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Down the corridors of power|
The Multimedia Development Corporation, the one-stop agency developing and promoting the MSC, claims 214 companies have received MSC status as of April 28 this year.
"Of these companies 139 are already operational with 9,916 employees and investments worth 1.193 billion ringgit (US$314 million)," said its executive chairman Dr Othman Yeop Abdullah in a statement.
Othman said 29 of the approved companies can be considered "world-class".
"Considering that we opened application only in early 1997 and targeted to attract 50 such companies by 2003, I think it is a great achievement by any standard," he said.
Othman reaffirmed that MSC companies are exempt from capital controls and Malaysia will not censor the Internet, albeit with a caveat: "But the moment you download and disseminate any information deemed as seditious or pornographic, then your actions come under existing laws."
He adds that the cybercafe ruling to register patrons has also been lifted.
Infrastructure-wise, the initial phase of Putrajaya has been completed and the Prime Minister and 850 staff of his department will start shifting next month, after an eight-month delay.
The shift will be the first wave of government ministries and departments migrating to the new complex from Kuala Lumpur, and will have about 16 million sq ft of gross office floor by year's end.
Located 25 km from KL, Putrajaya is a sprawling township of over 4,581 hectares which will support a population of 330,000. It is expected to be completed in stages over 20 years at the cost of 22 billion ringgit (about US$5.8 billion).
Putrajaya is the twin city to Cyberjaya, also a key component of the MSC, and being built as the host city to technology companies.
Othman said the opening of Cyberjaya scheduled for year's end has been brought forward to mid-year as an indication that the project is on course.
An express rail link project linking the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which is the southern gateway to the MSC, and the capital city, is also back onstream after being bogged down by contract delays. Set to be ready last June, its completion date has been pushed forward to the first quarter of 2002.
Mesdaq, the high-tech stock market styled after the U.S.' Nasdaq Stock Exchange, was finally launched last month after an 18-month delay. Mesdaq was targeted for technology companies, particularly in those in the MSC, to raise much-needed capital to fund their ventures.
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