K Raman (pic), Microsoft Malaysia's managing director, said: "The 2016 National Budget is another step forward in paving the way for Malaysia to become a knowledge-based, high-income nation by 2020. Microsoft Malaysia supports the Government's allocation to bridge the digital divide within the nation, as Malaysia strives toward being a developed nation. As a technology enabler, we see the importance of a more connected, digital nation, rooted in openness and collaboration, and fuelled by inclusion, innovation and growth. We will continue to partner with the Malaysian Government to be the conduit of opportunity for a digital nation."
"Education is the foundation of any nation. Shaping the minds of our future generation with a sound education system is vital, as the future well-being of a country lies with the younger generation," said Raman. "Microsoft believes in the positive impact technology has on inclusive education, and will continue to support the Malaysian Government with initiatives such as #WeSpeakCode and Imagine Cup, towards building a high income, knowledge-based economy."
Lim Chee Meng (pic), deputy chairman, Malaysia Internet Exchange (MyIX) or also known as Persatuan Pengendali Internet Malaysia, also welcomed the proposal to increase rural broadband speed from 5 Mbps to 20 Mbps. "This is in line with the governments' aim to increase the internet penetration level amongst Malaysians. Malaysians household broadband penetration rate currently stands at 67.2 percent as of MCMC 2013 Annual Report. We should see a significant increase in Internet subscription and usage within these areas especially in East Malaysia where the infrastructure and operating cost is not comparable to Peninsulas'.
"Besides increasing internet exposure, the allocation will play a part in boosting the e-commerce sector. More SMEs in the rural areas will be able to benefit from going online," said Lim. "Although it was not mentioned, we believe that significant efforts to develop better Internet infrastructure in urban areas will continue. MyIX will continue to work with MCMC and explore ways to facilitate the execution of their plans especially in areas where MyIX operates regional nodes, which include Penang, Johor Bahru, Kuantan, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu."
Albert Chai (pic), Cisco Malaysia country manager, said Budget 2016 was built on the same principles as Budget 2015. "Through the allocation to improve telecommunication infrastructure and rural broadband projects, Malaysia is addressing the crucial need to improve coverage, quality, and affordability of digital infrastructure for every citizen at all levels of society. This will help push us to become a digitally inclusive nation, connecting the expertise of our urban-developed Malaysia to the full potential of individuals, schools and businesses in rural areas."
"The Prime Minister's announcement of the Malaysia Vision Valley project and the allocation for Cyber City development in Cyberjaya, echoes a commitment that Cisco advocates in promoting a living and working environment poised for the innovation Malaysia is geared for," said Chai. "In line with this, the allocations and incentives that are geared towards making Malaysia a regionally competitive technology hub and a centre for innovation, R&D and commercialisation will excite local startups, innovators and technopreneurs to be the agents of change that will spur greater private-public collaboration."