Nov. 21, 2016
Tervinderjit (TJ) Singh, (pic above) research vice president at ICT research company Gartner, noted the Budget's increased emphasis on digital connectivity. "Providing the nation with the infrastructure and services will help to form the pillars in establishing digital businesses."
"[In addition] the allocation of RM162 million to the Multimedia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to encourage development in the e-commerce ecosystem and RM200 million to stimulate startups reinforces the government's consistent commitment to support digital activities," he said.
"In line with Gartner's predictions that by 2025, where every industry will be transformed by digital business, we are very supportive of the government's plan to introduce the first 'Digital Free Zone' in the world, where we anticipate the blurring of physical with virtual worlds. Gartner looks forward to seeing more details on this promising programme," Singh added.
"Sustained efforts to improve the coverage and quality of broadband connectivity not just in the metropolitan areas through the allocation of RM1 billion, as well as making smartphones more accessible to public servants, will no doubt enable the people to have increased digital capabilities and continue accelerating the digital transformation here," he said.
"With the initiatives announced in Budget 2017, Gartner is confident that Malaysia is on the right track to become a fully digitised Internet economy," Singh said.
Lee Ching Wei, (pic above) co-founder and group CEO of online site iMoney, summarised the overall budget proposals as "a number of allocations that will be well-received. The increased allocation for BR1M, newly restructured personal tax reliefs, as well as subsidies on toll charges and public transportation will surely help to reduce the high basic cost of living that have been a primary concern for millennials. We would also like to applaud the government for the added incentives for millennials to start saving for retirement through the Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) as retirement preparedness has also been a chief concern."
"The added focus on first home buyers' affordability for the M40 and B40 group is a good step forward in addressing the worries of the rakyat, many of whom according to our recent survey has postponed their decision to buy a house because they felt they could not afford it. We believe the special "step-up" end-financing scheme for the PR1MA programme and the rental of houses in urban areas to eligible youths before they are financially stable will be a stepping-stone for the middle-income group towards home ownership," said Lee.
"There weren't a lot of changes on the income tax front but the changes to book, sports equipment and computer purchase income tax relief overall provides a lower total income tax relief but it will make it easier to claim," he added.