KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 (Bernama) — The government needs to prioritise and look into IT support and services as a very essential service, making sure that technology remains available and accessible at this very trying time, says the National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM).

In a statement today, PIKOM expressed its disappointment that IT support and services have not been included in the list of industries allowed to operate during the third phase of the movement control order (MCO) announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“Without IT support and services being allowed to operate, more than a million businesses are at risk without a robust and up-to-date system,” it said.

PIKOM chairman Danny Lee said the association has submitted its request, and reiterated to the government, the Prime Minister, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the National Security Council on this matter for the past two weeks, that the industry is essential to keep businesses running during the lockdown period.

“Technology should be at the forefront in enabling the economy and providing tools for safe social distancing.

“While the industry understands that this may undermine the effectiveness of the MCO, it is imperative that Malaysians are able to work from home with as much of the tools as possible, as long as the infrastructure and connectivity is up and running,” he pointed out.

This makes it easier for many companies to adopt work from home arrangements, he said.

Lee noted that technology is an integral component of the economy, contributing 18.5 per cent to the gross domestic product and employing over a million Malaysians.

“It (technology) has been an essential enabler to almost all sectors across all industries, from manufacturing to mining, services to construction.

“Big and small companies rely on stable IT infrastructure and application to operate,” he added.


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