‘HIDANGAN DIGITAL’ PERSEMBAHAN ANIMONSTA STUDIO PADA AIDILFITRI NORMAL BAHARU

Suasana sambutan Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2020 dijangka begitu berbeza berbanding tahun – tahun sebelumnya kerana ancaman pandemik Covid-19 serta perlaksanaan Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Bersyarat (PKPB) oleh kerajaan yang masih berkuatkuasa.

Namun demikian, tidak keterlaluan jika dikatakan teknologi digital yang semakin mekar bakal menyuntik kemanisan beraya dalam normal baharu.

Yang dimaksudkan ialah usaha Animonsta Studios yang tampil menyediakan hidangan raya digital pada tahun ini.

Syarikat berkenaan akan melancarkan lagu raya pertama serta dua siri yang akan disiarkan menerusi platform digital sempena Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Ketua Jenama dan Jualan Antarabangsa Animonsta Studio, Faiz Zainal Aabidin berkata, pihaknya menyasarkan jumlah penonton mencecah melebihi sejuta selepas seminggu ditayangkan untuk kesemua produk mereka menerusi saluran Youtube.

“ Ini merupakan kali pertama kami menghasilkan lagu raya bertajuk Aneka Baju Raya yang dicipta oleh komposer kami, Nur Sharmine Md Bakri.

“ Ketika ini prosesnya sudah memasuki fasa akhir dan akan dipasarkan di saluran digital pada masa terdekat,”  katanya ketika berkongsi status projek ini bersama Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Menurutnya, syarikat berkenaan yang merupakan rakan strategic MDEC  juga menghasilkan klip video untuk lagu raya berkenaan yang dijangka akan disiap sebelum Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“ Video klip ini mengambil masa 14 hingga 21 hari untuk disiapkan. Antara teknologi digital yang digunakan dalam penghasilkan video muzik ini termasuklah fasiliti rakaman kami yang menggunakan perisian Logic Pro X” katanya.

Selain itu bagi memeriahkan lagi suasana menjelang Aidilfitri, mereka turut mengeluarkan dua animasi berkaitan raya yang ditayangkan di Youtube menggunakan karektor terkenal Papa Pipi.

“ Cerita pertama bertajuk Shopping Raya 3 Suku yang telah disiarkan pada 16 Mei lalu yang mengisahkan Papa Zola menemani anaknya Pipi membeli pakaian raya.

“ Episod ini menunjukkan bagaimana kesabaran seorang ayah melayan karenah anak perempuan dan isterinya ketika membeli baju dan kasut raya yang sangat cerewet kerana bertegas inginkan warna kegemaran masing – masing,” katanya.

Sejak ditayangkan empat hari lalu, animasi berkenaan telah mendapat lebih 1.8 juta tontonan di semua platform YouTube Monsta.

“Kami berasa teruja melihat sambutan hangat yang diberikan oleh penonton terhadap kandungan digital bertemakan Hari Raya Aidilfitri Papa Pipi kerana ia dihasilkan melalui bekerja dari rumah sewaktu dalam tempoh PKP yang dilaksanakan kerajaan,” katanya.

Katanya, satu lagi siri animasi khas Raya bertajuk Lebaran dan dijangka akan disiarkan pada malam Raya berkisar mengenai keluarga Papa Pipi yang sedang membuat persiapan raya serta juadah kepada tetamu namun secara tiba -tiba berlaku kejadian tidak dijangka selain tetamu yang hadir juga merupakan satu kejutan dalam episod ini.

Katanya, syarikat berkenaan berharap agar ‘hidangan’ yang disediakan oleh mereka sempena Aidilfitri kali ini sedikit sebanyak dapat menceriakan sambutan lebaran.

Sebelum ini, Animonsta Studio pernah terlibat dalam beberapa program bersama MDEC termasuk menerima bantuan menerusi Geran Kandungan Digital untuk beberapa siri animasi terbitannya di samping akses pasaran di Hong Kong International Licensing Show pada 2018 dan 2019.

Oleh Mohd Firdaus Ismail

A Ramadan of Resolve

Firstly, to all Muslims, Salam Ramadan.

This year’s spirit is about braving adversity and showing resolve.

Ramadan is a time for reflection and good intentions. Never has there been a time more uncertain than what the world is going through today, and it has made us question our collective priorities and empathy for our fellow human beings. But, it has also been a time to strengthen our resilience.

The whole world has been operating on survival mode, and when the dust of COVID-19 settles, we can be quite sure the world we live in will never be same. MDEC, in carrying out our mandate to lead Malaysia’s digital economy forward, has activated all its platforms and programmes with more gumption than ever before! As the nation deals with the serious challenges of lost jobs, declining revenues, separated families and disrupted education system – MDEC has been doing our best to provide a ‘soft-landing’ to mitigate against some of the negative impact of COVID-19 on the various communities via innovative digital and tech solutions.

With the support of KKMM, we are working diligently to prepare the nation as it rebounds from the COVID-19 imposed slowdown. MDEC has been proactive with the legwork:

1.Training and education – webinars on digital adoption, investment, digital talent, e-Commerce, etc. These very informative online events are meant to upskill and reskill businesses and local talents so they can learn how to diversify and adapt to a post-MCO and COVID-19 world. Do follow the MDEC social media channels closely for the promotions and links to these online events. Most recently, MDEC partnered with online learning platform Coursera to upskill and certify unemployed Malaysians. This is a great chance for Malaysians who are considering career pivots or upgrades within the digital space, with high-quality courses brought to your fingertips as the restrictions in movement continue. Already, we are experiencing heightened interest to access these courses, especially in Data Science, Information Technology and Businesses themed courses. In just 2 weeks since the launch, 5000 unemployed Malaysians have signed up under this initiative. This is as good a time as any for workers to upskill and reskill to benefit from an increased demand for digitally-oriented jobs.

2. Ministry and industry engagements – Digital must be a national agenda, and I have conveyed this to the Prime Minister and the Economic Action Council recently. Following that, I am very happy to report that MDEC has been appointed the focal point for the National Digital Economy Task Force that will be led by KKMM with the support of MOSTI.  We have also been engaging the industry, for example the recent digital creative content industry engagement where YBM KKMM was the Guest of Honour. We collaborated with the industry to discuss the on-the-ground issues the sector faces and what to expect from a post COVID-19 era.

