Seventh Malaysia Plan should incorporate for the first time a strategy to develop a National Information Infrastructure (NTI) which will place Malaysia in the forefront of the information revolution

Speech (Part 2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the opening of the Penang DAP State Convention help on Sunday, 1st October 1995 at 10a.m.

Seventh Malaysia Plan should incorporate for the first time a strategy to develop a National Information Infrastructure (NTI) which will place Malaysia in the forefront of the information revolution

Just now, I said that knowledge has today replaced natural resources in defining power. This is why the party and country must not be left behind in the revolution in information technology (IT).

DAP calls on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ma¬hathir Mohamed to ensure that the Seventh Malaysia Plan incorporates for the first time a strategy to develop a National Information Infrastructure (NII) which will place Malaysia in the forefront on the information revolution and make full use of the information highway.

For a start, when the Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim presents his 1996 budget in Parliament, on October 27, he should make it into the first IT budget in Malaysia, which not only removes all import duties on personal computers and IT equipments, but give tax incentives (including income tax in¬centives) to encourage the development of a computer-literate society.

Under the National Information Infrastructure strate¬gy, Malaysia must make extensive use of the information highway to deliver education, health and other services.

Eventually, for instance, all schools in Malaysia should have access to Internet, However, a more immediate objective is to have a three-year programme to allow all university students in the local universities to have access to Internet.

Aiming to become a leader in information highway development also makes economic sense.The world’s information industry is forecast, to account for more than 15% of the world’s GNP by the year 2000.

Recently, the Association of the Computer Industry Malaysia (Pikom) announced that the local information technology (IT) is estimated to reach RM3.8 billion in revenue for 1995 which though laudable is still a far cry if the local information industry is to account for 35 per cent of Malaysia’s GNP.

What is disturbing is that we have an Information Minister, Datuk Mohamed Rahmat. who can only see pornography on the Internet. Probably, the Information Minister should be the first. Malaysian to be educated about the potential of the infor¬mation highway for social and economic development and job crea¬tion.

Nobody denies that pornography and other undesirable and inappropriate materials on the Internet .is not a problem, but it must be seen as a problem of the Malaysian society and even of the international civil society rather than as a government or bureaucratic problem.

This is why the inter-Ministry committee which the Information Minister announced last month to deal with pornography and other “negative elements” on the information superhighway is most, inappropriate – when cross-sections of the Malaysian society should be involved in dealing with this problem.
Call on Cabinet to send out a clear signal about “Bangsa Malaysia” and “We Are One Family” by lifting the ban on Justice Pao television series.

We seem to have an Information Minister who not only does not understand the future, but who is also confused about, the past…

It is reported today that Datuk Mohamad Rahmat. would meet all television station owners next week to explain why his Ministry had banned the TV series Justice Pao.

I hope MCA and Gerakan Ministers would be able to enlighten the Information Minister and convince him that he is Information Minister of a multi-racial and multi-cultural nation and that the government has a Vision 2020 to create a bangsa Malaysia.

The issue of Justice Pao television series is not about justice to Justice Pao, but justice to the multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysia where such diversity should be regarded as our wealth and opportunity rather than as a curse and handicap.

The Cabinet next Wednesday should send out a clear signal that speeches by Mahathir about “Bangsa Malaysia” and by Anwar Ibrahim about “We Are One Family” are to be taken seriously by immediately lifting the ban on Justice Pao television series and all Chinese costumed programmes.

Coming back to information technology.- IT should also play an important part in the three-year DAP programme of revival and renewal.

For a start, all DAP leaders and activists should become computer-literate and do not just use their computers as upgraded typewriters.

Sanusi’s defeat, is a triumph of money politics.

From the various recent speeches and statements by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and former Agriculture Minister, Datuk Seri Sanusi Junid, Malaysians can take Sanusi’s defeat for the Langkawi UMNO divisional leadership as a triumph of money politics.

I do not want to interface in UMNO party politics, but the question of money politics is not an issue which concerns UMNO but the very question of political integrity and morality.

There is not only money politics in UMNO elections, but during the national general election.

Let all political parties recognise money politics as a cancer and source of corruption in Malaysian public life so that new legislation could be introduced in the forthcoming Parliament to strengthen the Anti-Corruption Agency to wipe out money politics in all forms and at all places, especially during general elections.