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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Government & the roots of a mediocre MSC

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An excellent article from someone deep in the tech trenches. Yes, it is scathing, but only because for over two decades no one has really dared to speak out against the one identifiable body that has successfully thwarted the Malaysian tech industry - the Government, and its innate bureaucratic process.

Governments the world over are known to be lumbering behemoths, and the Malaysian government is not alone. That said, it is encumbered further by the fact that in proportion to its population, ours is bigger than most.

The best thing the government can do to help our tech industry is to get the hell out of the way, as Ditesh Gathani elaborates in this article. Or else, what results will be more hare-brained initiatives like the 1Malaysia Email project.

The government needs to exit the software ecosystem — Ditesh Gathani

The government of Malaysia has had a chilling effect on the growth of the Malaysian software ecosystem, and needs to make an exit in order for the sector to blossom.

It’s hard to know where one should start commenting on the latest fiasco around the proposed 1 Malaysia email system. Perhaps more than any other single software project in recent times, the 1 Malaysia email proposal has highlighted the deep rot within the software industry in Malaysia. The public outcry has been loud and consistent. The subject even comes up during office meetings, as a form of collective outrage against yet another silliness we’ve been asked to endure.

For those unaware of the proposal, the gist of it is that Tricubes, a distressed public listed firm, won a bid to provide Malaysians with an email service. That’s right — to provide Malaysians with an email service. Oh, the best part of this proposal is that Tricubes would be charging the government RM0.50 for every email sent by the government to Malaysians.

If it sounds incredible in any zany sort of way, you must be new to this country and I must warmly welcome you to Malaysia, fondly known among its residents as Bolehland. Magical, amazing and outlandish things happen in this country which are entertaining in a tragic sort of way. So tragic that it’s worth creating a newspeak word to properly describe the tragedy.

tragedic. adjective. Recursive definition to describe tragedies so outlandishly tragic, that its tragedic

As tragedic proposals go, all things considered, this one had the distinction of being pretty dumb. Free email systems have been around for a while and the need for yet another email system is rather doubtful.