Choose local IT solutions, govt agencies told

Posted on 09 Nov 2009

* Berita ini terdapat dalam Bahasa Inggeris sahaja.

PUTRAJAYA: All government agencies will soon be required to use local software and solutions whenever possible.

The move is to give Malaysian ICT (information and communications technology) companies a chance to flourish in the local market and strengthen their products before pushing into global markets.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said a circular would be sent out, informing all government institutions to give preference to local software and solutions.

He was speaking after officiating at the 21st MSC Malaysia Implementation Council Meeting (ICM) on Monday at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC).Picture

“At the meeting, I made an emphasis for ministries and government agencies to adopt local ICT solutions, provided these products are cost competitive and of high quality,” Najib said.

The Prime Minister also called on the agencies to more extensively use electronic media to maintain contact with the public, such as e-mail, short message service, and even social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

“For example, SMSes could be sent to warn the people of floods and potential landslides,” he said.

Najib also said that Malaysia needs to work faster in creating an abundant supply of well-trained and multi-skilled ICT workers who are on par with their overseas counterparts.


Pikom — the Association of the Computer and Multimedia Industry of Malaysia — welcomed the Prime Minister’s call.

C.J. Ang, Pikom president, told In.Tech that the move is a boost for local industry players. “This is also definitely a plus for our enterprise-software companies — the Government is giving them more business,” he said.

However, he cautioned that the “go local” plan if allowed to carry on for too long, could be construed by the foreign vendors as protectionism.

“It could also put local vendors in a comfort zone that keeps them from striving to better their products to compete internationally,” Ang said.

Microsoft Malaysia, local subsidiary of the US-based software giant, said the shift toward indigenous solutions will benefit its Malaysian partners.

“Such encouragement from the Government, we hope, will result in more Made-in-Malaysia solutions, helping the nation to realise its high-value-economy aspirations and to nurture a culture of innovation amongst Malaysians,” said a spokesman for Microsoft Malaysia.

He said the company has the largest ecosystem throughout the country — there are 5,000 partners nationwide, of which some 800 are independent software vendors.

“Microsoft hopes the local software solutions industry will one day grow to be as big as what the manufacturing sector is to the Malaysian economy.

“Along the way, we also hope that these Made-in-Malaysia solutions will elevate other existing economic sectors, such as agriculture, to a new level where the nation can compete even more efficiently with the rest of the world,” the spokesman said.

The other meeting

Tomorrow, the International Advisory Panel (IAP) will meet at the PICC. It will focus on how the MSC Malaysia initiative can assist the country’s economic recovery and create future prosperity via an innovation economy, develop world-class talents in Malaysians, and help attract investments.

The panel, which includes international captains or industry, IT experts and academicians, helps guide the MSC Malaysia initiative.

MSC Malaysia, conceptualised in 1996, is a government initiative to leapfrog the country’s knowledge-based economy and move the people into the Information Age.

Foreign and home grown companies, numbering more than 900, are part of the initiative and are operating in high-tech areas nationwide. These businesses are involved in R&D work, multimedia products and services, as well as information and communications technology (ICT).