Anwar: Govt allocates RM1 bln to foster more Bumiputera entrepreneurs


Anwar speaks during the Bumiputera Economic Congress closing ceremony today. – Bernama photo

PUTRAJAYA (March 2): The government is set to allocate a substantial fund of RM1 billion to foster a new generation of Bumiputera entrepreneurs in high-growth sectors, to be managed by government-linked investment companies (GLIC), said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

This initiative comes in response to calls for the establishment of a Bumiputera Transformation Acceleration Fund during the three-day Bumiputera Economic Congress (KEB) which started on Feb 29.

“We have the capability to cultivate more successful Bumiputera entrepreneurial ventures akin to Aerodyne, which has made significant strides in the global market with its drone services.

“We should also celebrate the achievements of companies like Les Copaque and Animonsta which have led the way in the creative industry, and we commend the accomplishments of numerous young entrepreneurs who are adept at leveraging cutting-edge digital technology for business, such as Khairul Aming,” he said.

During a special address at the conclusion of the KEB, the prime minister also announced the creation of the Mara Madani Waqf Fund, supported by an initial grant of RM100 million, aiming to achieve accumulated funds amounting to RM1 billion within two years.

He said His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia, has consented to become the patron of the waqf system, and the progress of this initiative will be reported to the Conference of Malay Rulers.

Anwar said the waqf system will be spearheaded by Majlis Amanah Raya (Mara) and implemented by Mara Education Foundation.

“The Mara Madani Waqf will benefit 70.1 per cent of the Bumiputera population, ensuring access to education, welfare, health, entrepreneurship, and transportation, which are increasingly crucial in this new era.

“The government has also agreed to extend tax deductions for stock-based waqfs such as the ASNB Waqf (Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd Waqf) and Waqaf An-Nur under Johor Corp,” he stated.

“The government has also agreed to extend tax deductions for stock-based waqfs such as the Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB) Waqf and Waqaf An-Nur under Johor Corp,” he said.

As for unutilised waqf lands, Anwar highlighted that the Madani Budget 2024 has allocated a financing fund of RM500 million as an incentive for the development of waqf lands to generate sustainable income and provide affordable housing.

Anwar also stated that the government will allocate up to RM1 billion for the Bumiputera microcredit fund through development financial institutions such as Bank Simpanan Nasional, Agrobank and TEKUN Nasional to support Bumiputera entrepreneurs, including women, youth, military veterans, as well as hawkers, gig workers, and food truck operators.

Regarding Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), the prime minister outlined plans to create 100,000 Bumiputera trainees with a target minimum monthly salary of RM3,000.

He emphasised the involvement of government-linked companies, government-linked investment companies, and private companies, including those owned by the Chinese and Indian communities, in training TVET students, the majority of whom are Bumiputera.

“In the short term, we seek the contributions and active participation of these companies, including those under the Chinese and Indian Chamber of Commerce.

“Right now, actively involved entities include Petronas, Sime Darby, MRCB, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, and Telekom Malaysia,” he said.

Anwar also said that the government will improve tax incentives and allocate a matching grant fund of RM100 million to support the development of local vendors.

This is to encourage more private companies to implement vendor development programmes such as training and skills enhancement in new areas, particularly digitalisation, energy transition, and technology.

“To elevate and support the artistic works of local entrepreneurs, starting today, all government departments and agencies as well as GLCs are only allowed to purchase local handicrafts and products as souvenirs, with a RM100 million grant approved to help relevant companies.

“Moreover, as the Asean-Malaysia Chairmanship 2025 draws near, all stakeholders must help to revitalise the production of local handicraft products, showcasing the uniqueness of craft products from each state,” he said.

Held from Feb 29 to March 2, the KEB saw the presentation of findings from the engagement sessions with various groups, including Education and Human Capital Industry Reformation and the Rural Development and Empowerment of Orang Asli Communities. – Bernama