Malaysia Orders Cybercafes to Register Users

By Julian Matthews

December 29, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — In a further challenge to the local Internet community, Malaysia directed all cybercafes to register their customers or have their permits revoked.
The directive was issued on Dec. 3 to all state governments to make it mandatory for cybercafes to maintain a record book to take down personal details such as the name, identity card number and home address of customers.

Housing and Local Government Minister Ting Chew Peh said the directive was effective immediately and would be an additional condition included in permits issued nationwide.

“Of late, there have been numerous cases of cybercafes being abused by unscrupulous people to spread malicious lies about the country via the Internet. We want to exercise tighter control and supervision over the activities in cybercafes, which is a new phenomenon in the country,” he said.

He said the move was also in response to a request from the Home Ministry, which he said had difficulties locating culprits who spread false information about the country.
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Sun Microsystems chief Java strategist joins MSC company

by Julian Matthews

December 22, 1998, Kuala Lumpur — Sun Microsystems Inc technical strategist and chief Java evangelist Miko Matsumura has joined a little-known Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor company called Datek Sdn Bhd.

Matsumura said he was leaving the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer giant for the small, pure-Java software developer because it is the most exciting and successful company among the hundreds he has seen.

“It is truly both a serious enterprise computing player and an Internet company, a rare combination. I have found the killer app I was looking for,” he said.

Matsumura will assume the position of president of US operations and vice president of strategy for BizTone.com Inc, the tentative new global name for Datek.

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Malaysian IC Wafer Fabs Yet to Start Operating

By Julian Matthews

December 17, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Two government-backed advanced wafer fabrication plants at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Malaysia have yet to get off the ground.

Sources close to the projects said they were affected by the global chip market downturn and the inability to raise local or foreign funding.

Such delays underline the severity of Malaysia’s battered economy and its souring investment climate.

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High-profile MSC Panel “Members” Disappear From List

By Julian Matthews

Dec 3, 1998, Kuala Lumpur — Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor project continues to draw controversy after high-profile members of an international advisory panel of the project were removed from a list available on the Internet.

Three prominent technology icons HRH Prince Al-Waleed Talal Al- Saud, chairman of Kingdom Holding Co, John Doerr, a founding partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Inc and Dr. Robert Metcalfe, Vice President of Technology of International Data Group named on the 45-member list were suddenly removed from the list early this week.

At press time, an official US-based mirror website of the Multimedia Development Corp in the US containing the three names was still available at http://mdc.cinenet.net/msc/advisory/index.html

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Sony Strengthens Local DVD Production

By Julian Matthews

Sony Corp of Japan plans to make Malaysia a major global manufacturing facility for digital video disk (DVD) players outside Japan.

Sony (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd managing director Hideo Kojima said the decision was made based on the availability of high technology skills and similar technical processes already in place in the manufacture of CD-ROM drives in the country.

The company has been assembling DVD players since October with imported parts from Japan at the factory located in Bangi, Selangor. The initial production is for the domestic market.

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Share and share alike

By Anita Devasahayam

NOW that Tiong Ting Ming has got bulk of SMJK Dindings’ IT infrastructure in place, he is offering to share the facilities with next door neighbour SRJK (C) Ping Min.

The Board of Governors at the primary school has contributed RM5,000 for an additional 22 PCs and five Canon laser printers. The rest of the cost for the second-hand goods was borne by a Singaporean company which donated the units, says Tiong.

The equipment consists of 10 units of Futronix 486DX2/66 PCs, 10 units of Compaq Prolinea 4/66 M340 PCs and two units of IBM 350 DX2/66 PCs. All the machines come with only 8MB RAM, which Tiong plans to increase to 40MB.

The units — which bring the total number of PCs at the school to 53 — will be used in the library, teachers’ room and science laboratories.

“We shall be teaching the primary school kids keyboard skills, web browsing and e-mail,” says Tiong.

Related links:
A truly networked school
From chemistry to computers

Published in In.Tech, Star Publications (M) Bhd.

From chemistry to computers

By Anita Devasahayam

TIONG Ting Ming is a chemistry graduate whose foray into technology began in 1984 when he helped set up and manage a computer club at another school.

Since he was an Apple Macintosh fan, the club was equipped with a total of 30 Mac SEs and LCs, all networked together.

“I ran the club for six years and learned everything there was to know about networking,” Tiong says.

When he was promoted to headmaster at SMJK Dindings in June 1992, Tiong decided to use networking as the means to create a conducive environment for the students to learn about technology.

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A truly networked school

By Anita Devasahayam

This month, we focus once again on a single school, SMJK Dindings, and how it will join the Smart School league although it is not among the 90 schools selected under the pilot project that will kick off next January.

SURROUNDED by coconut trees and kampung houses in the middle of a palm oil plantation is Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan Dindings in Pundut, Lumut.

At first glance, the Grade B school which lies 95 kilometres from the city of Ipoh strikes one as a quaint sekolah papan, with a new building block located behind the array of wooden classrooms.
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Toffler Raises Furore Over MSC’s Future

By Julian Matthews

November 19, 1998, Kuala Lumpur — Under intense international scrutiny and amid the worst political and financial crisis in its recent history, Malaysia now faces doubts on the viability of its much-touted Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project.

Author Alvin Toffler, an influential member of the MSC’s international advisory panel, has shot the first salvo by castigating the Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for perpetuating a “climate of political repression” that he says will stifle the project.

“I do not believe that this visionary project, which is important for the future of the Malaysian people and serves, in part, as a model and challenge to other countries, can flourish in the present climate of political repression,” he said in a statement issued to this reporter.

He said he believed that other members of the panel, comprising top executives of giant software, computer, and telecommunications companies, shared his view.

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SyQuest to Shut Malaysian Plant, Retrench 1,000 Workers

By Julian Matthews

November 12,1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Removable disk drive maker SyQuest Technology Inc. will shut its manufacturing plants in Penang and displace almost 1,000 workers by year’s end, a government source said.

“About half of the 968 workers are to be retrenched by the end of November, and another half by December,” he said.

The source said the company attributed the closure to a fall in product demand, heavy losses incurred over the past two years and the inability of its headquarters to raise new capital.

The Penang facility has left a recorded message on its main telephone line stating it has shut down temporarily from Nov. 2 to Nov. 15 and would resume operations on Nov 16. Sources said workers were told a new product line would be introduced when the plant was re-opened.

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