Speechs in the year
Tempat/Venue 	: 	HANNOVER, GERMANY 
Tarikh/Date	: 	20/03/98 

  1.     I  am  delighted to be here at CeBIT '98, which  is
  one  of  the  world's  largest and  most  prestigious  I.T.
  fairs,  where companies from all over the world  gather  to
  showcase  all  the  latest  innovations  and  technologies.
  Being  somewhat of a 'technology buff' myself, I am looking
  forward  to visiting the pavilions, as well as meeting  the
  leading   players  in  the  German  I.T.   and   multimedia
  2.    Three  main  elements  have brought  mankind  to  the
  threshold  of  the  Information Age --  rapid  advances  in
  global  communications, the Internet   and  convergence  of
  technologies.  The Internet has matured substantially,  not
  only   as  a  major  communications  tool  and  source   of
  information,  but  as  the medium for electronic  commerce.
  Over  the  years, it has evolved in terms of  size,  global
  reach  and accessibility.  Researchers have estimated  that
  in  1997,  there were 54 million Internet users  worldwide,
  while   Internet  services  constituted  a  US$35   billion
  market.  Demand is expected to grow rapidly, with not  only
  mass-market  penetration  of the Internet  continuing,  but
  the  adoption  of  a  diversity  of   services  within  the
  Internet also growing.
  3.    Advances in global communications, too, has led us to
  new  frontiers  in  the borderless  world.   In  the  past,
  telecommunications  services  were  linked  to  a  specific
  infrastructure.  Today, voice, date and video services  can
  be  transmitted  at very high  speeds,  over  any  kind  of
  network  -- fixed, wireless, satellite or a combination  of
  these.    With    the    convergence    of    technologies,
  telecommunications, media and I.T. companies are  now  able
  to  offer  new services outside their traditional  business
  sectors.   The convergence of technologies is also  driving
  the  convergence  of  industries into a common  'electronic
  business   system'  with  functionalities  that  facilitate
  borderless businesses.
  4.    Needless to say, Information Technology, which is the
  foundation of the new digital economy, is moving  literally
  with  the speed of light.  The magnitude and impact of  the
  growth  has  far-reaching implications, opening up  endless
  opportunities  and undreamed of options for  businesses  to
  explore.   I'd  like  to share with you this  morning  some
  thoughts  about  the  forces that  will  shape  our  common
  digital  future -- the promise it holds and  the  strategic
  response  we  in Malaysia are making to take  advantage  of
  that promise.
  5.    In  Malaysia, we have taken a pragmatic  approach  to
  enter  the  Information  Age.  We  realised  that  an  I.T.
  Agenda  is the sine qua non to realise our goal of becoming
  a  fully-developed nation by the year 2020.   Studies  have
  shown   that  in  order  to  reach  fully-developed  nation
  status,  our  annual  growth  rate  has  to  average  seven
  percent  a  year until the year 2020.  It is expected  that
  the  manufacturing sector's contribution to  the  GDP  will
  peak  at  around 38 percent by the year 2005.  We therefore
  need  a  second  engine  of growth  for  the  economy.   We
  believe  that  this  will come from  a  thriving  I.T.  and
  multimedia  industry which will, in turn, fuel productivity
  in other industry sectors.
  6.     Among  others,  our  I.T.  Agenda  outlines  various
  strategies  which will help us achieve a knowledge  society
  through  the  development  of  people,  infrastructure  and
  applications.   We have started building the foundation  to
  support this knowledge society, and this is in the form  of
  the  Multimedia Super Corridor, or the MSC,  which  is  our
  first  major investment for the future.  For us, this  will
  be  primarily the vehicle for our country's entry into  the
  Information Age.