3. Business transformation post COVID-19 – The pandemic has forced businesses to either evolve or exit. Businesses are hungry for new ideas of innovation or diversification and the government has committed to support local businesses post the Movement Control Order (MCO). MDEC is gearing up to manage the large demand for digital transformation and ensure that our resources are adequate to support that. Depending on where various entrepreneurs are on their digital journey, MDEC has been training people to familiarise with e-Commerce for instance. The reliance on eCommerce is high now and if an entrepreneur is not digitally enabled, then the business is sub-optimal. Just last week, we conducted the nation’s first and largest e-Dagang expo (eDX) which was held over 5 days, offering 20 webinars and was attended by over 5000 registered participants, garnering more than 65,000 views. We partnered with Shoppee, Lazada, Carousell, Alibaba, Blibli, eBay and more. Entrepreneurs from the SME and MSME sectors could attend classes online to get the latest content to begin digitally enabling businesses as well as onboard with e-commerce, through the introduction to apps and tools. In fact, 97.7% of participants said that eDX has brought positive impact to their businesses. As a business aspiring to break digital barriers, this was a great opportunity to seize and take action to improve.

4. Investment Opportunities Post-COVID – MDEC has initiated a virtual platform recently to bridge local start-ups with global investors. Gobi Partners and MDEC have partnered to launch a pitching competition, called SuperSeed II Championship, for start-ups affected by COVID-19. The winning companies will get the opportunity to secure equity investment from Gobi Partners, or be a potential MDEC grant recipient. I recall investment decisions which used to transpire over chats with start-ups. Recently however, online-matching to accelerate start-ups has gained momentum. Malaysia’s first Digital Accelerator programme, the Alpha Startup Digital Accelerator (ASDA), successfully concluded on 5 May 2020, whittling down 15 finalists to three chosen startups; BlueDuck, Internspoon and Nanobar. Each received US$4,600 (RM20,000) to fulfil their business ideas. The programme was a collaboration between 1337 Ventures and MDEC. In addition to these efforts, MDEC is working intensively to assure the investors that Malaysia is indeed the Heart of Digital ASEAN and a very viable location for investment.

As people ponder on the possibilities of a new normal that will impact the nation and beyond over the coming months, the world hopes that COVID-19 may actually precipitate a better world for all of us. The advantage is that, the digital economy continues to spur jobs and opportunities, as shared above. Step up and take them!

The extraordinary upheaval that is COVID-19, has hits us hard. It is a time to stay safe, calm and civil, but it is not the time to retreat! Look challenges in the eye and boldly fight back, holding on to the strength of your spirit to overcome the odds.

Here’s to a blessed and peaceful Ramadan. Let us all stay positive and remember the values that this holy month espouses, in our on-going journey to try impact positive outcomes on all those around us. Let’s remain strong and resilient, for ourselves and our loved ones, taking positive resolutions in our lives and in our work, as we usher in Syawal this year.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

#Maaf Zahir dan Batin #LetsBuildTogether #DigitalMalaysiaForward #DigitalVsCovid #KomunikasiKita

Digital Education Trailblazers

Teachers are a critical part of any child’s education journey. With the COVID-19 situation, teachers have had to swiftly switch to online education. In this new normal, teachers not just have to deliver lessons online, but more importantly, they must ensure that lessons are conveyed in ways that keep students engaged and excited about learning.

In line with MDEC’s commitment to develop digitally skilled Malaysians and in conjunction with Teachers Day, we went in search of teachers who set a benchmark when it comes to educational technology (edtech in short). Criteria for selection included a proven track record in innovating the delivery of STEM education, being a STEM or digital tech advocate amongst fellow teachers beyond their immediate circle, self-starters, life-long learners, actively engaging with industry to improve their teaching and learning methods, and are active participants in national and global edtech forums. We call these teachers Cikgu Juara Digital (Champion Digital Teachers), and they are indeed champions in their own right.

For a start, 25 Cikgu Juara Digital have been identified and will be given rigorous training on advanced problem solving and critical thinking skills, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Social Media engagement, content creation, etc.  These teachers will go on to inspire and teach teachers in their respective communities, and over time, we hope to have a thriving movement of Cikgu Juara Digital around the country. Here are 5 of these Cikgu Juara Digital, who have significant following on their blogs, YouTubeChannels and social media platforms.

  • Cikgu Abdul Rahman bin Ali Bashah, SMK Jenjarom,  Selangor

Cikgu Abdul Rahman, fondly known as Cikgu Aman has been a teacher for 10 years and is passionate about cultivating the love for STEM amongst the students of this semi-rural school. With the support from sponsors and his own savings, Cikgu Aman managed to secure a classroom and turned it into a maker space, where students get to work on digital projects like coding, robotics and 3D printing. Over and above his day job as Teacher at SMK Jenjarom, Cikgu Aman is also the founder of a Telegram group comprising 52,000 teachers to provide peer-to-peer support on digital education. He also has a blog which is called cikguaman.com, and more recently his own YouTube Channel. To-date, Cikgu Aman has attended more that more than 150 training sessions by Microsoft and his blog boasts a long list of awards and achievements.

  • Cikgu Norhailmi Abdul Mutalib, SMK Jerlun, Kedah 

Cikgu Hailmi is a Science teacher who is another avid edtech blogger and YouTuber. His digital content creation journey started when his students shared with him their struggle to find Malaysian educational content online. That was back in 2012. Since then, the blog has gained an impressive 35 million views, and has been recognised as the Best Educational Blog by the Malaysia Social Media Awards in 2014 and 2016. His YouTube channel has more than 13,000 subscribers and his most popular video entitled “Kasut Kelopak Jantung”, a short film based on a novel written by Ghazali Lateh, has gained an impressive 618,000 views. He is now committed to equipping all his students with content creation skills which he says are vital for the future. When asked when he finds the time for his blog and YouTube videos, Cikgu Hailmi shared “I do it on my free time, and maybe because I’ve done it for almost 10 years, so I don’t need to spend more time on it. Just write, and post”.

  • Cikgu Mohd Razif Abdul Razak, The Malay College Kuala Kangsar

Cikgu Razif who famously known as Cikgu Siber is no alien to the world of digital learning and teaching. He is the founder of the cikgusiber.com blog, which is very well known by STEM teachers across the nation. The platform which has 15,000 followers, shares best practices and resources in edtech for teachers.  In his role as MCKK’s IT Coordinator, Computer Science and Design and Technology Teacher, he has won numerous awards such as Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) in 2019, International Invention & Innovation Tech Exhibition (ITEX) Gold Award in 2017, and a string of other awards. When asked how he juggles his time between his role as teacher with his activities to support other teachers and participate in competitions, he responded that he works closely with a team of fellow teachers who are equally passionate to drive the digital education agenda.

