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More than 7,000 merchants join Platform Selangor

The programme helps micro merchants expand their business reach, visibility and business opportunities 

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / Pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

OVER 7,000 merchants have onboarded and digitised through the Platform Selangor (PLATS) initiative since its inception in 2020. 

The programme is intended to help micro merchants expand their business reach, visibility and business opportunities. 

This year, the initiative aims to equip 10,000 more micro merchants with technology literacy and empower them with the necessary digital skill sets to sustain and expand their business operations. 

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the growth in the number of merchants who joined the initiative was a testament to the success of the programme. 

“The proof is clear, because in the early stages we had only about 163 entrepreneurs participating in the programme. And today we have over 7,000 traders and entrepreneurs participating in PLATS. 

“This demonstrates that the programme can be sustained to continue,” Amirudin said at the launch of the third edition of 

PLATS, while adding that empowerment and improvement should be done from time to time because this is part of the “Smart Life” that everyone dream of in the state. 

Amirudin added that the state government will be working closely with all its 12 local authorities on various initiatives to speed up the onboarding process. 

There will be curated training and development sessions to teach micro merchants how to use digital technologies to generate more revenue and exposure for their businesses. 

A dedicated support centre will also be set up to guide these merchants to be digitised online through PLATS, whereas the Rakan Digital Selangor team will continue to help the micro merchants with marketing and branding through digital and social media platforms. 

This year, PLATS will also implement a 20 sen charge for plastic bags as part of the state government’s efforts to reduce the use of plastics. 

“We are attempting to reduce single-use plastic. Our long-term plan is to phase out the use of plastic altogether. 

“We must strike a balance between life and livelihood. We want to ensure that the people of Selangor will be able to continue their livelihoods, but at the same time, we need to protect our environment and the ecosystem that will be inherited by future generations,” he said. 

In 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the Selangor government launched the PLATS initiative to help micro merchants (such as hawkers and grocery store owners) adopt and access digital technology for a more sustainable and resilient recovery amidst the new norm. 

He admitted that the initial launch of the initiative was rather rushed due to the urgency of helping the community. But the state government has since learned from its experience and has been improving the initiative to make it more effective and efficient. 

“When we are hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are faced with Movement Control Order. In the first year, which is 2020, we inspired a programme called e-Bazaar Ramadhan, which we later named PLATS. 

“Through PLATS, we provide an opportunity for traders to display and sell products even when the community has to continue to live at home, and food and supply sources have to face deliveries made by e-hailing companies,” Amirudin explained. 

He also added that as physical stores have opened, the challenge for PLATS is to keep the merchants engaged and active. 

Dayang Norazhar

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