DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT
Azman bin Haji Awang
At the threshold of the New Millennium, we face a critical challenge. And Malaysia is no exception. The challenge is to ensure that Malaysia remains competitive in the 21st Century; a challenge that is essential if we are to maintain the rapid economic growth, political stability and racial harmony we have long enjoyed. Compounding this challenge are two significant trends in the global economy: increasing globalization and its competitiveness; and a revolution that is driven by rapid changes in the information and communications technologies (ICTs). It is the convergence of these technologies that has transformed and is transforming our societies and communities. This transformation has long been anticipated, but there is clear evidence now to show that the process of change is exceptionally exhilarating. Based on this backdrop, Malaysia like many other countries is attempting to shift forward towards a knowledge-based economy or k-economy - an economy which is directly based on the production, distribution and use of knowledge and information 1. For most countries, this would require significant micro- and macro-economic reforms, suggesting that there is a considerable gap between the reality of what can be achieved, compared to political rhetoric. But for Malaysia, it has taken an innovative step forward to create one of the most wired regions in this part of the world by setting up the Multi-media Super Corridor (in short MSC or a Smart region) 2.
On February 1, 2001 Putrajaya the newly created administrative capital city of Malaysia and a component of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) was officially declared a Federal Territory 3 thus ushering Malaysia into the digital era and the new information economy. It is testimony of the Malaysian government's commitment to the convergence of various information-based, telecommunication, broadcasting and mass media telecommunication technologies. In the words of Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's fourth Prime Minister, the architect of modern Malaysia: