Hi Robots!

Thank you MSC Cyberport for a great chat on the future of Johor economy, technology and use of robots.

Malaysia could have been at the forefront of robotic technology but we are lagging behind.

There used to be an abundance of cheap unskilled foreign labour hence there was no incentive or motivation for industries to automate and climb the technology ladder.

With the April post-Covid-19 reopening of international borders, which translates into a lot more business activities yet simultaneously massive outflow of local workers to Singapore, coupled with the global labour crunch, clearly things have to change.

Robots and automation now look viable to many.

There is a window of opportunity for governments at various levels – federal, state and local – to put in a set of policies to make automation widely available and accessible in terms of cost for as many businesses as possible.

For instance, I would like to see local authorities support coffee shop owners to use dishwashers, and the Federal Budget give tax rebates to those who procure robot servers.

Commercial banks now emphasizes on ESG (environment, social, and governance). They should make it easier for small businesses to finance the transition into automation.

Since MSC Cyberport is a Johor state-government linked company, the state government could tap into their expertise to promote automation through them.

I thank MSC Cyberport CEO Mr Ramlee bin Jaafar, Cybersolution Technologies Senior Business Development Manager Ms Amanda Tan and Ms Karen Wong for their insights and sharing.

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