Plans to set up Malaysia's ICT Federation underway
By Goh Thean Eu December 16, 2016
- Hopes to establish the federation by end 2017
- Pikom will also be launching its e-commerce chapter soon
(L to R): Chin Chee Seong, Pikom Chairman with Woon Tai Hai, PIKOM Research Committee Chair launching the PIKOM ICT Strategic Review publication last week
THE National ICT Association (Pikom) chairman Chin Chee Seong said that plans are underway to set up the Malaysia Information Communications and Technology (ICT) Federation.
If all goes well, the federation will be established by end of next year, Chin added.
“The objective is for all the ICT related association to come together to be part of the federation, so that the industry has a bigger voice in the country,” Chin told Digital News Asia in Petaling Jaya recently.
Currently, there are several associations that are related to the tech industry – which in some ways may make the industry rather segregated.
These associations include Malaysia Automation Technology Association, Malaysian Association of Bumiputera ICT Industry and Entrepreneurs, Storage Networking Industry Association Malaysia (a chapter of the US-headquartered Storage Networking Industry Association), Technological Association Malaysia, The Electrical and Electronics Association of Malaysia, FinTech Association of Malaysia, and more.
In order for the federation to have a strong voice in the country, it first needs to get the buy ins of these various associations.
Chin remained optimistic that it is able to convince the various associations to join hands, and hinted that the proposal has been receiving good response.
“We have spoken to a few associations. So far, they welcomed the idea,” Chin added.
Meanwhile, Chin said that the association will be setting up an e-commerce Chapter soon – which will complement its existing chapters such as Outsourcing Malaysia, Angels Chapter, and CIO Chapter.
The e-commerce chapter, just like Outsourcing Malaysia, will have its own budget and dedicated team to help spur the growth of the country’s e-commerce industry.
Look for other options
Over the past few years, the weakening of the ringgit (and the strengthening of the US dollar) is making life difficult for IT procurement.
Today, the US dollar has strengthened by at least 20% at RM4.40 per US dollar – from RM3.60 per US dollar early 2015. In other words, the same IT equipment from the US is now 20% more expensive.
Chin said that companies may need to look at other alternatives during challenging times like this.
“Companies can look at non-US vendors… Maybe the European IT vendors, or those from Asia,” said Chin.
Chin spoke to Digital News Asia after Pikom’s media briefing last week – whereby the association revised downwards its forecast of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
It now expects the country’s economy to grow by 4.2% this year and 4.0% in 2017, a significant revision from its 4.5% forecasts (for both 2016 and 2017) previously.