Malaysia Budget 2024 Commentary

 |   K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia

Budget 2024 Commentary

We welcome the Government of Malaysia’s continued drive for economic restructuring in Budget 2024, in alignment with the Ekonomi Madani framework, and following through from the recent Mid-Term Review of the 12th Malaysia Plan. We believe digital technology continues to be a critical lever and are pleased to see Budget 2024 acknowledge the need for a persistent drive toward developing digital capabilities.

The allocation of RM100 million in grants to support MSMEs with digitalization, along with the RM900 million in loans available under BNM to encourage SME productivity through digitalization and automation, will help bolster our nation’s competitiveness and facilitate growth towards a high-income nation. We also commend the strong focus on developing local talent, such as with the RM1.6 billion set aside for HRD Corp to develop skills among entrepreneurs and underserved communities.

A significant portion of the budget is set aside for education, laying the foundation for Malaysia’s sustainable and inclusive growth. We are pleased to see the appreciation of the importance of ICT facilities and connectivity in education, as well as the recognition of the value of frontier technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), with the establishment of a dedicated faculty at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

We also welcome the focus on sustainability in Budget 2024, that establishes measures aligned with NETR targets, such as funding to facilitate energy transition, enhancements to the Corporate Green Power Programme and incentives for companies that invest in Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) related to development of carbon projects. As an organization that is committed to be carbon negative by 2030 and remove all of our historical emissions by 2050, we are aligned with efforts to drive sustainable practices and encourage concrete steps toward achieving national sustainability targets.

We look forward to partnering with our stakeholders across the private and public sectors to realise the aims of Budget 2024 and to work together to achieve sustainable growth and development for Malaysia.