  • Cikgu Julie,  SMK Kuala Perlis , Kuala Perlis, Perlis

Cikgu Julie has had always had a deep desire to bring digital transformation to her school which is in a fishing village. Hence her decision to pursue a degree in Education Technology in university. Cikgu Julie was recognised as the State ICT Teacher Icon in Perlis last year, owing to her active contribution to her school and teaching community. She is also one of the founding members and administrators of the Digital Classroom community  of teachers. This virtual community of teachers was formed late last year to mobilise teachers nationwide to embrace digital education and currently has more than 52,000 teachers as members.

  • Cikgu Goh Kok Ming, SKJC Chi Seng 2, Rantau Panjang, Perak

Cikgu Goh, who is a Mathematics graduate of the Institut Perguruan Malaysia (Malaysian Teachers’ Training Institute) in Jitra, Kedah and also a Master’s degree holder is an avid user of EdTech to expose his students to the world outside the classroom. He uses Virtual Reality to expose them to attractions globally and Skype Classroom to meet children from other countries. At the same time, he is a firm believer in preparing his young students for the future of work by introducing 4th IR technologies such as robots to the classroom, teaching them how to surf the net safely and creating digital content. When asked how he funds these tools, he shared that he tries to secure sponsors or sometimes forks out his own money. Beyond that, he is also an active guest writer in various edtech blogs. To spice up the learning process, Cikgu Goh uses app smashing, a method of using multiple apps at the same time to complete a task or project. In his case, he combines Minecraft Education Edition and Kahoot! Cikgu Goh is also one of three #Teach Sustainable Development Goals (#TeachSDGs) Ambassadors in Malaysia. There are only 60 such Ambassadors worldwide in this movement of global-minded teachers. Given his deep awareness of global issues, he often encourages his students to come up with solutions using digital technologies to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Many of us may have a stereotypical view of Malaysian teachers as being left behind and struggling to keep up with latest educational trends. Hence it is comforting to know there are teachers who are trailblazing and leading the way for other teachers to adopt and embrace digital education. Their stories are highly inspiring and I would urge everyone to follow and share their stories with teachers in our respective communities. Hopefully in time to come, we can inspire more teachers to overcome their fear of technology and embrace this new normal of education.

MDEC is working closely with the Ministry of Education and teachers nationwide to support their digital upskilling, be it to deliver online education as well as to cultivate digital innovation and creativity skills amongst the nation’s future talent pipeline. More information about our efforts can be found in www.mydigitalmaker.com .

MDEC has also compiled a list of e-learning resources for school children on www.mdec.my as part our DigitalVsCovid19 campaign.

About the #mydigitalmaker movement

#mydigitalmaker movement is a joint public-private-academic initiative launched in 2016 to cultivate digital innovation and creativity amongst Malaysian school children. To-date, close to 1.3 million Malaysian children have learnt some form of “digital making”, such as coding, robotics and 3-D printing via this movement and its member organisations.

HAB E-DAGANG MALAYSIA ‘BANTU’ PERJUANGAN DUNIA MELAWAN PANDEMIK COVID-19

Dari Malaysia ke seluruh dunia !

Sejak bulan lalu, tular berita sehingga ke peringkat antarabangsa yang mengiktiraf langkah proaktif negara kita membendung penularan Covid-19 yang dilihat berkesan apabila kes jangkitan baharu semakin berkurangan.

Paling awal memberi kredit tentang sumbangan Malaysia ialah Kedutaan Besar Amerika Syarikat (AS) di Kuala Lumpur .

Menerusi Twitter rasmi, pejabat itu berkongsi maklumat bahawa 65 peratus atau 225 bilion helai sarung tangan yang digunakan untuk mengekang Covid-19 oleh barisan wiranya didatangkan dari Malaysia!

Seorang pensyarah di Jabatan  Sains , Kajian Otak, Neurologi dan Psikologi , Universiti Washington, Missouri, Profesor Madya Jason Hassanstab pula yang berada di sini ketika Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP) dilaksanakan turut memuji tindakan pihak berkuasa dalam mengurus dan membendung penularan jangkitan pandemik COVID-19.

Katanya, kerajaan negara ini cemerlang dalam memastikan rakyatnya mematuhi setiap arahan sepanjang perintah itu dilaksanakan.

Terbaharu, menerusi satu video yang mendapat lebih sejuta tontonan  dihasilkan seorang doktor gigi kelahiran Negara Uncle Sam, Dustin Pfundheller turut menghamburkan pujian melambung sambil menyatakan kekaguman bagaimana Malaysia berjaya mengekang penularan pandemik ini berbanding negara – negara jiran lain.

Ironinya, setiap ‘sektor’ di negara ini seolah -olah terhubung dalam satu rantaian untuk memastikan Malaysia berjaya mengharungi detik sukar ini.

Turut tidak dapat dinafikan ialah peranan yang dimainkan Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) menerusi kerjasama strategik yang dirintis bertahun lalu.

Yang dimaksudkan ialah Platform Perdagangan Dunia Elektronik (eWTP) milik Alibaba Group yang dilancarkan pada 2017 dengan kerjasama MDEC.

Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia , Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah bersama Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MDEC, Surina Shukri menyatakan komitmen Malaysia memperkukuhkan peranan eWTP untuk membantu Alibaba Group menyalurkan barangan bantuan Covid-19

Menariknya, pembukaan eWTP ketika itu ialah untuk memperkasakan Perusahaan Kecil dan Sederhana (PKS) tempatan menikmati akses seimbang ke pasaran global.

Berdasarkan situasi terkini yang menyaksikan pelbagai negara menutup pintu sempadan, firma teknologi itu mengumumkan eWTP yang terletak di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur (KLIA) ‘bertukar’ fungsi apabila dipilih sebagai satu daripada tiga hab global syarikat itu urusan penghantaran barangan bantuan perubatan.

Pemilihan itu sekaligus akan mengukuhkan peranan Malaysia sebagai hab perdagangan utama di rantau ini membabitkan operasi logistik ketika masyarakat global meneruskan usaha melawan virus berkenaan yang sehingga kini telah mengorbankan lebih 280 000 orang di seluruh dunia.

Sebelum ini,  eWTP turut memainkan peranan penting apabila menjadi hab penghantaran untuk sebahagian bekalan perubatan yang disumbangkan ke Indonesia.

Ketika ini, yayasan dimiliki syarikat berkenaan dalam usaha meneruskan sumbangan kali kedua kepada negara – negara Asia termasuk Malaysia.

