SAMENTA welcomes new Cabinet

THE Small & Medium Enterprises Association Malaysia (SAMENTA) congratulates the newly appointed Cabinet ministers and look forward to supporting the Government in scaling up Malaysia’s economy. 

Although there are reservations from some groups, we strongly believe that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim taking over the finance portfolio, at least in the near term, is crucial in signalling to the international community of Malaysia’s focus on rebuilding and advancing the economy.

Datuk William Ng

Furthermore, the economic team of Rafizi Ramli at the Ministry of Economy, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Aziz at Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub at Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living, Datuk Ewon Benedick at Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development and V. Sivakumar at Ministry of Human Resources are a mixture of experienced policy makers and dynamic parliamentarians.

They will be called upon to outline Malaysia’s growth path into the next decade, while instituting reforms on the many structural bottlenecks that have been holding our economy back.

Among the key priorities for the Cabinet, and specifically the economic team, will be to chart a new growth path for Malaysia. Business as usual cannot be the order of the day as some of our neighbouring economies have transformed and steered ahead at a quicker pace than Malaysia. 

 Some of the priorities that we hope the Government will consider are: 

  1. Reform of our labour laws to enable wages to be tied to productivity, promote talent mobility and skills as a currency, and to accommodate the gig and globally connected economy; 
  2. Re-balancing of the role of the government-linked companies (GLCs) to allow a stronger focus on supporting socioeconomic development and protecting the national interests in strategic sectors, while allowing for greater competition and dismantling of monopolies and quasi-monopolies; 
  3. Identification of priority growth sectors where we have an advantage, including the halal and Islamic economy, high-added value electronics sector, and export-oriented agriculture, fisheries and commodities products, and directing our resources to build further on our leadership; 
  4. Helping our SMEs (small medium enterprises) develop the capability and capacity to support these growth sectors, while assisting those in secondary sectors, including the retail and distributive trade, general manufacturing, and professional and business services industries, to have higher profits margin and resilience through digitalisation and automation; 
  5. Revamp the current ‘government-knows-best’ approach and allow the industry and businesses to share the burden of governance and regulatory compliance, including empowering trade associations to carry out intervention, capability building and promotional activities; 
  6. Further liberalisation of our financial sector and speeding up the transition from a government-led regime to a market-driven regime, to free up resources more rapidly to support businesses. 

As Malaysia’s oldest and largest association for SMEs, SAMENTA remains committed to supporting the Government initiatives, and look forward to continued engagement with the newly appointed ministers. — Dec 3, 2022


Datuk William Ng is chairman of Small & Medium Enterprises Association Malaysia (SAMENTA)

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE