Malaysian government plans to shut innovation centre for entrepreneurs

Newly-elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that he will abolish the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC).

According to The Star, MaGIC is one of the government agencies that the PM plans to shut down, along with reviewing various mega projects by the previous government. In a statement to A+M, MaGIC's spokesperson said that it is constantly in communication with stakeholders and at the present, it is business as usual for the centre. The spokesperson added that it is "watching the situation closely" and will keep everyone updated when new information becomes available to MaGIC.

"We remain committed and focused on our work for entrepreneurs as we continue to create a vibrant, open and collaborative entrepreneurship ecosystem in Malaysia, support social enterprise and build Malaysia's impact driven sector as well as helping enable corporates better connect and innovate with the startup community around them," the spokesperson said.

"On behalf of the MaGIC family, I would like to thank you for all the support that the community have given us in light of this confusion. Its been very heartwarming. Thank you again," MaGIC CEO, Ashran Ghazi also said in a LinkedIn post.

MaGIC was launched on 27 April 2014, inking partnerships with Stanford University and non-profit organisation UP Global to further foster and develop a vibrant start-up ecosystem in Malaysia. Its chairman, Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, said entrepreneurs play an important role in propelling the country towards a fully developed nation by 2020. He added that entrepreneurs contribute to Malaysia's growth through their innovation, creativity and willingness to embrace risk.

Besides helping start-ups, the Malaysian government has also launched initiatives to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country, one of them being the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ). According to The Star, Alibaba Group executive chairman Jack Ma will be meeting PM Mahathir "soon" to discuss the DFTZ, an e-hub formed by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation and Alibaba Group.