Menerusi sumbangan fasa kedua ini,  Alibaba merancang untuk menjadikan eWTP sebagai lokasi penerimaan sumbangan untuk Malaysia dan hab penyimpanan dan pemindahan sementara sebelum diagihkan ke negara – negara jiran dan seluruh dunia.

Ini membawa maksud, hab berkenaan bukan sekadar memanfaatkan rakyat negara ini yang terjejas tetapi turut memberi sumbangan kepada masyarakat global yang terkesan akibat pandemik berkenaan.

Sumbangan kali ini merangkumi hampir 80 tan bekalan perubatan termasuk topeng, alat ujian, pakaian pelindung diri, pelindung muka, sarung tangan dan ventilator yang akan dihantar menerusi beberapa penerbangan kargo dari China.

Pada 10 dan 11 Mei lepas, barangan bantuan berkenaan telah tiba di KLIA dengan bakinya dijangka menyusul dalam tempoh beberapa minggu akan datang .

Yayasan juga baru-baru ini mengumumkan sumbangan lebih dari 100 juta topeng muka dan sejuta alat ujian kepada Pertubuhan Kesihatan Sedunia (WHO). 

Alibaba akan bekerjasama rapat dengan WHO untuk memanfaatkan hab eWTP di KLIA, Malaysia;  Liege di Belgium dan Addis Ababa di Ethiopia serta kemudahan milik Pertubuhan Bangsa – Bangsa Bersatu (PBB)  di seluruh dunia untuk mengedarkan bekalan perubatan dengan cekap.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MDEC, Surina Shukri pula berkata, selain menjadikan Malaysia sebagai hab penghantaran barangan, ia juga bertujuan untuk menyokong aspirasi e-dagang Malaysia seperti terkandung dalam Pelan Hala Tuju Strategik E-Dagang Kebangsaan yang dilancarkan pada 2016.

“Menerusi pelan ini, sumbangan e-dagang untuk Produk Domestik Kasar (PDB) Malaysia disasarkan meningkat dengan mengoptimumkan kemudahan transformasi digital PKS terutamanya dalam penerapan e-dagang serta memperluaskan  eksport dan mempromosikan jenama tempatan untuk rentas sempadan,” katanya.

Ketika Malaysia dilihat menunjukkan perkembangan positif apabila kes sembuh melepasi 77 peratus, sudah tiba masanya kita membantu memudahkan urusan negara – negara lain yang dilihat masih bergelut untuk menghentikan penularan menerusi pengurusan strategik yang dimiliki negara kita.

Oleh Mohd Firdaus Ismail

SELEBRITI TEMPATAN TUNJUK SOKONGAN KEPADA EDX MDEC

Ekspo e-dagang (eDX) secara maya terbesar negara anjuran Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) yang sedang berlangsung sehingga 8 Mei ini turut mendapat sokongan beberapa selebriti popular tempatan.

Mereka menggunakan platform media sosial masing – masing bagi meminta orang ramai supaya mengambil peluang menyertai ekspo berkenaan untuk mendalami selok – belok sektor  e-dagang di negara ini.

Ketika perasmian secara dalam talian pada Ahad lepas, aktor Fizo Omar yang sebelum ini telah beberapa kali bekerjasama dengan MDEC tampil selaku moderator mengemudi siri webinar pengenalan kepada eDX.

Menerusi  slot berkenaan, Fizo yang juga usahawan berkongsi pandangan tentang sektor e-dagang bersama Ketua Setiausaha , Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (KKMM); Datuk Suriani Ahmad, Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MDEC; Surina Shukri, Ketua Pegawai Operasi MDEC; Datuk Ng Wan Peng serta Siti Zubaidah Zainuddin iaitu usahawan yang juga pemilik Laman Segar Resources.

Menurut Fizo, eDX merupakan satu peluang keemasan yang tidak harus dilepaskan oleh usahawan tempatan.

“ Selain pendaftaran secara percuma, terdapat siri webinar yang akan mengajar usahawan bagaimana untuk bekerjasama dengan jenama e-dagang terkenal dunia,” katanya yang baru menghasilkan buku kisah hidupnya berjudul Bangkit Bila Bangkrap.

Selain Fizo, pelakon terkenal, Datuk Rosyam Nor juga menunjukkan sokongan kepada eDX menerusi laman Instagramnya.

Rosyam yang terkenal dalam filem KL Special Force menerusi instastory berkongsi tiga poster berkenaan eDX kepada lebih 1 juta pengikutnya.

Antara pesanan yang dititipkan bekas Bintang Paling Popular 2002 itu ialah “korang rasa, korang ada masa sakit kepala, nak aku bagi ubat pening kepala, esok dah start, tak payah korang ke sana ke sini,kat sini aja , percuma”,  katanya.

Bidang perniagaan termasuk pemasaran digital bukanlah sesuatu yang asing apabila Rosyam turut melibatkan diri dalam perniagaan dengan membuka pasar raya ST Rosyam Mart selain syarikat produksi Suhan Movies.

Sementara, aktress Datin Diana Danielle turut berkongsi keterujaannya menerusi video pendek kepada lebih 2.8 juta pengikut Instagramnya berkenaan eDX.

Diana berkata, semalam merupakan hari yang produktif buat dirinya kerana menyertai siri webinar e-dagang anjuran MDEC yang memberikan pelbagai pengalaman berguna.

“ Mereka ajar anda bagaimana untuk mencipta akaun Facebook atau Instragram perniagaan malahan turut memberikan ilmu dan tips bagaimana sekiranya usahawan mahu mengeksport produk ke luar negara,” katanya.

Lebih menarik lagi, menurut pemenang Pelakon Filem Wanita Terbaik Anugerah Skrin 2009 itu, pendaftaran menyertai eDX adaah secara percuma dan menyeru peminatnya mengambil peluang itu.

Sementara itu, model antarabangsa Malaysia, Amber Chia turut tampil menyatakan sokongan kepada eDX.

Amber berkata , ketika memulakan karier sebagai model beberapa tahun lalu, sektor e-dagang tidak begitu mendapat perhatian masyarakat,

Namun katanya, keadaan mula berubah apabila e-dagang dan perniagaan dalam talian kini sudah menjadi kebiasaan di kalangan masyarakat.

“  Saya turut belajar pelbagai perkara baharu dalam eDX semalam. Jadi anda juga harus mengambil peluang ini,” katanya.