  7.    The  MSC  is  not just a physical location,  or  just
  another  industrial or technology park -- and it is  not  a
  Far   Eastern  imitation  of  the  Silicon  Valley  --   it
  represents a new paradigm in the creation of value for  the
  Information  Age.  The MSC is envisioned to  be  a  hi-tech
  test-bed  that  will allow companies to explore  multimedia
  technologies without any limitations.  It aspires to  be  a
  global  centre for the applications and testing of leading-
  edge I.T.  advances and discoveries.
  8.    To you, this may seem somewhat audacious on the  part
  of  a  small developing country.  We are the first to admit
  that  we  are  only just taking our first  steps  into  the
  complex  and sophisticated world of multimedia  --  but  we
  can   provide  an  ideal  environment  for  technology   to
  flourish.   In fact, being a developing country helps.   We
  offer  a  green  field  site,  unencumbered  by  industrial
  practices  and legacies or entrenched interests --  a  site
  dedicated to the full application of I.T.  in the  new  age
  electronic commerce.
  9.    We  have  before us the example of  Britain  and  the
  United  States  of  America, one  fathered  the  Industrial
  Revolution,  while  the  other  brought  it  to  its   full
  development. America was then one huge green field site  --
  providing   the  optimum  conditions  for  technology   and
  business   to   flourish,  to  fulfill   the   promise   of
  Industrialisation.  We have taken this as a  model.   In  a
  modest  way, we too, hope to assume a catalytic role.   Our
  task  will be to create an ideal environment for I.T.   and
  multimedia,   one  which  will  encompass   the   physical,
  economic,   regulatory  and  policy  framework  that   will
  unleash  the creative dynamics for innovation and  advances
  in this field.
  10.   For  a  country  like Malaysia,  which  is  far  less
  developed  in  terms of the  multimedia, this  will  demand
  one  giant  technological leap.  We have a  lot  to  learn.
  This is not something which we can embark on our own.   For
  that  reason  we turn to you and others like you.   We  can
  only  do it in mutually beneficial partnership with  world-
  class  companies from all around the globe.   At  the  same
  time,   we  hope  to  help  our  own  I.T.  and  multimedia
  companies  become world-class over time.   It  is  a  smart
  relationship  that will hopefully lead to  the  development
  of   many,  new  and  innovative  multimedia  products  and
  services  in the future.  We invite you to bring  your  hi-
  tech   operations,  your  R&D,  your  I.T.    know-how   to
  experiment  and  to try on your own or alongside  Malaysian
  companies  in the MSC.  In order to create this  multimedia
  haven,  we  need  a  cross  section  of  telecommunications
  companies, content providers, and software developers.
  11.  The MSC will be a 'web' of collaborating companies  in
  the   I.T.  field  --  a  multi-cultural  web  of  mutually
  dependent    international    and    Malaysian    companies
  collaborating  to  deliver new products  and  new  services
  across  an economically vibrant Asia and beyond.  And  like
  a  spider,  it  will  weave ever  more  intricate  webs  of
  relationships  and  create synergies amongst  participating
  companies.   Such  a  web  could  be  the  new   model   of
  development for the Information Age.
  12.    We   have  already  promoted  our  vision  of   this
  multimedia  haven in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the  United
  Kingdom,  Japan and Canada, where it received a  heartening
  response.   We  have  special reasons  to  hope  that  more
  European  companies will soon be represented  in  the  MSC,
  along with our other distinguished pioneers.
  13.   Siemens, which has been in Malaysia for a  long  time
  and  is  now  one  of  its  leading corporate  players,  is
  already  involved  in the MSC.  Its Chairman,  Dr  Heinrich
  von  Pierer, sits on the MSC's International Advisory Panel
  set  up to counsel Malaysia on the development of the  MSC,
  together  with other leading I.T.  players from around  the
  world.   The  Multimedia  Development  Corporation,   which
  oversees   the   development  of  the  MSC,  is   currently
  evaluating  a  few  MSC  status  applications  from  German
  companies,  and  are talking to several  more  during  this
  visit.  Several site visits have also been planned.
