.
He also mentioned that the government will pay up to RM4,000 in training costs for gig workers who enrol in micro-credential skills development programs. In addition to accumulated levies, HRDCorp would provide RM1 billion in funds for skill-training programmes for employees and HRDCorp-registered firms.
Croc noted that the government has also provided several matching grants for SMEs to strengthen their workforce. A matching grant of RM50 million will encourage the use of robotics and artificial intelligence in the plantation sector with the goal of employing skilled local workers, while SMEs will be given a matching grant of up to RM5,000 under the SME Digitalisation Grant Scheme to digitalise their businesses, including subscribing to digitalisation apps like point-of-sales management, accounting systems, or HR software.
Moreover, the government plans to create 35,000 new jobs in government-related businesses, primarily for youth, TVET graduates, vulnerable groups, and veterans to increase meaningful employment.
Conclusion: Achieving Malaysia Madani Together
“We believe that the measures announced in the budget will help to create a more favourable business environment that will attract new investment, promote entrepreneurship, and foster economic growth. To sum up, we believe the budget measures will help lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth and development, and we hope that all parties will collaborate to make Malaysia Madani a reality.” concluded Croc.