Sementara itu, Surina berkata,  eDX antara lain merupakan inisiatif bagi menggalakkan para usahawan mikro dan perusahaan kecil dan sederhana (PKS) untuk membawa operasi luar talian mereka ke pasaran dalam talian. eDX yang berlangsung mulai 4 hingga 8 Mei 2020 bertujuan untuk memenuhi keperluan mendesak usahawan mikro dan PKS untuk menerima e-dagang bagi mengurangkan impak yang sedang dihadapi akibat COVID-19.

Para pakar bidang e-dagang juga telah turut sama untuk berkongsi pengetahuan mereka dan memberikan nasihat. Antara topik utama termasuklah cara menyediakan kedai dalam talian dengan menggunakan alat harian yang mudah seperti telefon pintar hinggalah menyenaraikan produk di tapak e-pasaran dan memahami selok-belok tentang kaedah meningkatkan jualan di peringkat domestik dan untuk eksport. Untuk mendapatkan tempat anda atau mengikuti sesi eDX, sila layari dan daftar sekarang di www.go-ecommerce.my/eDX

KETAHUI RAHSIA EKSPORT PRODUK TERMASUK MAKANAN KE CHINA, INDONESIA DAN PASARAN GLOBAL MENERUSI eDX-MDEC

eDX – MDEC  bawa usahawan mikro dan PKS ‘bertapak’ di platform e-dagang untuk tembusi pasaran global

Ketika  ini ‘pendebatan’ masih berlangsung di kalangan pengguna media sosial  tentang kewajaran Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Bersyarat (PKPB) dilaksanakan kerajaan bermula 4 Mei lalu berbanding meneruskan Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP) fasa keempat yang dijangka berakhir 12 Mei depan.

Pelbagai hujah diberikan khusunya oleh kumpulan yang menentang dengan menyuarakan kebimbangan bahawa ancaman pandemik Covid-19 di negara ini masih belum berakhir .

Mereka bimbang keputusan itu akan mencetuskan penularan gelombang ketiga selepas tularnya gambar di media sosial keadaan jalan raya yang sesak serta ratusan orang beratur di kedai pajak gadai dan ada yang memenuhi pusat membeli-belah.

Bagi pihak yang menyokong pula, mereka yakin petugas barisan hadapan khususnya Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) mempunyai keupayaan untuk mengawal situasi berdasarkan kemudahan rawatan kesihatan di negara ini .

Ketika waktu puncak pandemik berkenaan di Malaysia pada bulan lepas, kemudahan rawatan termasuk katil, unit rawatan rapi serta mesin ventilator yang digunakan tidak sampai tahap 50 peratus, satu petanda yang menunjukkan betapa Malaysia bersedia untuk melawan penularan Covid-19.

Ada juga yang bersetuju kerana kerajaan perlu menggerakkan semula ekonomi negara selepas hampir lapan minggu terhenti akibat pandemik ini.

Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin baru – baru ini mengatakan negara kerugian RM2.4 bilion sehari sejak perlaksanaan PKP dengan jumlah keseluruhan yang ditanggung mencecah RM63 bilion.

Menyedari sesuatu perlu dilakukan, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) mengambil langkah proaktif dengan menganjurkan ekspo e-dagang secara maya atau eDX bermula pada 4 hingga 8 Mei ini.

Apakah eDX? Secara ringkas, ekspo yang kali pertama dianjurkan ini bertujuan untuk mempercepatkan kesediaan perniagaan tempatan mengadaptasi teknologi digital menerusi  penggunaan alat e-biz , meningkatkan keupayaan pengusaha PKS bagi membina jaringan perniagaan di seluruh negara dan pasaran global .

Sebelum ini,  ketika PKP bermula pada 18 Mac lalu, didapati berlaku perubahan membabitkan tingkah laku pengguna di negara ini apabila mereka lebih cenderung untuk membeli belah secara dalam talian.

Nah, ini secara tidak langsung telah membuka peluang besar untuk sektor e-dagang tempatan terus berkembang . Oleh itu, usahawan mikro, PKS, pengeksport serta mereka yang baharu sahaja berjinak -jinak dalam perniagaan dalam talian perlu merebut peluang ini.

Sebelum ini, industri e-dagang boleh disifatkan sebagai ‘penampan’ kepada ekonomi negara apabila menyumbang RM115.5 kepada  pendapatan mengikut  statistik Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia.

MDEC sebelum ini turut menjangkakan sektor e-dagang akan menjadi pemacu utama ekonomi digital menjelang tahun ini.

 Menarik mengenai eDX,  ia dilangungkan secara siri webinar yang membincangkan pelbagai tajuk seperti  Pengenalan kepada eUsahawan & Program PeDAS, Mulakan Perniagaan Dalam Talian (e-Dagang) Anda Bersama Shopee, Connected B2B Business -5 eCommerce Trends That Affect B2B Business & How To Transform & Adopt To The New Normal Post MCO,  Pendekatan Praktikal Untuk Perniagaan Malaysia Yang Menjual Ke Indonesia Melalui Saluran eDagang Cross -Border, Krisis Atau Peluang? Bagaimana Situasi Covid-19 Telah Memangkin Penerimaan eDagang DI kalangan Rakyat Malaysia dan banyak lagi.

Peserta dapat mengikut topik siri webinar berdasarkan tiga skop berbeza termasuk ‘menjejak penjual sosial’, iaitu input akan diberikan bagaimanapun untuk membuka kedai secara dalam talian dalam tempoh satu hari sahaja bersama Carousell.

Lebih terperinci, sesi webinar juga akan menghuraikan tentang jejak rentas sempadan berhubung peluang untuk jualan merentasi sempadan oleh eBay.

Peserta akan diajar cara untuk mengeksport makanan yang dibungkus ke China berdasarkan peraturan yang ditetapkan pihak berkuasa negara itu.

Secara keseluruhan,  sebanyak 20 sesi akan dilaksanakan untuk peserta dengan 11 dikendalikan dalam bahasa Melayu manakala sembilan lagi dalam bahasa Inggeris.

Selain eBay dan Carousell,  eDX turut diserikan dengan penyertaan pemain industri e-dagang lain seperti Shopee, Lazada, BliBli dan Alibaba.

Oleh itu, Soundbytes berharap para usahawan mikro,PKS serta pengeksport menyertai eDX  dan rebutlah peluang untuk membawa produk anda ke pasaran dunia. Maklumat lanjut seperti pendaftaran dan sebagainya boleh didapati dengan melayari  http://www.go-ecommerce.my/.

oleh Mohd Firdaus Ismail

DIGITALISATION: THE WAY FORWARD FOR DAILY CONVENIENCES

Credit Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Like it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the world to re-look at what it could do better to manage this virulent situation. Be it working-from-home, a concept that most businesses still balk at just a month ago; to moving all shopping needs onto online platforms; conducting school and lectures via digital classrooms; or digital services experiencing a huge spike in engagement and consumption – everything is now anchored wholly onto the digital economy.

