M'sian govt now neutral on software platforms

Malaysia's Open Source Master Plan, launched in 2004, and which is seen to favor open source software over proprietary software, has been changed.Originally, it read: "OSS procurement should be based on merits, value for money, transparency, security and interoperability, as well as in accordance with the Government procurement policies and procedures.

Malaysia's Open Source Master Plan, launched in 2004, and which is seen to favor open source software over proprietary software, has been changed.

Originally, it read: "OSS procurement should be based on merits, value for money, transparency, security and interoperability, as well as in accordance with the Government procurement policies and procedures.

"In situations where the advantages and disadvantages of OSS (open source software) and proprietary software are equal, preference shall be given to OSS."

The second sentence has now been deleted, giving proprietary software equal footing with open source offerings.

This is a correct move. By giving open source an advantage, the government was sending the wrong message to the ICT industry, particularly the software sector.

If Malaysia wants its Multimedia Super Corridor to succeed, it needs to give both platforms--proprietary and open source--equal opportunities when it comes to government procurement (which can be substantial).