Telekom Malaysia Signs Deal for MSC Infrastructure

By Julian Matthews

May 29, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Telekom Malaysia Bhd. signed a one billion ringgit (US$263 million) deal to provide state-of-the-art telecommunication infrastructure facilities for Putrajaya, the new federal government administrative center located within Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC).

The telecom infrastructure will include fiber optic cables capable of supporting high bandwidth data transfers necessary for the MSC’s objective of becoming a global multimedia hub.

The MSC is a 750 square kilometer zone south of capital city Kuala Lumpur designated for the development and delivery of various multimedia products and services such as electronic government, smart card applications, telemedicine, distance learning, remote manufacturing and electronic commerce. It has been endorsed and supported by more than 136 companies, including Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., Oracle Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Motorola Inc.

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Western Digital Reduces Workforce in S’pore

By Julian Matthews

May 21, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Western Digital Corp. has laid off 439 employees from its disk drive plant in Chai Chee, Singapore, the company announced in a statement last week (May 14). From Malaysia

The cuts were in response to the oversupply conditions and fierce pricing pressures affecting the company and the industry globally, said Vince Mastropietro, managing director of Western Digital (S) Pte Ltd.

“The headcount reduction is a direct and unfortunate consequence of the reductions in our production over the last several months,” he said.

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Foreigners OK’d to Take 61 Pct. Stake in M’sian Telcos

By Julian Matthews

May 11, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — The Malaysian government is allowing foreign companies to own majority stakes in local telecommunication companies.

The foreign equity ceiling was raised to 61 percent from 49 percent in an effort to pump in much-needed funding for ailing local telcos.

Energy, Telecommunications and Posts Minister Leo Moggie said the new policy will only be valid for five years, after which foreign companies will have to revert their equity back to 49 percent.

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Subcontractors Bank On Telecom, Networking Orders

By Julian Matthews

Local subcontractor manufacturers are expecting between 25% and 30% growth this year despite the Asian financial crisis.

Growth is spurred by increased demand for a variety of linear and mixed-signal electronic components particularly for the telecommunication and networking industries.

Carsem (M) Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, is investing about US$90 million for equipment and expansion for this fiscal year.

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