  14.   We see a lot of strengths in the German I.T. industry
  which  will  facilitate  its  expansion  and  globalisation
  efforts.   It  is  now as well-positioned  as  the  largest
  market  for  information products and services  in  Europe.
  It  also  has  many  strengths  in  the  telecommunications
  sector,  having  the largest digital network in the  world,
  the   latest  technology  in  mobile  communications,   the
  largest  telecommunications  company  in  Europe  and   the
  second largest in the world after AT&T.
  15.    Yours   is  a  country  renowned  for  technological
  innovations,   and   we  look  to  you  for   technological
  transfers.   However,  whilst continuing  to  rely  on  the
  transfer   of   technology,  we  are  getting   even   more
  ambitious.   We do not want to be just passive  recipients,
  but  active  participants -- and with the  help  of  people
  like  yourselves,  we  have  set  ourselves  the  goal   of
  developing   new  technologies  indigenous   to   Malaysia,
  specifically, we are hoping to attract R&D operations.   We
  want  to be part of the industry's world wide endeavour  to
  develop  intelligent multimedia solutions to manage today's
  exploding  range  of information options.   Hopefully  when
  the  world  gets the next generation of hi-tech start  ups,
  Malaysia would  be there.
  16.   We look forward to expanding our business links  with
  you.   In  particular, we commend to you the ample business
  opportunities  presented  by   the  MSC.    What   we   are
  proposing  is  a  smart partnership.  It is  presented  not
  just  as  an  exciting  and  innovative  idea,  but  as   a
  carefully conceived and sound business proposition.
  17.   In physical terms, the MSC is a relatively large area
  15  km  by  50  km.  By concentrating I.T.  and  multimedia
  operations   in   one  dedicated  area,  a   very   special
  environment   can   be   created,  facilitated   and   more
  efficiently  managed.  The Corridor begins at the  Petronas
  twin   towers,   currently  two  of  the  world's   tallest
  buildings.   It  runs south down to the  new  Kuala  Lumpur
  International  Airport, which when it opens  in  June  this
  year,  will be the most advanced in the Asia Pacific region
  and will become a regional communications hub.
  18.   Two futuristic,  intelligent cities -- Putrajaya  and
  Cyberjaya   --  will  form  the  nuclei  of  the  Corridor.
  Putrajaya is the country's new administrative capital;  the
  other  is  a  cyber  city -- a haven  for  I.T.   companies
  providing   operational  quarters  for  multinationals   to
  direct   their   worldwide  manufacturing   and   marketing
  activities  in multimedia, as well as their production  and
  marketing of multimedia products and services.
  19.   It  is not easy to describe in a few words the  wide-
  ranging concept of the MSC.  It will be purpose-built  with
  the  intent to provide a fertile base for business to focus
  their  unique skills and resources to develop the  new  age
  communications industry.  It will have to incorporate  many
  technologies,   as   well  as  a  technology-oriented   and
  business-focused  setting.  We hope the  closeness  of  the
  companies   to   one   another   will   enable   a   strong
  collaborative   environment  to  be   created   that   will
  encourage  linkages. But we are not just talking buildings,
  facilities  and systems.  The idea is to provide  both  the
  physical  and  the psychological space for creativity.   We
  see  the  MSC  as  a place of enquiry and  of  intellectual
  curiosity.    The  concept  is  not  new.   The   Cavendish
  Laboratory  at  Cambridge  is  just  such  an  assembly  of
  scientific  intelligences.  It has  produced  some  of  the
  world's  greatest physicists.  The MSC, being more business
  oriented, will be developing the practical applications  of
  the  multimedia for commerce and to meet the  business  and
  personal  needs of the 21st century knowledge  worker.   It
  will  be  a global test-bed where new technologies  can  be
  spawned and tried out.
