KUCHING: The Sarawak Digital Mall campaign on e-commerce platform Shopee aims to satisfy the Malaysian public’s craving for products from Sarawak.
This initiative between the Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC), Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and Shopee has been ongoing since June 1.
Among the products are kek lapis, mitai gula tarik, tebaloi, belacan, mi kolok, terung asam, dabai, ikan terubuk, cooking ingredients, kain batik, woven mats, Iban ngepan sets, handicrafts, household items and many more.
Aimed at increasing sales of products from Sarawak, this collaboration stands to benefit tens of thousands of new and existing merchants on Shopee with various incentives such as discount vouchers and free delivery.
This initiative is in line with the digital economy policy pioneered by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg since 2017, which will have a positive impact on the businesses of local entrepreneurs, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
In fact, the latest Juwai IQI survey on Covid-19 found that 57 per cent of Malaysians shopped online more than before the pandemic.
Similarly, the use of the Internet (covering activities related to e-commerce, e-health, e-government and learning) increased significantly from 84.2 per cent in 2019 to 89.6 per cent in 2020.
SDEC chief executive officer Sudarsono Osman said as a government agency mandated to implement Sarawak’s digital economy initiatives, it focused on digitalising entrepreneurs in the state.
“This effort is very important to enable entrepreneurs to start doing business online as people now prefer to do things using smartphones or computers.
“Although Sarawak is a state rich in culture and heritage, many of its local products are still unknown due to lack of exposure.
“Therefore, this campaign will help more local sellers increase their sales.
“Apart from the discount vouchers, traders can also sell their products at a more competitive value in the Malaysian and wider regional markets, without being hampered by shipping costs.”
Meanwhile, Shopee regional managing director Ian Ho said the collaboration would remove geographical barriers between sellers and customers.
“This cooperation will give access to buyers no matter where they are, including in Malaya to buy local Sarawak products such as bario rice, gula apong, ikan terubuk masin and more.
“At the same time, Shopee will continue to fight for its mission to make e-commerce for all as well as empower SME businesses, especially those with less access to technology platforms.”
Shopee also provides entrepreneurship courses through Shopee University and free online training workshops to help those who participate in the campaign.
“The movement control order (MCO) has encouraged more traders to take advantage of the e-commerce platform where around 1,000 of them started selling fresh produce such as chicken, meat, fish and durian on Shopee, generating monthly sales of up to RM100,000.
“Apart from that, we also find that Malaysian consumers spend about 20 per cent more time on Shopee in a week.”
Looking at the current developments with various programmes provided by the government, local entrepreneurs should immediately move towards the digital economy by adopting e-commerce platforms.
However, this development also sees buyers facing the risk of e-commerce fraud as many scammers are taking the opportunity to look for victims.
In Malaysia, 5,848 cases of e-commerce fraud were reported during 2020 involving a loss of more than RM41mil, an increase of almost 80 per cent compared to 3,511 cases recorded in 2019 with a loss of RM28mil.
Kuching police chief ACP Ashmon Bajah said in Kuching alone, 61 cases of e-commerce fraud were recorded from January to June this year with losses totalling RM403,386.80 compared to only 12 cases involving a loss of RM88,542.00 in 2020.
“We found that e-commerce fraud was done through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Michat, Wechat, Shopee, mudah.com, Carousell, Lazada and others.
“Seventy-nine victims were between the ages of 19 and 57, suffering a loss of RM729,208.80.”
ACP Ashmon advised the public not to be easily influenced by the offers on e-commerce platforms and also to check in advance the seller’s bank account number at http://ccid.rmp. gov.my/semakmule before making any payments.
The public can also contact the CCID Scam Response Centre at 03-26101559 if they have any questions related to commercial crime, including e-commerce scams.