Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stop the Impossible Task of regulating the Impossible

From a university dropout, William Henry Gates III turning lines of codes into the Windows Operating System first released back in 1985, to a Harvard social misfit, Mark Zuckerberg creating the world most successful social media site –, the industry is one that is fertilised by impulse and innovation, perpetually morphing and forever intruding into every aspect of our lives.

The industry is so pervasive that hardly any product escapes its reach. Computer programming is required today to build your car, produce movies and animations, set up manufacturing plants and to develop an efficient order management system to deliver pizzas. IT is the industry of making what was "impossible", possible.

The draft Computer Professionals Bill 2011 however, is an ill-conceived impossible attempt by the Government to regulate the “impossible”. The proposed bill fails because the limits and scope of the law cannot be strictly defined as the industry changes by the minute.

“Computing services” for example, will include today, website designers, setting up blogs or anyone producing an animated Flash-game for your Facebook. In fact, with seamless integration of a simple word processor, such as Microsoft Word with the Internet, a desk clerk now effectively becomes a provider of “computing services”.

The definition of “critical national information infrastructure” will be equally impossible define as it would and could encompass any industry from the government sector to financial services to the telecommunication communications or even the airline or transportation industry. Surely a failure in any of these industries would have a “devastating impact on national economic strength”.

Putting the two indefinable terms together will result in absurd outcomes. An advertising agency offering web design services for a bank will have to become a “Registered Computing Services Provider”, or a technician providing maintenance services of computer hardware in a government office would have to be registered as a “Registered Computing Professional” or a “Registered Computing Practitioner”, whichever applicable.

What is unimaginable would be for Microsoft to have all its computer programmers in the United States registered with the Board of Computing Professionals in Malaysia, before the company could sell its software to entities providing “critical national information infrastructure” in the country! If Microsoft or Hewlett Packard or any other product developer or manufacturer involving “computer services” from overseas could be exempted from being “registered”, then why should Malaysians be penalised for being unregistered?

The Bill and the bureaucracy to be created with its implementation will become an utter waste or resources for both the Government and the industry. Registration of practitioners or professionals does not guarantee quality and will not lift industry standards. If other countries from the United States to South Korea, from to Singapore to Germany and from India to South Africa do not require such a Bill to design, develop and produce top quality computing and related products, what makes the Government think that such a Bill will miraculously make Malaysia a top computing nation?

In fact, the implementation of such a Bill will only lead to an exodus of talent in Malaysia because they will find the environment substantially more conducive in other countries to pursue their computing dreams.

Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and hundreds of others did not succeed because they registered with a “Board of Computing Professionals” in the United States or elsewhere in the world. On the contrary, their success is based precisely on an environment which encouraged unrestrained creativity, breeding innovation without the leash.

The Malaysian Government will do well to admit the mistake that is the Computing Professionals Bill, and withdraw the thought of ever tabling the bill in the Parliament.


Anonymous said...

First of all who were the IT players in the industry who gave them the idea for this CPB?

Find out where they come from and what 'interest' that they propose such as bill?

Shawn Tan said...

Just to add:

HP/MS programmers in the US would not be able to sell their services as there is a restriction on residence requirement in S.18(1) of the bill that requires the RCP to be "residing in Malaysia" to submit any sort of documents such as design and architecture documents.

Charles F Moreira said...


Instead of ranting and raving, didn't you hear what Mosti and other parties behind the Bill sat about why they proposed it?

I've just come off the line with Shaifubahrim Saleh, PIKOM president who said:-

The Bill will not prevent web designers or even developers of applications for the private sector but is for those who want to work on IT projects related to the 10 Critical National Information Infrastructure areas.

Successful registration with the proposed Board will put an official seal of approval on computing practitioners and professionals.

The proposed Board will seek to define ways by which a self-taught programmer with years of experience can first become a Registered Computing Practitioner and later a Registered Computing Professional.

It will also be a means to try and ensure that suitably competent people work on government IT projects which have faced many delays and over runs.

Competence does not only mean computing skills but also computing best practices, professional ethics, IT project management, fiduciary responsibilities, etc.

I get rather tired when I see this kind of blind opposition to anything the government does, and you in particular, Tony, have made me lose some respect for the DAP which I have voted for and have been a counting agent for.

Should there be a major breakdown of one of IT in one of the CNII areas due to professional incompetence, I'm sure you will be the first out there barking your head off.

Perhaps this CPB will help minimise these sorts of things from happening.

Anonymous said...

They might as well have a Board of Politician before they have this crap. There are a lot more indexes sliding because of them..

Anonymous said...

In case you have not got it. It is all about ownership and control.

Anonymous said...

As usual, "those who dont like it can leave the country, nobody is forcing you to stay here"...some sound advice from our great national warriors

TOKZ said...


You tweeted " I'll NEVER kiss and make out with him!" (refering to Tan Keng Liang).

Aiyah!!! of course lah. You are ANGRY with him becos he made you LOSE RM 1,000, right??? Don't be so 'kiamsap' leh. Only RM 1K what. You cannot afford meh? What else more if it's to CHARITY. Be generous a little bit, can???