  20.   Putrajaya, the new administrative centre  will  be  a
  test-bed  for Electronic Government -- providing  companies
  with  the  opportunity  to provide  and  validate  a  near-
  paperless  bureaucracy  under  the  conditions  of  a  real
  Government  environment.  Social research will be  included
  --   testing  the  implications  for  society  of   instant
  unlimited information.
  21.   Cyberjaya will provide the physical setting --  7,000
  hectares   of   lush  green  tropical  forest,   palm   oil
  plantations  and rolling countryside.  Much  of  the  green
  space  will  be  preserved.  The Malaysian Government  will
  provide the incentives, groundbreaking cyberlaws, business-
  friendly policies and regulations.  The private sector,  it
  is hoped, will seize the entrepreneurial opportunity.
  22.   To  test  out  this  vision, we  convened  the  first
  meeting of the International Advisory Panel for the MSC  at
  Stanford  University,  California.   Industry  leaders   of
  worldwide  repute,  subjected  the  proposal  to  the  most
  stringent  evaluation.  We are talking of people  like  Jim
  Barksdale   (Netscape),  Bill  Gates   (Microsoft),   Scott
  McNealy   (Sun)  and  many  others.   They   gave   it   an
  enthusiastic  thumbs-up.  This, I feel, is  due  mainly  to
  the  fact that in addition to its intrinsic merit, we  were
  serious   about   removing  the  outdated  obstacles   that
  Industrial age policies, laws, practices and attitudes  had
  posed  for  them.  The panel met again last month  for  the
  second   time   at  the  MSC  headquarters  in   Cyberjaya.
  Progress  was  evaluated and the next  forward  steps  were
  recommended.    Various  cross-border  issues,   especially
  those   pertaining  to  electronic  commerce,   were   also
  discussed.   The members were impressed with  the  progress
  to date, and re-affirmed their support and confidence.
  23.   Work is already well underway at the MSC and  is  one
  year  ahead of schedule. The 'hard' infrastructure is being
  put  into  place on a fast track basis.  Response has  been
  beyond  our  expectations and to date, we  have  given  MSC
  status accreditation to 110 companies, out of which 84  are
  already  in  operation.  We have, since  April  last  year,
  received  a  total of 180 applications for MSC status,  out
  of  which 34 percent are from foreign companies, 43 percent
  from   Malaysian  companies,  and  23  percent  from  joint
  ventures  between  Malaysian  and  foreign  companies.   12
  percent  of  the  applications from foreign  companies  are
  24.   Barely a year since we first launched the MSC, we are
  already  beginning  to  see  the  value  created  from  the
  Information    Age   business.    Multimedia    Development
  Corporation  statistics  on the MSC-Status  Companies  show
  increased  investment in high value-added activities,  with
  revenue to investment ratio of approximately three to  one.
  For  all  the companies which have applied for MSC  status,
  the  combined  revenue  projected  by  the  fifth  year  of
  operations  is  around 13 billion Ringgit, while  projected
  profit  for  the  same  period is  close  to  five  billion
  Ringgit.   This is on the back of an investment  of  around
  four  billion  Ringgit.  There are also signs  showing  the
  formation   of   new   services-based  industry   clusters,
  specifically  in  software development,  content  creation,
  animation and broadcasting, and telecommunications.
