Disabled communities eager to join Malaysia’s digital economy

CYBERJAYA: An agency under the ministry of communications and multimedia has launched a programme to support and accelerate adoption among (OKU) people in the country by bringing their businesses online.

MYNIC, the official .my domain registrar in Malaysia, aims to provide ICT and social media training to OKU organisations with its newly-launched outreach programme.

Apart from establishing their websites and teaching them about SEO (search engine optimisation), MYNIC will also work on enhancing the brand recognition of the SMEs and micro-SMEs via social media and other digital marketing platforms.

“I'm very confident we can do this together,” said Ras Adiba Radzi, the founder and chairman of OKU Sentral, an NGO which campaigns for better facilities for people.

“This is not just giving them (OKU) the opportunity to conduct businesses but it is also a way to give back to society.

“This has been a long time coming for these communities,” added the former television personality during the programme's launch here today.

With around 500,000 OKU in Malaysia, the programme will allow their businesses to have better access to both local and foreign markets and is part of a plan announced by Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo on Dec 3 to give OKU a 50% discount for new domain registrations.

The lifetime discount, which reduces the annual fee from RM120 to RM60, started on Jan 1. The discount is valid for new .my registrations and each OKU individual is entitled up to five .my domain names.

Apart from making it easier for consumers to search for local businesses, MYNIC CEO Hasnul Fadhly Hasan said .my domain names boost customer confidence as the owners have to be registered with the agency – thus reducing the likelihood of frauds and scams.

“Together with the ministry, we are playing our part in preparing the nation for a digital future, to unlock opportunities for digital innovations and to drive the digital economy as a core economic pillar of the country,” said Hasnul.

“Our OKU communities have a lot of good products they can export. Technology is making it easier for everyone to grow a successful business, and websites are a fundamental part of that.”

Moses Choo, the executive director of the National Council for the Blind Malaysia (NCBM), agreed that the initiative would go a long way in promoting inclusiveness for OKU.

Choo said that OKU, like other Malaysians, want opportunities for employment and education – he stressed that OKU communities are eager to reap the benefits of Malaysia's digital revolution.

“From transferring money to making purchases and paying taxes… We cannot afford not to get involved in the digital world,” said Choo.

“We want to expand our businesses and go beyond just selling nasi lemak in our kampung.”

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