All these digitally powered activities are now front and centre, with some declaring it the new norm.

How can the unprepared make the best of this challenging scenario that the ongoing Movement Control Order (MCO) brought about to combat the infectious COVID-19 virus?

While access to skill development and business transformation services may vary for all organisations, there is no doubt that this is the most opportune time for companies, and the general public, to learn and discover new ways to keep their businesses and livelihood going. That is where service and solutions providers like Getme Trading – a Facebook Live Management +1 (Hotsnet) system training platform – helps small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs (SMEs) to use Facebook Live as a marketing tool.

Immediate Switch

“One of the biggest challenges that we faced in the first few years, and even now, is how we must travel to our client sites as some prefer to meet up face-to-face for system demonstrations and discussions. With the MCO, this has become a non-issue as most of them are ‘forced’ to adapt and use technology to ‘meet’ and watch the system demo. As for our existing clientele, they can only request for ‘live troubleshoots’ via TeamViewer. This, in many ways, created the opportunity for us to showcase the wonders of virtual conferencing and prove the effectiveness and efficiency of these digital platforms,” said Gary Yeo, Founder of GetMe Trading.

Yeo (fourth from left) in his introductory course with the eUsahwan trainers from MDEC around late last year. The course title: “When, Why and How to sell on Facebook Live?”

While the changes that Getme Trading did was nearly seamless, it isn’t the same for many of Yeo’s clients. Before MCO came into force, the team had around Malaysia to meet clients and carry out demonstrations at these offsite meetings.

Even so, Getme Trading was already on the path of digitalisation for some time now and had already moved 90% of its processes onto digital platforms.

“We have already gone paperless, from signing up our clients to issuing invoices. Even our training modules, like showing our clients how to get online, what they can do to attract a following, and keeping them engaged so they can be positively perceptive to future product marketing and services – all of that are now done online,” he revealed.

Literally and figuratively, Getme Trading is now walking the talk. The next step: to help businesses make the same transition easily and quickly prove to its clients how going digital can positively change not just workflows, but also enhance all day-to-day activities.

Yeo at an off-site business meetings and demonstration with David Teo, Founder, Lakumall (https://www.facebook.com/lakumallofficial/), one of the upcoming Facebook Live channels that focus on marketing various products like kitchen appliances, fashion, and health and beauty.

Encouraging Changes

In a time when business process optimisation is now an imperative, Getme Trading had already implemented flexibility for working hours and office attendance policies. “Before MCO, all our employees can work anywhere and at any time, as long as they get their work done. To ensure we’re always connected, we have adopted technologies that help digitalise our work processes, like Google G Suite, Alibaba DingTalk, and Microsoft Skype,” Yeo shared.

The changes that Getme Trading put in place have helped encouraged its staff and clients to be more digitally savvy and consider the various advantages that come with it. Yeo revealed one of the key benefits is how his team no longer travels all day to meet our customers. “Beyond the cost-savings for these long distance commutes, our staff also experienced increased productivity and have become more efficient. This can be seen in how we are now able to reach out to clients quickly and engage them with shorter turnaround times,” he added.

A virtual demonstration, featuring video/voice conferencing with a client, Xian Jia Lin (https://www.facebook.com/xianjialinseafood/).

With this transformation, cross border engagement is not an issue for Yeo’s team. In fact, it directly works with partners and ecosystem affiliates that have joined its system. This includes regional users who operate across Asia, like Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong.

Even if these changes were beneficial for Yeo and his team, how can businesses make that move now? There are so many variables to consider – will it be worth the risk to change? For Yeo, it’s a matter of time before all of them must digitalise.

“Personally, that moment is now. We’re in an era where technology is so advanced that there is really no reason not to digitalise. In fact, going digital doesn’t only tear down the borders between countries, it also makes daily life activities easier and more convenient. As innovation is now, literally, at your fingertips, everything – from work to play and even family time – has gone digital,” Yeo said.

In setting up GetMe to be more digitally driven, Yeo believes businesses can do the same and get their digitally-powered operations running in short order. “Our operations alone saw a 200% increase in positive productivity. This was measured based on our KPIs and our growing revenue stream. It’s not really hard to accept and believe that work processes and running a business is easier when everything is digitalised,” he concluded.

USAHAWAN LANGKAWI LANCAR LAMAN WEB KHAS PROMOSI SEBAGAI PERSEDIAAN PASCA COVID-19 DAN PKP

Mega Water Sport yang menawarkan aktiviti rekreasi laut kepada pelancong di Pulau Langkawi kini membangunkan platform digital untuk mempromosikan pulau berkenaan.

Setiap kali bulan Mac menjelang, Pulau Langkawi, di Kedah disapa kemeriahan yang cukup luar biasa.

Apa tidaknya, pulau yang terkenal dengan lagenda Mahsuri itu menjadi lokasi pilihan untuk bersantai sempena musim cuti persekolahan di negara ini.

Keindahan pasir yang memutih di Pantai Tanjung Rhu, debaran mencuba kereta kabel yang mempunyai laluan terpanjang di dunia, kemeriahan pasar malam Pantai Chenang atau rambang mata saat mahu membeli pelbagai jenis coklat yang murah kerana pulau ini berstatus kawasan bebas cukai, Langkawi tetap mempunyai tempat istimewa di kalangan pelancong tempatan dan asing.

Menurut statistik oleh Lembaga Pembangunan Langkawi (LADA), pada tahun lepas seramai 3.9 juta pelancong berkunjung ke sana dengan seramai 350 000 dicatatkan pada bulan Mac.

Bagaimanapun, tahun ini, bulan Mac di Langkawi yang baru berlalu boleh disimpulkan sebagai musim cuti sekolah yang paling sepi gara-gara pandemik Covid-19 dan Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP) yang dikuatkuasa kerajaan.

Benar, ia merupakan fenomena global kerana virus ini sedang berleluasa mencari perumah di lebih 180 negara sehingga memberi implikasi besar kepada sektor ekonomi.

Antara yang paling terjejas sudah pasti sektor pelancongan yang turut terkait dengan syarikat penerbangan, perhotelan, inap desa, taman tema, riadah dan sebagainya.

Tidak mahu terus larut dalam keresahan menunggu situasi pulih, sekumpulan pemilik produk pelancongan berkaitan aktiviti riadah di Langkawi, bangkit dengan semangat baharu dengan merencanakan strategi digital bagi menyelamatkan perniagaan.

