Highlights:

  1. Government mulls specific law to address sexual harassment
  2. Smart City roundtable, Alibaba Cross-border Conference key highlights at SDEC 2018
  3. MTDC targets 50 companies, including SMEs for Industry 4.0 by 2019
  4. MARA allocates RM25 million to empower women entrepreneurs
  5. Fewer drivers registering with Grab following new regulations

Ministry mulls specific law to address sexual harassment
The government is considering the possibility of introducing specific legislations to address sexual harassment issues. Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Hannah Yeoh (pic) told this to Members of Parliament this morning. She said that in drafting the new act, the ministry had held a consultation session with the National Council of Women’s Organisations (NCWO) that was also attended by several NGOs. She added that the ministry would also conduct a study by gathering public feedback, data and methods of getting evidence to help formulate policies and strategies in addressing sexual harassment issues.

Smart City roundtable, Alibaba Cross-border Conference key highlights at SDEC 2018
The upcoming Selangor Smart City and Digital Economy Convention 2018 (SDEC 2018) will highlight two key issues – the National Smart City Mayor roundtable discussion and the Alibaba-Taobao University Cross-Border Conference. SDEC 2018, the largest smart city event in Asia, will be held in Kuala Lumpur in September and is part of the Selangor International Business Summit 2018. In a statement today, event co-organiser, the Selangor Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (Sitec) said the mayor roundtable would explore the topics of traffic and mobility, communications and connectivity, and smart-waste management. The invitation-only discussion will be attended by mayors and leaders of local councils in Malaysia. Meanwhile, Alibaba-Taobao University, the education arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, will bring its first unique cross-border conference to the Klang Valley. Conducted in Mandarin, it will explore topics on penetrating the China market.

MTDC targets 50 companies, including SMEs for Industry 4.0 by 2019
The Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) aims to have 50 companies achieve the Industry 4.0 standard – an adoption of automation and technological advancement – in Malaysia by next year. Chief executive officer of MTDC, Datuk Norhalim Yunus is confident the goal is achievable as there are currently around 24 Industry 4.0-compliant companies. “Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are still within the Industry 3.0 or lower, whereby most of their operations are either manual or reliant on imported machines, driving up costs. Most of those SMEs are productive but inefficient,” he said. He noted that SMEs must adapt with Industry 4.0 in order to thrive and stay relevant, and companies with constant advancements will have a high chance of entering the ASEAN market after 10 years. Datuk Norhalim also proposed for SMEs to collaborate with university researchers to assist in technological research as many SMEs are lagging behind in this respect. He highlighted that the lack of collaboration between SMEs and educational institutions are mainly due to the differences in technical jargon and the background between the parties involved. “These issues can easily be solved by intermediaries to reinforce the relationship between universities, as long as the industries have a strong desire to collaborate and expand their industry,” he said.

MARA allocates RM25 million to empower women entrepreneurs
Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) has allocated RM25 million for development programmes and business capital specifically for women entrepreneurs. Rural Development Minister Rina Mohd. Harun said the allocation comprised RM20 million for business financing under DanaNITA and RM5 million for training programmes and courses. “Under DanaNITA, we are targeting it will benefit 400 women entrepreneurs, aged between 18 and 60 years, with a financing limit of RM50,000.” “DanaNITA focuses on eight business clusters including lifestyle, health, food and beverage, automotive, hi-tec and creative industries,” she told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. She said under DanaNITA, female entrepreneurs were exempted from some basic requirements imposed in other financing schemes such as not having to sit for psychometric tests and are not obliged to open current accounts. “In addition, DanaNITA is also very flexible. Entrepreneurs need not necessarily have a business premises, instead those who are doing business online or operating from home are also eligible for this facility.”

Fewer drivers registering with Grab following new regulations
Grab Malaysia has seen a reduction in the registration of new part-time drivers following the regulations imposed by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) on ride-hailing companies. Country Head Sean Goh said the number of new part-time drivers had decreased, but he is positive this situation will eventually improve. “It is normal that during a transition period we see a decrease. “We are finding the best solution for all (parties) as we understand the majority of our drivers are part-timers and their income from Grab contributes 30 per cent to their household income,” he told reporters after meeting with the Council of Eminent Persons in Kuala Lumpur. Goh said that Grab had engaged with the MOT and emphasised it would be a continuous discussion between the two parties to find common ground. It was previously reported that e-hailing services would be subject to the same regulations as taxis, especially for licence and registration, vehicle inspection and operational requirements. E-hailing companies must also register with the Companies Commission, or Cooperative Commission, and ensure vehicles undergo yearly inspections if older than three years. Currently, more than 50 per cent of Grab’s fleet are above three years.