It is a heart-breaking exercise trying to track official websites, as they show an abysmal absence of IT and K mentality and mind-set, which cannot augur well for Malaysia’s ambition to become an IT superpower or a K-economy.
I have said before, and I reiterate, that the Malaysian Parliamentary website is the most disgraceful parliamentary website not only in the Commonwealth but in the world - whether in interactivity or contents such as current information, parliamentary debate rercords, bills, laws or a competent research library service online on toplical issues.
The jurassic parliament website is not an isolated case of the IT desert in officialdom. Last July, the Anti-Corruption Agency director-general Ahmad Zaki Husin invited the public to co-operate with the ACA, including making use of the ACA homepage on the Internet, http://www.jaring.my/bpr.
However, anyone trying to reach the ACA online on this URL will be led to a wild goose’s chase, wasting time as well as draining public confidence in the efficiency and seriousness of the ACA.
There had been periodical reports in the media in the past about government websites which have degenrated into "cobwebs", never updated and allowing for no interactivity whatsoever. Such media exposes, however, only cause momentary embarrassment but do not seem to have any lasting salutary effects - apart from causing some of the "cobwebsites" to be taken down completely.
In mid-April, for instance, the Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Abu Hassan Omar directed that all the Selangor State Government websites should be suspended until all its information had been updated.
As a result, net surfers at the time who tried to access www.selangor.gov.my were met with a message which read: "The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable."
In directing that all state government websites should be suspended until they were updated, Abu Hassan forgot to give a deadline as to when all the websites should be updated. As a result, when I tried to access the Selangor State government website today, it was completely inaccessible.
The government’s IT programme, whether national or state, is being reduced into a joke going by the government "cobwebsites".
All the talk about Malaysia wanting to have a K-economy appears premature when we don’t have a K-government in the first place.
Before the Malaysian government is to be taken seriously about its K-economy plans, it should get rid of the cobwebs not only on government official sites on the Internet, but in the mental make-up of the national and state government leaders.