A lack of demand and an inability to pay for the basics in many households is driving people to turn to online businesses and services.
Malaysia’s Bureau of Statistics says a third of people over 65 are now looking for a job online, the first time this has happened in over a decade.
According to research firm KPMG, online sales in Malaysia rose 12% in the past year to $4.6 billion.
However, it is not only online businesses that are in decline.
A report from the research firm Gartner found that online shopping in Malaysia has also fallen from around $1.2 billion in 2011 to around $950 million in 2017.
The bureau has also estimated that more than 80% of the country’s population now uses social media to connect with their friends and family.
In an effort to tackle the rise in online business, the government has made the internet available in most of the public housing and other areas.
But, the bureau has reported that there has been no improvement in access to online education.
There are also concerns about corruption in the industry, according to a report by the World Bank and a study by consultancy McKinsey & Co. One concern is that some online platforms are not as regulated as traditional ones.
For instance, the online marketplace Paytm says it has received no government permission to offer the service in certain areas.
In 2018, a Malaysian company, Malaysia’s largest online retailing platform, Paytm, started charging consumers a subscription fee to its service.
Critics have said that the fee is unfair because it is the consumers who pay for goods that are sold on the platform.
This service was initially introduced to help people pay their electricity bills and rent.
However, a government report last year said that Paytm could raise money from customers and that the money raised would help pay for services like police protection and emergency services.