Najib government/1Malaysia tech report card

Malaysian flag at UVUAs Malaysia goes to the polls tomorrow, I thought I’d go back and look at what tech goodness has been achieved by the Najib government after the 12th general elections.

  1. 1Malaysia Email project (myemail) awarded to Tricubes (delisted from stock exchange) to provide email to every Malaysian. I wroteabout it and was relatively bullish. Failure
  2. 1Malaysia laptops at RM990 (link). More than 800,000 disbursed. Never sold to end users by the looks of it. Using the Intel Atom processor, the netbook market is mostly dead now. Mixed (though I haven’t found a student talk about their happiness with this).
  3. 1Malaysia Pad for RM999 (when similar tablets cost around RM300). Awarded to MalTechPro (website seems to have disappeared – Failure.
  4. 1Malaysia Messenger (1MM) via MalTechPro. To compete with BlackBerry Messenger/Whatsapp. Failure.
  5. Tried to pass a Computing Professional Bill 2011 and elect a Board of Computing Professionals. Didn’t succeed (good), on the backburner now (not so good). Semi-failure
  6. Deep packet inspection leading to Internet filtering and the spread of a document that contains FinSpy (which is still under investigation as to whom benefits). Failure.
  7. World class broadband infrastructure – we did see the arrival of fibre, so Unifi, Maxis, etc. can provide faster broadband. Success.
  8. LTE is kind of here. Surprisingly Puncak Semangat has received spectrum. Company linked to Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary (business kingpin). Reminds me a lot of the 3G spectrum debacle, where DiGi didn’t get any so offered EDGE for a very long time; they however did enrich TDC to get the spectrum. Failure.
  9. Prepaid phones don’t have any GST like postpaid phones. This is due to demographic reasons. There is nothing 1Malaysia about it here. Failure.
  10. RM200 smartphone rebates. If my speculation is that it’s for spectrum recycling, it’s not entirely a failure, but getting a RM200 rebate on a phone that costs more than a basic 3G phone (i.e. no more than RM500) is absurd. Failure.

Did I miss anything?

If the elections are won by BN, it looks like there are promises of laptops for everyone. These seem to be Chromebooks, via 1BestariNet (interesting article to read). So there’s some tech to look forward to post-GE13 if Najib forms government.

Update (Sun  5 May 2013 01:39:07 MYT): Tekong informs that the poor in rural/urban areas will soon enjoy half an hour of Internet usage for free, via all telcos and ISPs because a study conducted shows people only use 15-30 minutes of access per day. This can be good to bridge the digital divide, though it looks like its something that only comes post-GE13. Too early to rate yet.

  • Keith Rozario

    you forgot the evidence act, which I view as a top failure. Good overall summary though. How about things like kampung WiFi?

    • colincharles

      do you have more information about kampung wifi? You’re right, I did forget the evidence act 114a. Thanks. I think at some stage, a reporter should take on the list and write a proper article with research references, etc.

      • Keith Rozario

        For kampung Wifi, I wrote a small post on it early 2012, other than that nothing much –which is a problem because the project supposedly cost RM65Million!!

        Don’t forget the security offences act as well–that one I’m going to write on pretty soon. A lot of folks focused on the detention part, while skimming through the scarier bit that allows the government to spy on your internet communications.

  • colincharles

    I forgot the RM1.8 million facebook pages for the tourism ministry (

    I forgot the price check portal (RM1.4 million) – Malaysia Pengguna Bijak – && (version 2)

    • colincharles is a great article

      “Dr Ng said the budget for Impact Creations (M) Sdn Bhd, which had secured a RM30mil ceiling contract for the domestic tourism advertising campaign via open tender, included expenses for digital advertising onGoogle, Facebook and other websites and to run, manage and monitor responses.”