  25.   Additionally,  based  on  all  the  MSC  applications
  received,  knowledge worker requirement by the  fifth  year
  of  operations  stands  in excess of  23,000.   Recognising
  this   need,   we   have  recently  extended   MSC   status
  accreditation to institutions of higher learning as one  of
  the  measures to help fulfil the companies' human  resource
  26.   However, we see the 'soft' infrastructure as the area
  where  we  probably need to innovate most.   The  Malaysian
  Government,  always  business-friendly  and  accustomed  to
  dealing  with foreign investors, promises to be  even  more
  friendly to the people of the MSC:-
  -     Knowledge  workers who fall within  the  category  of
  special  guests will get in and out of the Corridor without
  hassle or delay, with multiple entry visas;
  -     We will allow 100 percent ownership of companies  and
  unrestricted employment of knowledge workers from abroad;
  -     Incentives  are  generous with up  to  10  years  tax
  -     We will not censor the Internet -- but of course,  if
  you  download,  and distribute certain undesirable  illegal
  material,  pornography for example, you will  be  subjected
  to the usual laws of the country;
  -     Companies  will find a breath of fresh  air  coursing
  through  the  regulatory  system.  Bureaucratic  procedures
  will  be reduced to a minimum.  Official requirements  will
  be   few   and   approvals  expedited   for   work   permit
  -     A  one-stop agency system will streamline the  entire
  process,    handled    by   the   Multimedia    Development
  Corporation,   to  whom  all  your  enquiries   should   be
  directed.   This is where you obtain any official sanctions
  you may need;
  -     We  have  dispensed  with the traditional  and  often
  cumbersome tenders in favour of 'concept proposals',  again
  simplifying the whole procedure.
  27.   We recognised early on the importance of intellectual
  property  rights  and  the need for a special  category  of
  Cyberlaws.   The Multimedia Convergence Act  1997,  already
  on  the  statute  book,  is designed to  support  companies
  engaged in electronic commerce and to resolve some  of  the
  issues  due  to  the  convergence  of  the  communications,
  computing and broadcasting industries.
  28.   Cyberlaws  already  tabled  in  the  House  take  the
  regulatory and legislative controls further than any  tried
  before  --  a  brave attempt to deal with computer  crimes,
  illegal access, commercial espionage and theft, methods  of
  validating  digital  signatures and computer  transactions,
  together  with a host of other protections not  covered  by
  existing  laws.  We realise at the same time that Cyberlaws
  for  new usages of multimedia  as well as  new technologies
  will  pose  fresh problems.  But there is sufficient  legal
  framework  already in place to raise the comfort  level  of
  would-be  investors and to make Malaysia a regional  leader
  in intellectual property protection.
  29.   At  the same time, we realise that a concern  of  the
  private   sector  is  that  Government  does   not   always
  understand  the  reality of operating  a  business  on  the
  ground,  in  terms of operating conditions and constraints.
  In   Malaysia,  we  have  a  highly  developed  process  of
  consultation with private enterprise which was  built  into
  the  development  of  the MSC from the outset.   MSC-Status
  Companies have direct access to me, as the Chairman of  the
  MSC   Implementation  Council  and  International  Advisory
  Panel,  and  to  the Deputy Prime Minister  who  heads  the
  Founders Council.
  30.   All that remains is a forward look.  Phase Two of the
  MSC  project  will see the Corridor linked to other  cities
  in  Malaysia and around the world.  By then, we  expect  in
  excess of 250 companies within the MSC.  By the year  2020,
  the  entire  country  will be a Multimedia  Super  Corridor
  with  a  total of at least 12 intelligent cities linked  to
  the  global  information super highway and thus becoming  a
  link  to  all the other intelligent cities worldwide.   MSC
  participants   will   have  risen  to   500   world   class
  31.   It  will even have a Cyber Court of Justice.  And  in
  terms  of  social concern, we hope that in addition  to  it
  being  a  test-bed for new technologies  it  will  help  to
  develop   and   influence  the  new   culture   of   global
  information,  grappling  as  we  must  with  the   conflict
  between  control  and  licence and offsetting  the  adverse
  social  effects  of  a  massive  unremitting  onslaught  of
  instant, uncensored information.
  32.   What  we are offering may not be new in technological
  terms  but we believe that this initiative is organised  on
  a  scale and is of a comprehensiveness hitherto unrivalled.
  When  we invite you to participate, it is first as a matter
  of  collective self-interest.  Quite simply, we think it is
  a good deal for all, for you and for us.
  33.   We therefore invite you, Ladies and Gentlemen, to  be
  with us as we seek to catch the dawn of the 21st Century.