Malaysia’s MSC: Back on Track But Flaws Remain

Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project became an easy target for critics last year during its political and financial upheavals.

Street demonstrators were violently arrested in the capital city, anti-government Web sites were monitored, cybercafes were asked to take down personal details of patrons, and foreigners were blamed by the government for all its economic woes.

Could this be the same government vigorously supporting the information age and promising to build a high-tech Silicon Valley of the east?

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Proton to set up US$300m R&D center in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR–Leading smartcard technology provider Proton World International SA will invest US$300 million over the next 10 years in a regional research, development and support center in Malaysia.

“We will work on key smartcard technology applications, specifically integrating contact and contactless technologies onto a single card which can operate in both modes,” said Danny Vanhoutte, general manager of Triumphant Launch Sdn Bhd, the local representative company of Proton World.

He said the convergence of a contact card for e-purse transactions and a contactless card for transport applications is seen by many card issuers and industry analysts as the “killer application” that will lead to widespread use of smartcards.

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Malaysia’s e-government details emerge

KUALA LUMPUR–Microsoft says it will design an entirely new product specifically for Malaysia, an automated office system for the government, beginning with the Prime Minister’s office.

A customized desktop environment–called the Generic Office Environment (GOE)–will allow government users to collaborate, access and manage information in more meaningful ways, said Benedict Lee, managing director of Microsoft Knowledge Capital Center, the local representative company of the Seattle giant.

“The GOE will be a super-automated office system designed specifically for the government and government users.

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Malaysian Internet TV Firm Lists on Nasdaq

A local company that offers a system to access the Internet via television has listed on the US-based National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation, or Nasdaq, a first for Malaysia.

TecnoChannel Sdn Bhd made its debut in February in a reverse takeover of listed Asia Media Communications Ltd (AMC), through a new US$8.5 million common shares issue. As a result, AMC has ceased all its previous operations, assumed its new businesses and will change its name to MyWeb pending shareholder approval.

“We chose Nasdaq because it is currently the equity market of choice for technology companies and will give us greater recognition and access to global markets,” said TecnoChannel chairman Ahmad Mustaffa Babjee. Nasdaq has seen an upsurge in recent months, mainly driven by technology and Internet-related stocks.

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