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Wild Wild Web
Critical mass or mess?
Mergers and requisitions
Compete or be obsolete
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Jaring's mall of Malaysia
A Web site featuring mooncakes to flowers to pharmaceuticals 

Dataquest predicts huge Asia-Pacific e-commerce growth
From IT Daily via Skali 

Good future for e-commerce in Malaysia, says Microsoft
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IBM makes e-commerce affordable in Malaysia
From MSCTimes via Skali 

A critical mass or mess?

In particular, Malaysia has made known its opposition to the U.S. proposal, objecting especially to the call for making trade in goods and services via the Internet tax-free.

According to one observer, the NECC was given the primary task of putting forward an alternative proposal that would not preclude the taxman from dipping his fingers into a potentially rich source of government revenue.

"The 'promoting the development of local e-commerce' bit may have come a bit later,"' said a lawyer specializing in Internet-related legal issues.

It remains to be seen whether a form of "Internet tax" would be included as a recommendation in the Malaysian e-commerce framework. Such a move could prove to be a hindrance for the development of e-commerce in the country, said Joshua Tan, sales and marketing director at GHL Technologies Sdn Bhd.

"I don't think it would encourage Malaysian e-commerce in any way, be it for merchants or consumers," he says.

Indeed, e-commerce is still trying to find its feet in this country, despite the positive outlook displayed by the private sector. For one, the country still lacks the critical mass of consumers who are willing to buy goods and services off the Net.

"We need more Internet users, and we need more of these users to also become buyers," said MDC senior vice president Dr Muhammad Ghazie Ismail recently at a seminar held in Kuala Lumpur.

One of the ways the Government is trying to encourage more people to get on the Net is by increasing the number of Internet Service Providers (ISP). In June last year, the Energy, Communications and Multimedia Ministry announced that it was giving out five new ISP licenses.

The licenses were awarded to five fixed-line players, namely Maxis Communications Bhd, Cellular Communications Sdn Bhd (Celcom), Time Telekom Sdn Bhd, DiGi Communications Bhd and Syarikat Telefon Wireless Sdn Bhd.

Yet only Maxis has announced recently that it would begin offering ISP services by the end of the year.

"Increasing the number of ISPs would encourage more people to get on the Internet, which would make it more attractive for companies to engage in e-commerce," argued Robertson.


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