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Malaysian Government Prefers Open Code 210

Posted by timothy
from the show-me-the-monkey dept.
Suresh Gnasegarah writes "All Malaysian government technology procurement will now have a preference for open source software (OSS), under the Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Software Masterplan. The masterplan's near-term targets includes: 60% of all new servers able to run OSS operating systems, 30% of office infrastructure -- like e-mail, DNS, proxy servers -- on OSS, and 20% of school computer labs to have OSS applications such as productivity suites installed. Looks like old Bill's scare tactic that OSS software kills jobs didn't quite work. Another victory for the open source software movement!"
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Malaysian Government Prefers Open Code

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  • Re:funding? (Score:5, Informative)

    by bertboerland (31938) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @02:20AM (#9729355) Homepage
    In the Netherlands a big municipality (Amsterdam [amsterdam.nl]) is paying for the development of a CMS [mmbase.org] and releasing modules under teh GPL. See the "web in a box" site of BIA [amsterdam.nl]
  • Re:About Arthur (Score:5, Informative)

    by zhenlin (722930) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @02:26AM (#9729376)
    It's highly unlikely that you will find one. I speak as a Malaysian.

    Their sales come from corporate and other large-scale users, like my school and my father's offices. My school paid over RM185,000 (RM3.80 = US$1.00 exactly, due to pegging) in licensing fees this year.
  • by sm84 (145828) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @04:24AM (#9729725)
    The Malaysian gov't is happy to use OSS software if it saves them money. But any IT work done under a gov't of Malaysia contract cannot be released to anyone as it is protected by the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

    Even if this OSA restriction didn't exist, the local IT vendors in Malaysia would never want the code they wrote to be under any form of scrutiny as their projects are usually failures that still result in big payouts for them.

    Don't count on seeing a single contribution from Malaysia to the opensource community in the next couple of years.
  • by raju1kabir (251972) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @05:02AM (#9729800) Homepage
    Malaysia is rather rabidly anti-western and anti-American.

    Malaysia is no such thing. Some scraps of circumstantial evidence:

    • The Malaysian flag is an homage to the American flag.
    • 1/4 of the programmes on TV come straight from the USA. This morning I was having breakfast at a little place down the street and everyone was watching WWF reruns on TV with rapt attention.
    • American music and movies completely rule their respective markets (though Chinese pop puts up a good struggle).
    • Malaysians cheerfully welcome westerners to the country.
    • Every day I see people (Malaysians, not tourists) walking around with obviously American t-shirts.
    • Malaysia makes an awful lot of money manufacturing high-tech goods for western companies and this is no secret to anybody.
    • A&W Root Beer restaurants are all over the place; every mug and promo paper boasts explicitly of the Americanness of the place and yet they're packed with Muslim families having dinner out.

    You are probably confusing an entire country with a few zany speeches by former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir.

    This would not happen in Japan, for instance.

    It's come close to happening in a lot of western countries like, say, Germany.

  • Re:About Arthur (Score:3, Informative)

    by Daengbo (523424) <daengbo@nospaM.gmail.com> on Sunday July 18, 2004 @05:23AM (#9729845) Homepage Journal
    I now live in Korea, but for the four and a half years that I lived in Thailand, I saw exactly the same thing that you do... I think the difference between the two countries in Linux use will diminish as time goes on, because the Thai government started policies like the one in the story about three years ago, and longer than that for some projects like SiS (School Intranet Server, based on RH).

    I have also purchased many Linux CDs at IT malls like Panthip Plaza (though I prefer Zeer Rangsit) sitting right next to the newest release from MS, and costing three times as much. The cops take a cut there, so the CDs run about 150 Baht each (US $4.50), maybe less with a discount. That means that LinuxTLE, Mandrake, or Fedora will cost me 400 Baht, while the guy next to me buys Windows for 150. I try to complain that my software is legal, and that they should cut me an extra discount, but it never works.

    What's even worse is when the guys don't check the MD5SUMs (or even know what they are...) and give you that "no exchanges" policy. Sometimes it would just be easier to pirate software than to try to purchase legal stuff.
  • by a24061 (703202) * on Sunday July 18, 2004 @07:47AM (#9730168)
    Unpatriotic?

    Even good Americans don't use Internet Explorer [yahoo.com]!

  • Re:I wonder.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by imroy (755) <imroykun@gmail.com> on Sunday July 18, 2004 @08:40AM (#9730285) Homepage Journal

    What are you talking about? Companies like Red Hat, SuSE, Caldera, and IBM have been employing F/OSS coders for years. RH employed Alan Cox to continue work on the kernel. SuSE employed quite a few coders who were working on various projects (like ALSA). It doesn't seem to have created any sort of jealousy or resentment amongst the other coders. We all manage to get by. Some of us are employed, some aren't. And the really good/lucky ones get employed to continue working on what we are interested in.

  • you got it (Score:2, Informative)

    by zogger (617870) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @08:52AM (#9730313) Homepage Journal
    quote "That's not really "hiring programmers" because the people who wrote Word and Windows XP have already been paid."

    That's it in a nutshell. Closed source efforts like from MS are exactly like the music industry wanting to charge full price for extremely cheap to almost free (to them) copies, forever and ever, and to mandate it by law and coercion. It is unsustainable foolishness. People in the rest of the world and in the rest of the jobs out there get paid by producing new work, not by re selling the old work over and over and over again. The handwriting is *indeed* on the wall when it comes to this. That's one of the main reasons open source even exists now, because it was such a ripoff to try and even get and use closed source in the first place. Look at what a brain like Linus had to do just to even be allowed to program in the direction he wanted to go! that's the lame closed source industry's fault right there, they were so greedy they couldn't even see it. Open source allows people to be creative, and to share their creativity with others, to use as they see fit, for pleasure or in their other "real" business. Closed source pricing (leasing, no sales allowed mostly) guidelines have been the industrys attempts to fleece the market place for decades now, and not only that, they managed to wiggle in universal acceptance of no warranties on top of ridiculous prices that occur over and over again as new "forced upgrades" have occurred. That entire nutso attitude and business model is changing,and those who cling to the past will be hurt the most.
  • by flossie (135232) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @09:11AM (#9730362) Homepage
    Governments should choose the best software for the job, period.

    And if you read the article, you would see that the Malaysian government has stated:

    "in situations where advantages and disadvantages of OSS and proprietary software are equal, preference shall be given to OSS."
    If open-source software is better they will use it; if proprietary software is better, they will use it; if there is little to choose between them, they will prefer open-source because of all the other (economic and strategic) advantages that this brings.

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