(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): Parliament debate on ICT Budget, K-economy and MSC becomes a bad joke when the Malaysian Parliament homepage continues to be a living advertisement to the world that Malaysia is not serious in wanting to be a IT powerhouse and not ready with the mindset to take the quantum leap into the information and knowledge era.
Three years ago on 14th October 1997, during the 1997 supplementary estimates debate in Parliament, I described the Parliamentary Homepage "a shame and disgrace and should be revamped immediately to make it interactive and a model of website for all other government agencies".
I said that Parliament, as the highest political and legislative institution in the country, should play a vanguard role in the information revolution in Malaysia but the reverse was the case.
"A look at the websites of other Parliaments would show the great difference between their homepages and ours. The Singapore Parliament homepage for instance carries updates like questions for oral answer, orders of the day and notices of motion, questions for written answer and other data."
"The homepages of the Australian Parliament, the House of Commons and the United States Congress are even more extensive."
"The Australian and the UK Parliament websites give access to notice papers, votes and proceedings, Hansard which is the transcript of parliamentary proceedings, public bills, answers to questions, etc."
"These are all not available on the Malaysian Parliamentary homepage."
This is why for the past four-and-a-half years, the Parliamentary homepage could only attract 75,912 visitors, working out to the miserable figure of some 46 visitors a day - most emanating probably from the parliamentary webmaster and his staff.
Members of Parliament, both from the Barisan Nasional and Barisan Alternative, who are really serious about IT should make a daily issue of the disgraceful Parliamentary homepage during the current K-Budget debate.
What is the use of talking about a world-class IT workforce when the Malaysian Parliament cannot put up a world-class homepage?
MPs from both the government and opposite should stand in unison to demand that the present Parliamentary homepage should be immediately revamped to make it comparable with the best Parliamentary homepages in the world.
The Parliamentary homepage is one reminder that Malaysia has lost five
years in the international competition to become an IT powerhouse - or
25 Internet years as a human year is equated to five Internet years
- and the country should not continue to talk IT without the necessary
IT mindset and cultural transformation which are the prerequisites for
Malaysia to take the quantum leap into the information/knowledge era. Can
the Malaysian Parliament set the example for this immediate IT mindset
and cultural change or will it continue to lumber on as a dinosaur in the