In June 2020 the Malaysian government launched an initiative called the PENJANA to help the people recover from the economic crisis brought about by COVID-19,.
Also known as the National Economic Recovery Plan, a core part of its recovery programs is the ePENJANA, which is basically geared toward the adoption of e-commerce and the use of e-wallet as the new norms in Malaysian lifestyle. In carrying out this aspect of economic recovery initiatives, the government used RM750 million in crediting RM50 to individual e-wallet accounts of 15 million Malaysian consumers.
Economist and Prof Emeritus Dr Barjoyai Bardai of the Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (Unirazak) lauded the ePENJANA, as he believes the cash less concept of the e-wallet payment system should be widely adopted. As there are still some sectors in Malaysia’s society, such as the small entrepreneurs who are still looking to go back to the traditional practice, Prof. Bardai told the Bernama News Agency:
”E-commerce is the only trend now and Malaysia should not go back to the old normal.”
A Closer Look at Malaysia’s PENJANA Economic Recovery Programs
In contrast to major countries like the U.S. and the UK that are still dealing with the pandemic (now on its third and second wave in their respective regions), the Malaysian government’s effective handling of the global health crisis has enabled the nation to immediately shift its focus on economic recovery.
The PEJANA programs are centered on three cores: empowerment of the people, economic stimulation and boost businesses. Comprising 40 initiatives valued at RM35 billion, the programs will help traders deal with the new technologies and changes, through gradual processes.
The main goal is for small to medium scale businesses to gradually adopt e-commerce and its digital methods permanently; starting with accepting online bookings and delivering orders Moreover, Malaysian economic recovery processes will have more short-term contracts, including work-for-hire or freelance arrangements as alternatives to permanent jobs.
RM25 million of the PENJANA fund have been allocated to the Malaysian Digital Economy Corp, (MDEC), as the firm will oversee the PENJANA program called Global Online Workforce (GLOW). The MDEC will use the funds in training Malaysians, for them to learn digital methods of generating high income as a means to achieve the core goal of citizen empowerment .
Profile of Malaysia’s Online Shoppers
The confidence that e-commerce is the only way to Malaysia’s recovery, is supported by the fact that 50% of the country’s population are online shoppers, which is roughly equivalent to about 16.53 million people. Ninety-five percent (95%) of whom are very satisfied with their online shopping experiences. The government has statistically profiled the Malaysian consumers according to the following information:
East Malaysian consumers are inclined to shop online more often than Peninsular Malaysians. .
Malaysian men shop online more frequently than Malaysian women.
80% of overall Malaysian online shoppers use their smartphones, while 58% make at least one online purchase every month.
While there is no mention of digital entertainment, online gambling has always been a popular pastime among Malaysians. Since gambling in brick and mortar casinos is generally prohibited among Malaysians, related but separate data shows not a few Malaysians recreate by gambling at online casinos like 918kiss.