Malaysian Web sites still not error-free

By Julian Matthews
Friday, June 18 1999

KUALA LUMPUR–The government of Malaysia touts the benefits of the Internet through its Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) initiative but is still unable to meet a basic requirement of the medium–regularly updated Web pages.

Ironically, Web sites maintained by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC), the government agency in charge of the MSC, were among those found wanting.

Last week, CNET Malaysia pointed out that two lists of members of an international advisory panel for the MSC were not updated and even contained false information.

Four prominent personalities were mistakenly listed as advisors to the panel, while others were not given correct managerial designations, even though some of these had changed over a year ago.

Following the story, MDC made an attempt to correct the situation. It took down its mirror site in the US which had incorrect information, and updated its Malaysian site.

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Malaysia yanks flawed list of advisors

By Julian Matthews
Monday, June 14 1999

KUALA LUMPUR–Official Web pages containing names of industry icons purportedly being members of an international advisory panel for Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor project were suddenly removed Friday.

The Multimedia Development Corporation, the government agency which is responsible for maintaining the lists, pulled the entire US mirror site and revised another list at its Malaysian Web site.

In a statement issued on Friday, it said the US mirror site was “now defunct and its contents are no longer valid.”

MDC did not explain how the false information came to be included on the MSC Web sites–which are the official sources for updates on the progress of the project.

When contacted by CNET Malaysia, an MDC spokesperson could not explain why the oversight occurred and refused to speculate.
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Cisco CEO denies he is part of MSC panel

By Julian Matthews
Thursday, June 10 1999

KUALA LUMPUR–Cisco Systems president and CEO John Chambers has denied ever being an advisor to Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor project, despite being officially listed as one.

Chambers said he is “not planning to be a part of this panel and has not been a part of it in the past,” in a statement via his executive assistant Debbie Gross.

The list of advisors can be found on the Web site of the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC), the agency responsible for developing the MSC.

The panel advises Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on the strategic direction and policies of the project and is due to meet for the third time on July 8 in Malaysia.
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Toffler to boycott MSC meeting

By Julian Matthews
Wednesday, June 02 1999

KUALA LUMPUR–Renowned author and futurist Alvin Toffler will not attend Malaysia’s high-profile Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) advisors meeting in July to protest the treatment of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim and Pakistani scientist Dr Munawar Anees.

“Even though I still believe the MSC would be valuable for the country, I cannot, after what was done to Dr Anees and the outcome of the Anwar trial, participate in the project, ” said Toffler in an email to CNET Asia.

As a member of the MSC international advisory panel (IAP), Toffler and other advisors are invited for annual meetings to discuss and review progress of the project.

Anwar and Dr Anees were arrested on sex charges last September during the height of Malaysia’s financial crisis. Both claimed brutality and ill-treatment while in police custody.

Toffler indicated that despite his non-attendance, he has not formally resigned from the panel. “But if my name has been dropped from the list, it reflects the de facto reality.”
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Toffler Raises Furore Over MSC’s Future

By Julian Matthews

November 19, 1998, Kuala Lumpur — Under intense international scrutiny and amid the worst political and financial crisis in its recent history, Malaysia now faces doubts on the viability of its much-touted Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project.

Author Alvin Toffler, an influential member of the MSC’s international advisory panel, has shot the first salvo by castigating the Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for perpetuating a “climate of political repression” that he says will stifle the project.

“I do not believe that this visionary project, which is important for the future of the Malaysian people and serves, in part, as a model and challenge to other countries, can flourish in the present climate of political repression,” he said in a statement issued to this reporter.

He said he believed that other members of the panel, comprising top executives of giant software, computer, and telecommunications companies, shared his view.

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