Biarpun mereka tidak pasti, bila PKP akan berakhir serta waktu kerajaan akan kembali ‘membuka pintu masuk negara’ kepada warga asing , kumpulan ini terus menggunakan kemudahan teknologi digital untuk membangunkan platform baharu.

Penyelarasnya, Hussein Mohd Said yang juga peserta 100 Go Digital anjuran Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) berkata,  platform berkenaan iaitu http://www.pulaulangkawi.my/ diwujudkan kerana mahu ‘menjual’ Pulau Langkawi.

Langkawi yang merupakan lokasi percutian pilihan di Malaysia turut terjejas akibat pandemik Covid -19

Katanya, pada peringkat awal, laman web ini akan memfokuskan kepada pengusaha produk pelancongan yang menawarkan aktiviti riadah kepada orang ramai sebelum diperluaskan kepada sektor lain.

“ Platform ini dibuat oleh pemilik -pemilik pusat tarikan pelancongan akan menawarkan harga pakej yang sangat murah selain turut memberi pilihan kepada bakal pembeli berdasarkan konsep buy now and use later (beli sekarang, guna kemudian),” katanya kepada Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) baru – baru ini.

Hussein yang juga pemilik Mega Water Sports berkata, dia yakin platform digital yang dibangunkan untuk tujuan promosi itu mempunyai potensi besar untuk dikembangkan.

“ Setakat ini antara yang terlibat ialah Crocodile Adventure Land, Skytrex, Umgawa, Underwater World, WildLife Park, Panorama Langkawi, Morac, Junglewalla, Avante dan Splash Out,” katanya.

Terdapat juga di kalangan peserta yang menyertai platform promosi ini merupakan alumni 100 Go Digital anjuran MDEC iaitu Morac Adventure Park Langkawi yang menawarkan kemudahan litar lumba go kart.

Morac Adventure Park Langkawi sebelum ini mengakui syarikat telah meluaskan penggunaan media sosial untuk mempromosikan perkhidmatan yang ditawarkan selaras dengan apa yang dipelajari dalam kursus 100 Go Digital yang dilaksanakan pada Oktober tahun lepas.

Mengulas lanjut, Hussein berkata, dia dan rakan -rakan berharap agar laman web berkenaan akan menjadi ‘pusat maklumat’ utama dalam mempromosikan Langkawi menerusi pemasaran digital.

“ Laman web ini dijangka akan beroperasi dalam tempoh terdekat. Selepas ini kami mungkin akan bekerjasama dengan lebih ramai pemain industri pelancongan termasuk perhotelan dalam menyalurkan maklumat di laman web ini,” katanya.

MDEC sebelum ini melancarkan 100 Go Digital dengan Langkawi , Kedah menjadi kawasan pertama dipilih untuk melaksanakan program itu.

Program itu antara lain bertujuan memupuk usahawan tradisional bergerak ke arah pendigitalan perniagaan bagi meneroka potensi pelanggan baharu dan memudahkan operasi.

Usahawan yang ingin mengetahui lebih lanjut tentang program 100 Go Digital boleh melayari laman web https://mdec.my atau menerusi Facebook 100 Go Digital.

Kredit Gambar: Facebook Mega Water Sport

oleh Mohd Firdaus Ismail

COVID-19: CIO of the Year?

Source: BSP, MDEC Files

There has certainly not been a shortage of anecdotes on how COVID-19 should be declared the CIO of the year. I have been in many conversations that have variously blamed or credited the pandemic as being the single most significant event that has got organisations scrambling to rethink business models and accelerate their digital transformation – something that had previously been at the back of the mind, now pushed to the forefront of every business decision.

The old adage – necessity is the mother of invention – seems more apt than ever, as the world starts to reconfigure its approach to work, education, entertainment and, more fundamentally, well-being. Businesses have begun experimenting with previously untested methods and mechanisms – and this in turn opened the floodgates to accessing digital tools for solutions. Beyond business operations and Work-From-Home initiatives, it has expanded to on-demand food and services, telemedicine and online financial services.

As the dust settles after COVID-19, questions will arise as to how businesses and the workforce will bounce back into the new normal. In fact, the first question to arise will be what the new normal looks like.

For organisations that have boxed themselves in with operations-as-usual at the expense of digitalising their business and long-term resilience, the current pandemic is a bolt from the future. Businesses that have shifted to digital platforms will better mitigate the effect of the outbreak and will more likely ensure smooth operations immediately after the MCO and over the long term.

Remote Working

A remote workforce is no longer a novelty. In May 2018, Zug, Switzerland service office provider, IWG, found that 70% of professionals worldwide are already working remotely.

While working from home is seen as advantageous by many employees, on the contrary, companies may lack the technological infrastructure to run without disrupting operations. Continued success not only rests on the ability to pivot processes but also company cultures. In China, when the government encouraged millions to remain at home, Chinese companies could immediately adapt due to technological capabilities. Even so, company cultures were simply not ready, resulting in other unexpected social and mental health issues.

In Malaysia, as the gig economy continues to gain momentum, employers will have to reassess rigid work policies that would have been crafted in times when work was centralised. In the interest of long-term effectiveness, even organisations that revert to pre-COVID-19 work practices must transform so they are prepared for a whole new environment.

Innovations in Telehealth, Telemedicine

One of the first instance of innovation I noticed during the early stages of the pandemic was the CoronaTracker app, created by a team of researchers in Malaysia.

Telehealth and telemedicine are now getting attention as well. The government’s move to quickly adopt technology and transform by developing virtual health advisories and using live chats and webinars is in line with this.  Malaysia’s telemedicine blueprint, crafted in the late 90s, envisioned a time when patients could receive remote healthcare. In the wake of the pandemic, a Malaysian tech startup, DoctorOnCall, has offered a virtual health advisory platform for people to consult doctors amid the coronavirus outbreak. Innovation, being cited as one of the areas of emphasis of Malaysia’s future health care system in the blueprint, is now in full effect.

Moving forward, solutions in telehealth and telemedicine will require the promise of better data management and security. The public also expects platforms for these purposes are designed to protect the safety of all personal data. Internationally, organisations involved in contact tracing apps or devices have ensured all data collected will be stored privately and anonymised on their platforms. Their approach also includes the data being held in trust until requested by relevant local authorities who will, with their respective contact tracing protocols, choose to contact users.

