Four Charged with Spreading Riot Rumors over Internet

By Julian Matthews

September 30, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Four people were charged in a Malaysian court on Sept. 24 with spreading rumors of riots in the capital city over the Internet.

This is the first such case of its kind in Malaysia.

A woman and three men claimed trial to the charges and were released on bail. The timing of the start of trials might be a warning to local Internet users not to use the medium to stir up incidents in the city, already troubled by demonstrations in the last two weeks over the sudden sacking of deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim.

The woman, logistic trainer Tan Lai Yee, and three men, finance manager Wong Yoon Sing, bank officer Au Yong Wai and site supervisor Lee Chun Meng, were charged in separate courts with committing the offense under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code.

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Homegrown tech talent

By Anita Devasahayam

SURESWARAN Ramadass, head of the Network Research Group at the School of Computer Sciences in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), earned his Masters of Science in Electrical/Computer Engineering from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida in 1990.

He graduated with honours and is currently pursuing his PhD in Computer Science at USM.

The 32-year-old is actively involved in the networking movement in the region. He is the head of Asia Pacific Advanced Networks (APAN) in Malaysia. APAN is the high bandwidth ATM network project aimed at interconnecting Asia Pacific countries.

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From R&D to commerce

By Anita Devasahayam

MULTIMEDIA Research Lab Sdn Bhd (Mlabs) opened its doors for business in October, 1997.

The Penang company, formerly known as Profound Blue Sdn Bhd, is a spin-off of venture capital firm Compquest Sdn Bhd that was responsible for funding the Multimedia Conferencing System (MCS) research work.

Compquest holds a 35% stake in Mlabs, while the balance is divided among individual shareholders.
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The MCS ‘generations gap’

By Anita Devasahayam

SO WHAT is it about USM’s Multimedia Conferencing System 4.0 (MCS) that differentiates it from the rest of the pack?

According to the head of the network research group at USM, Sureswaran Ramadass, two concepts — “RSW control criteria” and a distributed processing method — place the product two generations ahead of its closest competitor.

He claims that other vendors have begun to follow in their footsteps by introducing similar concepts that were pioneered by Sureswaran (Sures) and his research team.

“They are beginning to catch on the concept that you need different things to do different functions, but they are talking about it and have not implemented it,” he claims.
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Ahead of the pack, and local too

By Anita Devasahayam

BEING a lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) means Sureswaran Ramadass has two roles to fulfil — teaching, and getting involved in research and development.

The lecturer at USM’s School of Computer Sciences loves both aspects of his profession, but proving theorems right and turning hypotheses into reality seems especially sweet.

But even he was surprised when a product birthed out of four years of research work was recognised by the Multimedia and Distributed Systems Journal, published by the renowned Kluwer scientific publishing house, as being two generations ahead of others available in the market today.

The product in question, a desktop multimedia video-conferencing system called — simply enough — Multimedia Conferencing System (MCS), is essentially a “video-chat” tool. But it differs from like products offered by well established names like like Intel, Intellect Visual Comm, CoreTech Software or PictureTel.

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Microsoft to Set Up Fund for Malaysia’s Multimedia Corridor

by Julian Matthews

September 3, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Microsoft Corp. will set up a venture capital fund and a software developers’ resource center as part of its efforts in Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor.

The moves are aimed at helping local start-ups develop an indigenous software industry in the MSC.

Microsoft Malaysia Sdn., Bhd. general manager Benedict Lee said the venture capital fund will kick off in 1999 with an initial outlay of 30 million ringgit (US$7.2 million). It will be funded by three parties: Microsoft, a local company and multinational information technology company.

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IDT Banks on Winchip to Drive Growth

By Julian Matthews

Integrated Device Technology (IDT), Inc of the US expects to expand chip sales in Asia in the next two years despite market softness and the prolonged economic crisis in the region.

Integrated Device Technology (M) Sdn Bhd managing director B T Tan said the high inventory causing the current industry-wide weakness will be over in six to nine months.

“Although we see an impact in demand, I believe the semiconductor industry still has a bright future in this region, and will bounce back by next year,” he said.

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E-Purse to Debut at Commonwealth Games in Malaysia

By Julian Matthews

September 1, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Malaysia will introduce its first electronic purse in the form of a smart card at the 16th Commonwealth Games to be held in the capital city in September.

The stored value, chip-based card is the forerunner to the national multi-purpose card the government plans to roll out as part of its Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project.

The electronic purse system is based on the Proton smart card technology developed by Banksys SA of Belgium, and currently used in 15 countries.

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