KUALA LUMPUR: TERAJU, the government’s Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit, is redoubling efforts to prepare Bumiputera companies for the next phase of Malaysia’s economic development.
Teraju chief executive officer Datuk Husni Salleh said this new phase, driven by the digital economy and technology, would create a more level playing field between small companies or new players and large corporations.
With Malaysia’s push towards the digital economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), Bumiputera companies that were trying to catch up with larger and well-established players would have the opportunity to flourish even faster, he added.
“Those who are more innovative and tech-savvy will change the world so much more quickly than what we have seen. This is where the challenge is, for all of us. This includes government policies, as well. That is why we are here today to work with the government, to do what is right for the country,” Husni said in an interview recently.
He said one of Teraju’s key objectives was to spearhead the Bumiputera Agenda, which would also be embedded in the country’s push towards the digital economy.
This could include specific key performance indicators for government agencies and ministries, which would be regularly monitored.
In the 2018 Budget, the government allocated RM100 million for the eRezeki and eUsahawan programmes, and introduced eLadang to help farmers leverage the latest smart farming technologies, such as Internet of Things and big data analytics, to improve yield and income.
Other measures include the provision of grants worth RM245 million under the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund to upgrade Smart Manufacturing services, and RM250 million to develop Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics centres and improve Computer Science modules for digital talent development.
The Digital Free Trade Zone,launched on Nov 3, would benefit 1,900 export-ready small- and medium-scale enterprises as they begin their export journey.
“Teraju will continue to play a strategic role in coordinating the efforts of all 130 government agencies involved in facilitating the Bumiputera Agenda,” said Husni, adding that this included the digital empowerment of Bumiputera companies.
Husni said more exposure and focused investments would be given to Bumiputera companies.
Teraju’s Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Startup Scheme is one platform that had brought in new innovation and technology.
One of its participants, AIIS Solution Sdn Bhd, is a specialist in dry ice cleaning technology. It provides cleaning solutions for jet engines without having to shut down planes.
“Who says Bumiputera companies are not capable?
“They can do it, but we need to focus on giving these people a good platform and recognition,” said Husni.
In line with the more positive sentiment of globalisation, Husni said, Teraju is also looking to expand its horizon and play a
significant role in promoting
Bumiputera entrepreneurs abroad.
“Teraju aspires to encourage the internationalisation of Bumiputera companies and entrepreneurs, enhance their competitiveness and promote an outward-looking approach in doing businesses, while championing Malaysian businesses on the global stage.”
Husni said among the initiatives was the potential establishment of Teraju International, which would be responsible for facilitating export-ready Bumiputera companies into becoming regional and global players in their particular sectors.
This would involve collaboration with strategic partners and financial institutions in providing enablers and assistance through various programmes in the form of capacity and capability building, business expansion, international marketing and joint ventures.
Husni said it was also vital for Teraju International to form a strong network with Malaysia’s major trading markets through multiple partners and agencies.