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More upskilling needed for talent growth

More upskilling needed for talent growth

28 Feb 2023

Budget 2023 should have more coverage in design and development areas, says the Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association.

Its president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai said encouraging local talents in design and development would see more local companies grow.

“We want more local industries to grow so we can buy local, thus enabling our local electric and electronic industry to flourish,” he said.

Wong said there were however, certain aspects of the revised budget that were indirectly beneficial, such as the incentive under Socso for 17,000 Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) graduates.

“The industry will now be more involved in TVET.

“They will be extending tax incentives to manufacturing companies that move operations to Malaysia and a 15% tax rate to the C-suite until 2024 as well.

“This will bring new projects back to the country,” he said.

Small and Medium Enterprises Association Malaysia secretary Yeoh Seng Hooi said that on the whole, the budget appeared comprehensive in addressing the major issues and needs of SMEs.

“Additional loans from Bank Negara and guarantees from Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Bhd are laudable.

“The lowering of the tax rate from 17% to 15% for the first RM150,000 is welcomed, but not sufficient. We were expecting a reduction of up to RM500,000.

“The RM6bil loan through Bank Pembangunan Malaysia to finance automation programmes is a plus but we need to ensure expediency in implementation where the amount is spread out to benefit more SMEs.

“It should not be monopolised by those who have ‘special access’.

“The extension of Green Tax incentives and grants are laudable to encourage SMEs to embrace green initiatives and support environmental, social and governance compliance,” he said in a statement.

On the issue of local talent, Yeoh said the monthly allowance to support TVET graduates was a boon.

“However, the RM50mil to train 8,000 people under TVET is not sufficient, given the large number of SMEs in the production sector.

“We hope the government will agree to the double tax deduction for SMEs that pay salaries above RM5,000.

“This will allow them to compete effectively in hiring skilled workers when contending with the deep-pocket multinational corporations.

“If we can lower the personal income tax rate to 15% to attract C-suite from overseas in the electric and electronic, and aerospace industries, we can offer the double tax deduction for SMEs to reward their local employees in the same sector,” he said.

Source: The Star