ACCCIM President Speeches

17 Oct 2013

Media Conference on ACCCIM 2013 SME Survey Report

Good morning to all and welcome to the media conference this morning.

ACCCIM has conducted SME Survey since 2007, and this is the 6th survey.  The content of previous surveys focused on various issues faced by SMEs, including financing, taxation, usage of ICT, human resource etc.  Related government ministries and agencies have taken heed of the reports of the survey.  Through these surveys, ACCCIM has conveyed to various government agencies and departments the issues facing Malaysian SMEs and their feedbacks.  At the meantime, it also hopes to create awareness of SMEs on government policies and regulations.

Under the existing SME Definition, SMEs accounts for 98.4% of total business establishments in Malaysia.  The percentage will be further increased when the new definition of SME come into effect from 1st January 2014.  Given the key role of human resource towards the national economic transformation, this survey therefore focuses on relevant issues, e.g. Minimum Wages, Extension of Retirement Age, Staff Training and Human Resource Development Fund.

Ladies and Gentlemen,The issue of Minimum Wage has been raised and discussed by the Government for years.  ACCCIM and relevant trade and industrial associations have closely monitored and constantly reminded respective members on this.  In September 2012, ACCCIM also urged the SMEs facing difficulty in implementing Minimum Wage to submit their deferment applications.  However the response from the business community was poor.  The SMEs seemed to have awaken in January 2013, when the Minimum Wages Act was enforced and found that this policy has tremendous impact on them, and thus rallied to oppose.  The Government then announced to defer the implementation of Minimum Wage for foreign workers for SMEs due to the overwhelming pressure from the sector.  However, the flip-flop of policy changes without clear instructions, has resulted in unnecessary losses to business community, and upset the relationship between employers and employees.

As 1st January 2014 is getting closer, the implementation of Minimum Wages for foreign workers is just around the corner.  To clarify those grey areas in the guidelines of implementation, ACCCIM and the Ministry of Human Resources will jointly organise a seminar on 7th November 2013 and invite YB Datuk Richard Riot Anak Jaem, Minister of Human Resources and its officers in charge to brief the business community.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Quoting from by Mr. Warren Bennis, the famous organisation consultant, “staff training is the strategic corporate investment with minimal risk”.  However our survey finds that SMEs generally overlook the importance of it.  Only 20% of the respondents conduct regular trainings for their employees whereas 42% do so on irregular basis.  Malaysian SMEs still over-depend on labour intensive mode of operation and ignore the R & D.   Only 8% of the respondents provide training to R & D personnel.

As stated in the SME Masterplan 2012-2020 launched in July 2012, human capital development has been identified as one of the 6 key challenges faced by SMEs, this include: workforce lacks job readiness, low utilisation of existing training and non-competitive rewards and benefits.  Therefore the Masterplan has worked out one of the four Thematic Measures to build capacity through knowledge acquisition and skills upgrading, and made the number of employees trained as key performance index.

Meanwhile, in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 launched on 6th September 2014, the Ministry of Education has planned for 11 shifts to transform the education system in terms of hardware and software, to ensure the graduates under the system are competitive.

ACCCIM hope the Government can fully implement its policies and regulations on equitable, fair and transparent basis, regardless of race and geographical area.  While hoping the Government to implement more business-friendly measures, ACCCIM also urge the business community, particular the large numbers of SMEs, to be more proactive in understanding the drastic changes of business environment and Government policies, and take appropriate actions to enhance their competitiveness rather than passively doing nothing and waiting for other’s assistance.

The details of the report will be briefed by Mr Koong Lin Loong shortly.  We hope that more enterprises can take part in our future surveys to ensure the report of the survey can more adequately reflect the problems and issues faced by Malaysian SMEs.

Thank you.

Details of the report (Chinese version)

Details of the report (English version)


6th Floor, Wisma Chinese Chamber, 258, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


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