Gateway traces hacker of Malaysian Web site

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Direct-selling giant Gateway Inc has traced a hacker who defaced its Malaysian Web site on Sunday and threatens legal action.

Bob Sherbin, vice president of Asia/Pacific corporate communications, said in statement to CNET Asia that the hacker only known as “ieet” is from the U.S. and “we will be seeking to prosecute the individual.”

The hacker took down Gateway Malaysia’s main page and replaced it with the message “ieet wants a gateway for x-mas ;o) ” and suggested Web site owners go to Microsoft’s homepage to “fix this hole.”

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Malaysian election campaigning gets tech boost

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Computers and the Web have become the new tools on the Malaysian election trail.

One candidate on a Malaysian Chinese Association ticket was seen handing out about 3,000 VCDs of himself interspersed with “before” and “after” scenes of how he has improved his constituency since the last elections.

The 30-minute VCD was entitled The Dragon in Stulang, named after incumbent assemblyman Freddie Long Hoo Hin of Stulang, Johore. “Long ” means Dragon in Chinese.

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Doctored photo on Net stirs election controversy

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Cut-and-paste artistry showed up as an issue in Malaysia’s election run-up when a 1995 photo was “updated” to reflect new political line-ups.

Malaysia’s biggest Chinese-language newspaper Sin Chew Jit Poh doctored a photo in its Nov 14 issue showing current National Front deputy chairman Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in a group picture of the coalition’s leaders in place of former deputy chairman Anwar Ibrahim.

The substitution was first spotted by subscribers to a Chinese discussion list called Kopitiam on the Net.

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Malaysian cyber election nixed

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–A Web-based lobby group which set up a mock poll on the Internet to parallel that of the general elections has abandoned the idea after nominations submitted did not conform to its standards.

“We reviewed the nominations for the Cabinet of the New Millennium submitted through the Net and found the results meaningless to be used in a poll,” said Pat Lu, co-founder of Pahlawan, the group that conceived the cyber-election.

“The nominations we received were very polarized, and some clearly represented an expression of anger and frustration with other contending parties. This, we are afraid, diminishes the intent of the Internet poll and we are unable to put up a credible poll, ” she said in a statement.

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Net’s influence limited in this election

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–The Net is a growing influence in Malaysia but may not affect voters’ decisions this time around, says veteran political observer and journalist MGG Pillai.

“I do not think cyber campaigning would count for much or change voting patterns. More than half the voters would have made up their minds already. The floating voters is large, but I fancy they would not have access to a computer, ” said Pillai who runs the popular discussion list Sang Kancil.

Pillai qualifies, however, that the Net has become a potent provider of alternative, and increasingly believable, source of news for many ever since Anwar Ibrahim’s sacking from government.

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‘Phantom’ voters show up on Internet electoral roll

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–An election watch group has received thousands of complaints from the public alleging irregularities regarding Malaysia’s electoral roll available on the Internet and on CD-ROMs.

Malaysian Citizens’ Election Watch (Pemantau) head coordinator Kamar Ainiah Kamaruzaman said the complainants alleged that the electoral roll even had names of dead people and peculiar names made up of digits.

With the electoral roll available online, and with email affording quick and cheap communication, it has become even easier for people to discover irregularities.

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Should the Multimedia Super Corridor be reviewed?

By Julian Matthews

When Tengku Dr Azzman Shariffadeen, chief executive of Mimos Bhd, called for a review of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project in August, one would have thought it would cause a stir in Malaysia. At best, one expected a media frenzy of follow-ups to encourage public debate on the controversial project. At worst, the powers-that-be would issue some form of damage-control counter statement. Instead, the comment passed without official reaction, echoing in the hallways of Malaysia’s active rumor mill until it faded into oblivion.

The apparent silence on the part of MSC promoter Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC) and the over 240 investor companies of the project–including some of the largest information technology and telco players in the world–was deafening.

Did the non-reaction suggest apathy or were investors too self-involved to care? Or have all its stakeholders become so wary of the fact that it doesn’t pay to be critical in Malaysia, especially not about the Prime Minister’s multi-billion-ringgit pet project?
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Malaysia’s e-BX Pushes Internet Billing Concept

By Julian Matthews, Newsbytes.
PENANG, MALAYSIA,
25 Nov 1999, 12:34 AM CST

“The check is in the Net.” That could be the response companies can expect from tardy customers soon.

Offering an Internet billing solution endorsed by IBM Corp. [NYSE:IBM], e-Business Exchange Pte Ltd (eBX), plans to entirely eliminate paper from billing and payment cycles.

No more hassles with bad checks, misplaced invoices and postal delays. Even reminder notices - and the standard phrase, “please ignore this notice if you have already made payment” may be a thing of the past.
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IBM touts Malaysian Internet e-billing solution

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–IBM has endorsed a homegrown e-billing solution that will dispense with the hassle of writing multiple checks and eliminate paper-based billing and posting.

“e-Business Exchange is one of the first e-billing and payment solution vendors which has broken into new markets and has been very successful. It counts world-class companies like Hong Kong Telecom and United Overseas Bank in Singapore as its major customers,” said Ou Shian Waei, IBM Malaysia country manager.

Ou said Penang-based e-BX exemplified the kind of entrepreneurship that can flourish in Malaysia given the right business environment.

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Malaysia’s Astro, TVB Hong Kong to build Chinese Net portal

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Measat Broadcast Network Systems (MBNS), the operator of Malaysia’s only satellite pay-TV service Astro, and Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts Ltd (TVB), have set up a joint venture to launch a Chinese-language Internet portal service.

MBNS said it will invest US$30 million for a 30 percent stake in the new company TVB.COM Ltd, which will be incorporated in Hong Kong. Further investment from TVB and external funding is expected to be announced later.

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