(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): Malaysia has lost five years - or 25 Internet years as a human year is equated to five Internet years - to position itself strategically to become an IT (Information Technology) power house.
During the debate on the Seventh Malaysia Plan in Parliament five years ago in May 1996, I had proposed that Malaysia should respond to the challenge of information technology by proclaiming the Knowledge Society as a national vision and strategic objective.
The vision of a Knowledge Society was to harness IT to provide an environment for lifelong learning in which all Malaysians will have access to the widest possible variety of learning opportunities and tools in order to succeed in the new global economy of the 21st century.
I had also made various proposals which, if implemented in the past five years, would have positioned Malaysia more strategically to become an IT powerhouse in the new century, such as:
Malaysia has missed many opportunities to be in the forefront of the IT revolution. In 1996, the government declared that it would introduce electronic government with online services to the people once the Prime Ministerís Office in Putrajaya was completed in September 1998.
I had at that time questioned as to why Malaysia must wait until the paperless office of the Prime Ministerís Office in Putrajaya had been completed before the introduction of electronic government, as already being done by many other countries, as Malaysia did not lack the technology but only the commitment of e-government.
Without a full national awareness at all levels of government and leadership
that Malaysia had lost 25 Internet years to position itself strategically
to become an IT power house, Malaysia will continue to make the same
mistakes of failing to make the full use of the Internet years despite
all the rhetoric about the K-economy master plan.