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Tuesday September 2, 2003

MSC-IAP portal behind the times

By JULIAN MATTHEWS

PETALING JAYA: Members of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) advising the Malaysian Government on the Multimedia Super Corridor project are in for surprise if they choose to visit a portal built specifically for the seventh annual meeting that kicks off Thursday. 

The "About Malaysia" button at http://iap-portal.msc.com.my/, presumably to encourage the learned visitors to get to know Malaysia better, points to visitmalaysia.com, an outdated site developed for the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board office in New York over six years ago. 

Under the "Essentials" page, the site speaks of a "new airport (which) is being constructed at Sepang, Selangor" and set to be completed in 1998. 

If visitors are planning a holiday after the event, they would be hard put to find out what's up from the "Calendar" section. In it is another link to "events, festivals and celebrations in 2002" which leads to nowhere. 

Fancy going scuba diving? Well it will be good to get the spelling of your destination correct. On the diving page, Pulau Redang is alternatively called Pulau Rendang, presumably because it was confused with a famous Malaysian dish, and Pulau Sipadan is labelled Pulau Sipandan at www.visitmalaysia.com/pulaurendang.htm

Pulau Tioman, one of Malaysia's most popular diving destinations, has been excluded completely. 

If you wish to contact any of the "Tour Offices" under www.visitmalaysia.com/touristoffices.htm or hotels under the "Accommodations" page at www.visitmalaysia.com/hotels.htm, be mindful that many of the telephone numbers have changed. 

The choice of a poor link by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC) seems baffling considering the weighty and forward-looking issues to be discussed by the ICT luminaries attending this year's meeting. 

On July 18, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ticked off ministries, departments and agencies which do not regularly update their websites. 

He said the websites were important to people wishing to get the latest information on government services via the Internet. 

It seems the MDC has yet to heed this advice. 

NOTE: Shortly after this article was posted, MDC re-directed the "About Malaysia" button on the portal to www.tourism.gov.my 

 



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