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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