Malaysia’s Digital Signature Law to Take Effect in October

By Julian Matthews

August 28, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Malaysia’s Digital Signature Act 1997 will be implemented on Oct. 1, paving the way for the use of digital certificates in various e-commerce applications in the country.

Energy, Telecommunications and Posts Minister Leo Moggie said that Certification Authority providers may apply for licenses from the Department of Posts as soon as the law goes into force.

Moggie said the director general of posts Nasaruddin Che Abu has been appointed as Controller of Certification Authorities, and will be responsible for regulating and authorizing licenses. Also, he will oversee the implementation of the act, formulate relevant guidelines and regulations, and maintain a publicly accessible database of disclosure records of each licensed Certification Authority.

The new law opens the doors for branded Certification Authority providers to sell their systems in the country if they satisfy prescribed requirements of the controller. Moggie added that the criteria for selecting Certification Authorities would be made public soon.

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Removable Drives to Replace Hard Disks, Says Industry Pioneer

By Julian Matthews

August 27, 1998 (PENANG, Malaysia) — Removable drives will replace hard disk drives eventually, said industry pioneer Syed Iftikar, president and CEO of Castlewood Systems Inc.

He made his comment in an interview with Asia BizTech on Aug. 13, when manufacturing for the company’s ORB 2.16GB magneto-resistive (MR) removable drive was launched by its first strategic partner, Trans Capital Holding Bhd., a local contract manufacturer.

Syed was the founder of SyQuest Technology Inc. and co-founder of Seagate Technology Inc., where he invented the 5.25-in. hard disk drive.

Castlewood Systems was founded in September 1996 and is a privately-held company based in Pleasanton, Calif.

Syed is pioneering the use of MR technology and Giant Magneto Resistive (GMR) technology licensed from IBM Corp. in removable drives.

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Internet Users Arrested for Spreading Riot Rumors

By Julian Matthews

August 17, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Malaysian police have arrested three people for allegedly spreading rumors of riots in the capital city via the Internet.

The three are being held under Section 73 (1) of the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows them to be held for up to 60 days.

A special police team set up to investigate the rumors arrested a 37-year-old computer firm employee at his office and a 25-year-old woman at a construction firm on Aug. 11, and a bank employee in his 30s, on Aug. 12.

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The state of IT in Perak

By Anita Devasahayam

IN THE 80s, only segments of the Perak state machinery were computerised, and much of it had been done on an ad hoc basis.

An integrated accounting system first proposed in 1984, under the purview of the State Treasury Department, is the oldest application used by the state.

It was later upgraded to modernise the treasury’s money management, and was eventually replaced because it was deemed critical in monitoring and controlling the state’s finances and expenditure.

In 1987, the Federal Government gave out a land revenue application system to all the land offices in the country for their use.
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No easy task, but worth it

By Anita Devasahayam

FOR Perak State IT director Mohd Nor Hassan, convincing his bosses to implement Information Technology in the administrative machinery was no easy task.

Although the directive was clear that IT was to be used in processes that can be automated in order to improve services, justifying the expenditure was another issue.

“We chose departments responsible for revenue collection as starting points to introduce and implement technology,” says Mohd Nor.
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IT leadership by example

By Anita Devasahayam

IT WAS an unusual sight — a group of middle-aged men tapping away on their palmtop computers during morning meetings at the Perak State Secretariat.

Most of us probably think of civil servants as grindingly slow paper pushers, yet the department heads at the State Secretariat who meet every fortnight would defy this stereotype.

The group, led by State Secretary Datuk Abdul Habib Mansur, are purveyors of technology hoping to lead the civil service community in Perak into the information age.

“It’s strange at first (to use technology), but we got used to it. To create a culture, we must show by example,” says Habib.
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Kulim Park Pioneers Gigabit Ethernet

By Julian Matthews

Kulim Hi-Tech Park is setting up a Gigabit Ethernet network believed to be the first of its kind in the country for the delivery of a variety of electronic community services for the park’s tenants.

The network is being set up by networking company 3Com Asia Ltd and systems integrator Stacks Technology Sdn Bhd in a joint project with Kulim Technology Management Sdn Bhd under an agreement signed recently.

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