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Malaysia-Multimedia Super Corridor.

1.    Malaysia IT Background

Malaysia has begun implementing a plan to transform herself into an information technology hub in the Association of South East Asia Nation (ASEAN) region with the development of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC). Malaysia-MSC will be equipped with the technology such as fibre optic lines to connect the Malaysia’s inhabitants to each other and to the world. It has a target to be established by the year 2000. The MSC is the brainchild of Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and was announced on 29 August 1995. He outlined the MSC as a high-growth center with state of the art, high tech infrastructure to provide the appropriate bandwidth for multimedia development and delivery as well as for telecommunications. As the world moves into an era where access to information and knowledge is a key to surviving in an information technology based economy and where multimedia is at the heat of it all, Malaysia hopes to prepare herself for such a transition with the MSC.

"The MSC will be built fresh from the ground. It will house knowledge intensive industries, the kind of industries that will propel the Asia-pacific region into the information age. Future high-growth industries such as remote manufacturing and operations processing semiconductor development, distance learning, telemedicine, integrated computing and communication solutions can be located in the MSC and can act as a multicultural production and coordinating center" (Mohamad, 1998).

The MSC aims to cater to international markets and service development and to serve as a catalyst to encourage the development of multimedia and internet-type applications in Malaysia.

The concentration of the MSC will be made up mainly of 7 flagships which are as follows (Mai & Neo, 1997):

        Electronic government


A collaborative cluster of universities

A worldwide manufacturing web

A borderless marketing centre

A financial haven

Multipurpose smart cards

The MSC envelopes a 15 km by 50km area south of KL that includes the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Putra Jaya, the new administrative capital and the Kuala lumpur International Airport. Within this area will be specifically designated development areas for the multimedia industry. Hardware and software manufacturers are invited to set up their plants here and enjoy the MSC’s incentives. It is also expected to house various headquarters of the multinational industries utilising the communication networks. And the MSC will provide the infrastructure for these IT industries to conduct their businesses over communication networks including the internet with comfort.

2.    Key Players involved in setting up the MSC

The establishment of the Malaysian Institute of Microelectronics System (MIMOS) in 1985 has shown the country’s emphasis on information technology. Telekom Malaysia Berhad, Malaysia’s communication company, will be responsible for laying down the fibre optic lines within the MSC, and the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) will work with Telekom Malaysia to provide engineering and consultation services. In january 1997, the International Advisory Panel (IAP) was formed , consisting of key person in the global IT industry, including Bill Gates, Jim Barksdale and Kenichi Ohmae, to advise Malaysia’s Prime Minister on the MSC. Jaring and Tmnet are currently the two Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Malaysia.

The MSC capable of supporting interactive applications such as:

a) telemedicine b) virtual universities c) on-line databases: video-on-demand d) broadband interactive services

3.    Malaysia’s commitment to the MSC

In its effort to achieve success in establishing the MSC, the Malaysian government will continue to liberalize the telecommunications sector and to contribute towards the growth and the development of local content for IT-based technologies and services. Steps are being taken to provide the following facilities to investors doing business in Malaysia (Mai & Neo, 1997):

A world-class physical and telecommunication network using fibre-optic as well as any supporting services.

The development of a labor force skilled in multimedia technology

Unrestricted access to foreign expertise and knowledge workers located in the MSC including the relaxation of immigration procedures and employment restrictions

The protection of intellectual property to encourage creativity and increased investment. A total of RM 50 billion is proposed to be injected into the multimedia industry until the year 2005.



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Copyright 1998-1999 Key Issues of National Information Infrastructure in South East Asia countries.
Last modified: December 08, 1998