PETALING JAYA: The government is working on streamlining various processes in the start-up ecosystem to ensure greater efficiency, economy minister Rafizi Ramli said today.
Rafizi said the objective is to enable tech start-up entrepreneurs to get their applications processed and approvals obtained from just one agency instead of multiple ones as is the case now.
He said he is already working with the communication and digital ministry as well as the science, technology and innovation ministry to bring together stakeholders from various agencies to map out the process.
“(Ultimately) we want to move to a single policy approach, which means that if I am a tech start-up owner, I only go to one place with one application,” he said at the National Economic Forum today.
“The situation for start-ups at present is quite scattered, having to go to multiple agencies to get the assistance they need,” he said.
“The tech ecosystem just wants to go to one window. Without a single window there will be a lot of duplication and it will be difficult for our start-ups to reach economies of scale,” he added.
Rafizi said currently there is an agency at every stage of the process, namely funding, incubation and capability-building.
As a result, a tech start-up owner may not know which agency to go to, he added.
Rafizi said he will be announcing a “clear plan” in August after examining all the pain-points in each agency.
He said the government is also working on streamlining processes in other areas such as the application for visa by expatriates.
“This does not mean merging all the agencies. It is just a single interface or a ‘front end’ for everyone to work with,” he explained.
Malaysia to hit high income nation status by 2028
Touching on the economy, Rafizi said Malaysia will make the transition into an upper-middle to high income nation by 2028 “if everything goes according to plan”.
He said the transformation requires focus on the country’s economic growth in terms of the gross domestic product (GDP) as well as ensuring this growth is sustainable in the long run and includes all sectors of the population.
He said many windows of opportunities had been missed in the past.
“I can’t continue advocating some of the things that were possible 10 to 15 years ago because we missed the window. We missed the window to become a high income nation as well as the fiscal consolidation that will bring more effective social safety nets,” Rafizi said.
He said Malaysia now has to operate within a “very weak” fiscal position.
“Our tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is the third lowest in this region,” he added.
“On the one hand we don’t want to remove subsidies, on the other we also don’t want to pay taxes and we also want good services,” he said.
Rafizi said this is why structural reforms, although painful, are necessary.
He highlighted the digital economy and green economy as the right path forward for the local economy.
On the digital front, the government wants to make transparent data that will enable the development of products that are widely consumed.
Meanwhile, Rafizi said, lifting the renewable energy ban last week was essential to make Malaysia a serious player in the renewable energy space.
He said by significantly increasing the country’s renewable energy capacity to 70% by 2050 and introducing a cross-border electricity exchange system, Malaysia will attract high-quality global investments, especially from RE100 multinationals, besides creating high-quality jobs for Malaysians.