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 MSC primer

Launched mid-1996.

Intended to nurture Vision 2020, a national agenda that sets out specific goals and objectives for long-term development.

Chief architect is Malaysia's Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Multimedia Development Corporation manages the Corridor.

MSC is actually a greenfield "corridor" 15 km wide by 50 km long, which starts from the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (itself an intelligent precinct that houses the world's tallest buildings) down south to the site of the region's largest international airport, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Inside sits two of the world's first Smart Cities: Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.

Putrajaya is the new seat of government and administrative capital of Malaysia where the concept of e-government will be introduced.

Cyberjaya is intended as an intelligent city with multimedia industries, R&D centers, a Multimedia University and operational headquarters for MNCs focusing on multimedia technology.

 »  Whither the MSC?
 »  One man's ambition
 »  The year that was
 »  Corridors of power
 »  Light at the end
 »  New world order?
Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor: back on track, but flaws remain
By Julian Matthews
May 28, 1999

Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project became an easy target for critics last year during its political and financial upheavals.

Street demonstrators were violently arrested in the capital city, anti-government Web sites were monitored, cybercafes were asked to take down personal details of patrons, and foreigners were blamed by the government for all its economic woes.

Could this be the same government vigorously supporting the information age and promising to build a high-tech Silicon Valley of the east?

At the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Kuala Lumpur last November, U.S. Vice President Al Gore joined the mounting chorus against Malaysia when he told delegates: "Any government that suppresses information suppresses the economic potential of the Information Age."

Renowned author Alvin Toffler pitched in with critical letters to international media.

"The Internet cannot deliver its full economic and cultural benefits in a climate of political fear," he stated. "Can anyone imagine Silicon Valley, with its pronounced libertarian culture, generating endless innovations and whole new industries in the presence of political repression?"

The comments were in stark contrast to the exuberant response and a flurry of compliments Malaysia received when it first announced the project in 1996.

Even Toffler, in his visit last August as a member of the International Advisory Panel to the MSC, had commended the project for having a broad development framework not only covering technology but also legal, education and cultural components.


Julian Matthews is the Malaysian correspondent for CNET in Asia. Email your comments to us.


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