Luckily, it's only RM1K. If it's USD 1K, I think you & ya family surely sudah 'Chow Low' (run away) already.

Anonymous said...

Tony, the pusher of this bill is PIKOM. This smacks of a cartel that tries to establish itself through the government.

Microsoft is part of this cartel. It's not appropriate to use BillGates/Microsoft as an example in the article since they're responsible for pushing this bill as part of the PIKOM council.

This bill is basically an attempt by Large local IT vendors together with foreign IT corporations trying to squeeze out middle/small sized players, notably the Opensource solutions providers, using government as a front end to achieve their goals.

In exchange for the government's involvement and participation, they're rewarded with wide ministerial powers and wide CNII coverage so they have control of opposition's IT access as well through legal means.

This bill is a marriage of convenience for both government and crony Big IT local firms and foreign IT biggies like Microsoft, Oracle, etc on the council.

That's why PIKOM members have been very quiet and their representative head at MOSTI was so adamant about the Bill.

This time round, we cannot 100 percent fully put the blame on the government.

They were ill advised, tempted and manipulated by the Cartel wannabes in PIKOM who also managed to manipulate the Academia circle. They've long access to the academia circle for years through training and massively discounted versions of their software for academia use and have tons of opportunities and influence there to convince the academia to support the bill as well.

That's why at the MOSTI meeting, the patsies admitted that those certified by MS/Oracle are exempted from need to be registered coz they're considered registered already.

The root culprit, mastermind is PIKOM.

The certification process, exams, actual certificate would most likely be recognized with seals from these PIKOM members of corps, notably foreign ones like Microsoft and Oracle.

Charles F Moreira said...

ShaddowFox wrote:

"This bill is basically an attempt by Large local IT vendors together with foreign IT corporations trying to squeeze out middle/small sized players, notably the Opensource solutions providers, using government as a front end to achieve their goals."

Don't agree. MAMPU is behind Open Source use in government and who is to say that a contractor who gets a CNII-related job won't use Open Source.

Also, the details of what is and what is not recognised for registration as a Computing Practitioner and Computing Professional has not been elaborately defined yet,since the proposed Board has not been set up yet.

Also, while IT industry body PIKOM is one of the movers behind the bill, so is IT professional learned society, the Malaysian National Computer Confederation (MNCC), which for many years has been off and on trying to get the government to provide such an accreditation for IT professionals and practitioners, similar to the engineers, lawyers, doctors and so on.

Also, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison and Marc Zuckerberg are mere IT businessmen and their success would not have been possible without the army of competent ICT professional wage-slaves in many countries working for them.

It's these foot soldiers which which journalist-prostitutes in the ICT media ignore,

To me, these media-glorified CEOs ars shit.

Charles F Moreira said...

Shawn Tan wrote:-

"HP/MS programmers in the US would not be able to sell their services as there is a restriction on residence requirement in S.18(1) of the bill that requires the RCP to be "residing in Malaysia" to submit any sort of documents such as design and architecture documents."

No problem. More opportunities for Malaysians.

After all, other Malaysian professionals such as engineers, lawyers, accountants, doctors, etc must obtain accreditation from the relevant bodies in other countries before they can practice there.

Like foreign lawyers do, such overseas professionals can work through local Registered Computing Professionals here.

Now that's a win-win situation.

Azazel said...

Tony, thanks for the great job you been doing. However i believe now that election is nearing, you and your comrades should instead focus on preparing for the election. We all know the ruling party is going to cheat cheat cheat and the only way to counter that is work work work harder.

Seriously, it doesn't matter what Bill is passed currently, in case you didn't notice the great power of democracy of the world the USSA (sarcasm intended) have already passed a Indefinite Detention Bill, which makes our ISA look like a walk in the park. The big bankers of the world is out to rule all of us now.

I watched this really amazing video last night, its done by a Ron Paul supporter the only hope of the World and i believe you and your comrades should produce something similar to use during the run up to the election. Create similar videos like this highlighting all the mischief of the ruling party which people can relate to.

To most of us out there, we are just concerned about the bottom line which is what we get out of the government based on the tax money they take for us, we are the customers and the government is the servant. As customers, we need to know if we are getting value from the tax we are paying. Now us internet savvy people are knowledgeable about all the misdeeds of the current servant (government), so you can show a series of video similar to the one below and you can come up with another series of video of what you can do better. Election is all about convincing your customers what you can do better.

Maybe Namawee can help you create this video, i wish i could but i am not creative at all but i do know how to solve problems. Similar videos like this in BM will have high impact on fence sitters especially in the rural area. You can play these videos during campaigning period at ceramahs. Just make sure the videos are based on clear facts, when people know they are being robbed, they become angry and when that happens, it translates to votes. So i hope you can consider my humble advise.

Video Link :


Andrew said...

Re: Charles, I don't understand why there needs to be another additional body that certifies people to work for CNII projects. Surely the government has IT people who can evaluate if the vendor/contractor is competent or not? And surely they have purchasing or legal depts that penalize projects for late delivery, etc. The private sector uses these services all the time. How have we managed for so long? And if we can manage it, why can't the government? This to me looks like additional non-value-added work for the gov as well as the industry which doesn't bring in anything.