Internet Alliance Lauds PM’s Cloud-First Strategy
Internet Alliance (‘IA’), a not-for-profit organisation that facilitates about 85% of Malaysia’s active Internet scene, lauds the ‘Cloud-First’ strategy for government agencies and public sector to boost the digital economy.
Announced by the Prime Minister just before the upcoming Budget 2018, “Cloud-First” would become part of the National Agenda, starting with the public sector.
The ‘Cloud-First’ strategy fundamentally involves the adoption of cloud for government agencies to rapidly deliver innovative public sector services without incurring high levels of capital expenditure to invest in the IT infrastructure such as data centres, services and storage.
President of IA, Chan Kee Siak says: –
“We at IA, are thrilled that the government recognises how the cloud is fundamental to digital transformation. The Cloud has become a powerful and cost-efficient method to deliver ICT solutions and services to support the economy. Therefore, prioritising government agencies to adopt Cloud-based ICT solutions, sets a strong example of how to free from the high costs of initial equipment investments.”
Call to Lower or Exempt Withholding Tax for Cloud & Digital Adoption
At the same time, Chan calls on the government to consider lowering or exempting withholding tax for local organisations wanting to adopt Cloud or other Digital Services.
He says that currently, Malaysian companies and organisations which want to adopt Cloud technologies or deploy Digital Services by foreign vendors – have to pay an additional 10% withholding tax on top of the fees they already have to pay to foreign Cloud providers.
“Some common instances of Malaysian companies incurring this additional 10% withholding tax are when a) Advertising with Google and Facebook b) Subscribing to overseas’ Software-as-a-Services (SaaS) and/or foreign Cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Alibaba Cloud c) Purchasing software licenses.
If the ‘Cloud-First’ strategy is to be a successful National Agenda, there should be economic incentive to boost it too. Therefore, IA highly suggests that by lowering or even abolishing this additional withholding tax for Malaysian businesses, they will feel incentivized to accelerate their adoption of Cloud-based services and digital services.
Buy More Local Cloud Services
Chan also encourages and wishes that local government agencies and businesses to engage services from local Malaysian Cloud providers, be it Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Cloud models.
Together with the implementation of strategic taxation policies such as reducing or abolishing this withholding tax, encouraging public agencies to adopt a ‘Buy-Local’ mentality will also collectively boost the ‘Cloud-First’ towards a higher rate of success under the National Agenda.”
About Internet Alliance (IA)
Internet Alliance (IA) or also known as “Persatuan Hubungan Internet Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur”, is a non-profit association set up in 2010 to represent the country’s major pool of Internet service and ‘middleware’ infrastructure providers – ranging web hosting companies, data centres, payment gateway and Cloud providers, web platform enablers, and eCommerce players.
IA serves as an effective networking platform for its entrepreneur-spirited members to educate and empower each other within a conducive ecosystem in order to share valuable learning and expertise amongst Internet leaders.
There are currently over 50 IA corporate members whose collective customer-base enables and facilitates about 85% of Malaysia’s entire internet scene.
IA aspires to provide a single unified voice to support common interests of Malaysia’s internet business sector by acting as the platform and lead to seek both national and international dialogue on cyber ecommerce and cloud matters regarding internet environment, security, legality and commercialisation.