KUALA LUMPUR: THE digital economy agenda is proven to have not only raised the living standards of low-income households but also churned many young millionaires.
It is due to the eUsahawan and eRezeki programmes, which seek to develop digital entrepreneurship and assist people to generate additional income from digital technology, respectively.
According to data by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) for a three-year period up to December last year,
eUsahawan roped in 156,580 participants who generated over RM227 million in income.
Meanwhile, between 2015
and December last year, eRezeki saw 151,198 participants generate an income of RM112.9 million.
MDEC chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said the achievement of the digital economy — under the administration of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak — proved the effectiveness of the government’s initiatives to uplift the people’s standard of living and break the cycle of poverty.
She said eUsahawan received positive reception from youth, especially those in Sabah and Sarawak, despite them knowing that the initiative did not promise them business grants.
‘The government does not even give any grant through eUsahawan, because young entrepreneurs are more appreciative of online business and market knowledge compared with grants.
“When (their) businesses grow and they need more capital, only then would we give them a suitable grant.
“Without the vision and
support of Najib, none of the
initiatives, such as eRezeki,
eUsahawan and foreign direct
investment in digital industry,
as well as the Digital Free Trade Zone, would have happened
because he is the man
behind Malaysia’s digital (economy).”
Yasmin said Najib, who had an understanding of the digital world, had shared the knowledge of industry.
She added that youth understood the digital world as they live in it.
Yasmin said this during an interview with the New Straits Times Press Bhd here recently.
Based on the National Transformation Programme (NTP), the eUsahawan and eRezeki initiatives were introduced as part of an economic-strengthening strategy that could reduce rural poverty and raise the standard of living for household urban.
In the NTP report on raising the living standards of low-income households, it stated that the national poverty level dropped to 0.4 per cent in 2016 from four per cent in 2009.
The report said there was an increase in the average monthly income of the Bottom 40 (B40) households from only RM1,440 in 2009 to RM2,848 in 2016.
As of late last year, the 1AZAM initiative succeeded in increasing the income of 100,420 people or 91 per cent of programme’s participants to at least RM300.
Data showed that 30.48 per cent of the participants were no longer categorised as “poor”, with the number of participants in the category decreasing
to 58.69 per cent in 2016 compared with 89.17 per cent in 2009.