E-Learning

90% of future jobs will require digital literacy. However, the world has fast-forwarded to the future in a matter of weeks. The call for schools, institutions and universities worldwide to instantly begin offering virtual learning options is gaining momentum. Malaysian institutions offering online courses in areas such as cybersecurity, data analytics, coding, artificial intelligence and other digital skills, have received very good response.

Meanwhile, many varsities have shifted to online classes to minimise the spread of infection, said Universiti Malaya’s Academic Enhancement and Leadership Development Centre (ADeC) e-learning Head, Dr Zahiruddin Fitri Abu Hassan.

To ensure effective learning continues, institutions in Malaysia offering online courses include MDEC’s Premier Digital Tech Institutions (PDTIs).

Fundamental challenges prevail in elearning, all of which need to be addressed if Malaysia wishes to accelerate the digital economy. In a recent report by a local newspaper, Professor Dr Abdul Karim Alias, Director of the Centre for Development of Academic Excellence (CDAE), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) states that there is a dire need for an efficient system to be developed. He stresses on the challenges like the experience and skill of those imparting education online, the readiness of connectivity and devices, as well as resistant mindsets towards adopting technology. This will be the next barrier to break.

Digital Banking Services and Fintech

The population of the unbanked in Malaysia stood at 8% or two million of the country’s 24 million adults, according to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)’s Financial Stability and Payment Systems Report 2017. Essentially, they are unserved or underserved.

There has been a rise in fintech activity of late, rightly canvassing to be inclusive. After all, the marketplace will adjust to new realities and fintech is already adapting to these changes since the start of the pandemic. Perhaps, ultimately, the fintech companies who are able to tweak their solutions to solve today’s problems will emerge strong after the crisis, according to Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, COO of MDEC.

Concurrently, the present observation is that digital payment players that service e-commerce platforms have a strong position in this MCO scenario. This is due to the surge of online purchase brought about by millions of Malaysians who are staying at home.

As businesses and consumers turn to digital banking services, traditional financial institutions will be compelled to hasten their digital innovation efforts. Consequently, many traditional banks may seek fintech to bring more inclusive digital banking solutions to the economy. This will, possibly, make the visit to a bank an increasingly rare occurrence.

Recovery with the Digital Economy

We may be bent by COVID-19, but we will not be broken. At a dialogue session organised by Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) recently , discussions focused on engaging our local tech startups and tech funding agencies.  Such efforts from the government and its agencies show strong commitment to continue to work and find ways how it can help mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 on various communities.

Over the past weeks, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has collaborated with various industries and ministries to bring tech assistance to businesses and entrepreneurs whose source of income have been affected by the pandemic and MCO.

In line with the government’s announcement of the People-Centric Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) and the subsequent enhancements, MDEC launched the #DigitalVsCovid movement to support businesses and consumers by providing a list of e-services, e-learning and e-businesses for their convenience, and to obtain information and benefit from our digital ecosystem

Malaysia may be in the thick of battle, but as a nation, we are prepared to emerge victorious as various efforts are made to accelerate the development of digital tools and solutions and thus, hasten Malaysia’s healing.

#DigitalVsCovid

# LetsBuildTogether

Digital Vs. Covid-19: Easing Into eWallets!

Remember the time you used to walk into a bank, take a number and then wait to be served? Yes, I know that was just last month and thus hard to feel nostalgic about. Nonetheless, the switch has been flipped with social distancing during Covid-19 – and will probably stay flipped for the foreseeable future, forcing a reconsideration of any resistance to digital tech. With physical notes being the last choice in these ‘go-contactless’ times, it is inevitable people will go for cashless transactions and online banking.  ‘Wait, there is a difference?’, you ask?

Source: MDEC files

As the MCO is extended to May 12th, concerns about making certain payments on time or availing certain services are crucial. Paying your phone bill, withdrawing your EPF, buying insurance or the mundane duty of buying your weekly groceries, especially considering the expected change in shopping priorities and habits during the fasting month – all fall back on online payments.  These payments may need your eWallet to be linked to your bank account or credit card.

What’s The eWallet For Me?

There is no silver bullet, but here are some options you could start exploring online, in no particular order. The point is, the more sophisticated in services, the easier to use and the wider the array of services, the more likely that an eWallet is appealing.

GRABPAY

This is for you if you say, “I want food, groceries, to hail a ride, to buy insurance, to clean and fix.”

Besides the delivery and payment options, this eWallet had announced that, GrabMart is available in Penang, Johor Baru, Melaka, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Ipoh. To boost businesses during the MCO period, Grab is also offering free delivery, 30 per cent off GrabFood Signatures, and 50 per cent off GrabMart’s health essentials. They also shared that they will charge 0% commissions on all digital payments made via Whatsapp, Facebook, and phone orders and launched a waitless, cashless (just pay with GrabPay via the app), besides a contactless ‘self-pickup’ option. The move saves customers’ time while helping them avoid crowds.

On the business side, Grab’s Small-Biz Relief program provides financial relief up to RM 3,000 to each GrabFood small businesses in the form of rebate for every order. Brands like Grab now cut across eWallet and mobile wallet service categories, combining both into a single app. Their services include package delivery services, e-hailing, and food delivery.

SHOPEEPAY

This is for you if you say, “I want to feel secure and informed above all else”.

This e-wallet released a list of guidelines for users to guard against scammers as well as sellers who take advantage of product shortages by increasing prices, especially with sanitisers and face masks.

Guidelines listed include:

• Reading the product description and reviews from other buyers carefully;

• Using the in-app Shopee Live Chat to verify information;

• Ensuring all transactions take place within its platform to ensure protection under Shopee Guarantee Policy.

BOOST

This is for you if you say, “I want cashbacks, gaming credits, pay bills and to give e-gifts”.

Why Boost made on this list is because it offers free life insurance with special Covid-19 coverage for all users. An RM1000 payout to families which have lost a member to Covid-19 and a special RM5,000 coverage upon diagnosis of Covid-19. In addition, Boost has set up a Tabung Covid-19 which collects funds for those directly and indirectly affected by the current situation.

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Many more eWallets exist in the market and each is as worthy of further exploration as the ones named above. Check out Lazada Wallet, WeChat Pay, Touch N Go, Fave and Big Pay and many more. The time is ripe to begin using eWallet options, especially over the next few weeks.

Current times are testimony to the fact that the digital economy is here to stay – made more so by #socialdistancing and #StayAtHome. Regionally too, the financial industry has expressed a belief that the pandemic will catalyse mobile-first banking, reducing people walking into local bank branches.

And who knows? We could possibly be the last generation to see the inside of a bank!

#LetsBuildTogether

#DigitalProductivity

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