BERA, Dec 26, 2015:

Certain parties are unhappy over the existence of Mara Digital and have resorted to spreading malicious allegations, including via the social media, to ensure the digital entrepreneur centre for Bumiputeras will fail.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said those involved were believed to be doing so to protect their monopoly in the digital sector.

“The move to set up Mara Digital is not to compete with anybody but to provide suitable business premises to Bumiputera traders, which is in line with Mara’s role.

“This is because all this while, Bumiputeras in this sector find it difficult to get a place, and even if there are (shops available), the rentals are quite high and beyond the reach of many.”

The minister said this to reporters after attending a Back To School programme of the Mara Education Foundation, here, today which was also attended by its deputy chairman, Zahida Zarikh Khan.

In this regard, he said others should not feel threatened at the existence of the Mara digital centre, which was only an alternative to the existing digital centres in the country.

“There’s no need to feel threatened because Mara Digital only has 38 stalls compared with other bigger digital centres which have hundreds of booths.

“We are only giving a choice to consumers and we have never forced them to buy there, so there’s no need to condemn Mara Digital.”

He added that the existence of Mara Digital had to a certain extent helped to invigorate the Mara arcade whose business activities were languishing.

Meanwhile, the Mara Education Foundation has allocated RM2.5 million to provide for the schooling needs of 25,000 pupils nationwide this year.

Ismail Sabri said the amount had increased from RM1.8 million last year to help 16,000 pupils.

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