A Rejection Letter: From a fast growing startup Terato Tech to MCMC

Terato Tech, one of the hottest startups in Malaysia, rejected a grant offered by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), in a rather strong-worded letter. The Reza Razali Managing Director of Terato Tech wrote: we at Terato Tech are not serial grantpreneurs. The grouses mentioned in the letter include lengthy application processing (MCMC took 14 months to process the grant application) and below-than-expected grant amount. In the letter, the also suggested to MCMC “to do away with commission members/chairman who are active members of the business community.”

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is the regulatory body for the communications and multimedia industry in Malaysia, under the provisions of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act (1998) and the Communications and Multimedia Act (1998).

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Celcom to offer iPhone 4 soon. Seriously.

The whole tech world is abuzz with excitement about the upcoming iPhone 5. But Malaysian communications provider Celcom, which incidentally clinched the Service Provider of the Year Award for the third year running at the recent 2011 Frost & Sullivan Malaysia Excellence Awards, is only now jumping on the iPhone 4 bandwagon, 7 months after Maxis and DiGi rolled out their respective packages. One wonders if Celcom’s ever heard of the saying “early bird catches the worm”, considering the fact that by now, almost everyone and their grandma’s got an iPhone 4 already. Let’s just hope the company is going to be offering super low plans to compete with the ones offered by Maxis and DiGi.

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10 Things You Probably Already Know about 1Malaysia Email

This is a list of 10 things we’ve learned about the 1Malaysia Email or MyEmail service:

  1. Types of information you’ll receive in your MyEmail Inbox: Income tax returns, Employee Provident Fund statements, notices of summons, driving license renewals, and quit rent payments.
  2. 1Malaysia Email project is to create “Malaysian Email“. According to Tricubes’ press release, “Malaysian Email” means the service is operated and hosted by a Malaysian company, and this is where Tricubes comes in.
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Tricubes issues statement on 1Malaysia Email as public dissatisfaction continues

Following the public furore over the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s announcement on Tuesday on the implementation of the 1Malaysia email accounts and the subsequent clarifications both by himself and by the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) yesterday, Tricubes Berhad, the company that was awarded to spearhead the project, issued a press release to further explain the much maligned 1Malaysia Email.

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First ASEAN bloggers’ conference to kick off in Kuala Lumpur

The Blog House Malaysia (BHM) will be hosting the inaugural Malaysian-Asean Regional Bloggers Conference from 22nd to 24th April 2011, held at the Intercontinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The theme of the conference is “Blogging Mindfully and Responsibly” and will cover topics ranging from blog networks and blogging etiquette.

According to BHM president Syed Akbar Ali, bloggers from Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines are expected to attend the conference. BHM’s patron, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a blogger himself, will be delivering the welcoming address, with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak delivering the keynote address after that.

Visit the BHM’s website for details and registration.

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1Malaysia Email with project description changed overnight

ETPThe description of the 1Malaysia Email project was changed on the ETP website overnight. On April 19, 2011, PEMANDU described the project as follow (emphasis added by GreyReview):

The 1Malaysia Email project is a government initiative in providing a unique and official email account and ID for the citizens of Malaysia.

This initiative will serve to allow direct and secure communications between citizens and the Government, as well as enhance the delivery of Government services to consumers and businesses alike.

Tricubes Bhd will spearhead the development of a web portal which includes an email account for all Malaysian citizens aged 18 and above. The web portal will serve as a one-stop centre for government services, providing value added services such as social networking, online bill checking and payment as well web development toolkits for citizen and businesses organization to creatively develop applications.

Today, the description of 1Malaysia Email is as follow (emphasis added by GreyReview):

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Government clarifies on 1Malaysia email accounts after online public outcry

Yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that a 1Malaysia email account will be issued to every Malaysian above 18 years of age has spawned online protests by the public, claiming that the latest 1Malaysia exercise is an unnecessary wastage of taxpayer’s money and an attempt by “big brother” to keep citizens in check.

A check by GreyReview reveals that most Malaysians have gone on to popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to vent their dissatisfaction, one example being the “1M Malaysians who don’t want Najib’s 1 Malaysia email” Facebook page, which is reminiscent of the online protest against Datuk Seri Najib’s announcement about the construction of the 100-storey mega tower project last year.

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Astro partners with TIME dotcom to roll-out Astro B.yond IPTV services

Astro, the satellite TV provider in Malaysia, is launching its IPTV services today. The Astro B.yond IPTV offers consumers a combination of high definition Astro channels, personal video recording, video-on-demand, high-speed Internet connection and voice services. For high-speed Internet connection, Astro partnered with TIME dotcom for its Fibre Broadband service. Currently, the IPTV is only available in selected areas, namely Mont Kiara / Sri Hartamas, KLCC / Golden Triangle, Bangsar and Georgetown (Penang). Check service availability here.

According to Shahrul Imran Sultan, Director of Consumer Technology of Astro, the company is targeting to sign-up 40,000 subscribers by end of 2011. Also, it is targeting to make its IPTV services available to 167,000 homes by end of this year. Astro is targeting high-rise residences for its IPTV services, at least in the initial phase. Currently, most high-rise residential units have difficulty of accessing its HDTV services. With IPTV, Astro aims to further expand its HDTV subscribers base and at the same time, gain foothold in the IPTV market space. For Astro, this represents a viable business case for the implementation of IPTV.

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RM50 Million 1Malaysia Email to provide official virtual ID for every Malaysians

The Government of Malaysia announced the 1Malaysia Email project, as part of its Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). The project will provide unique email ID to every Malaysian citizens who are 18 years and above.

The total investment of this email project is RM50 million by 2020. It will be spearheaded by Tricubes Bhd, in collaboration with Microsoft. The project will use Tricubes’ FUSION, which the company describes as “a middleware platform that provides a unified infrastructure to enable the implementation of applications based on the usage of smartcard and biometrics” and m2e (Mobile to Enterprise) middleware – “provides a messaging framework ( middleware ) for system integration by providing adapters that can interface to different back-end system platforms. The system connects to Microsoft Windows Live environment.

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2011 Networked Readiness Index by World Economic Forum: How Networked is Asia?

World Economic Forum (WEF) on Tuesday released the latest edition of The Global Information Technology Report 2010 – 2011: Transformation 2.0 report. The annual report ranks a total of 138 countries worldwide, using its Networked Readiness Index (NRI).

Some observations:

  • A total of 19 Asian countries in the 2010-2011 NRI list, out of 138 countries worldwide.
  • 5 Asian countries are in the top 20 of this year’s NRI list – Singapore (2nd), Taiwan (5), South Korea (10), Hong Kong (12), and Japan (19).
  • Singapore is the most networked nation in Asia. The Southeast Asian city-state ranked second in the world, behind Sweden.
  • Singapore is also the only Asian country ranked higher than the United States (no. 5 worldwide).
  • Malaysia ranked first among Upper-middle Income group of countries. Malaysia is also the only upper-middle income country in the top 30 overall. The country’s score increased from 4.65 in 2010 to 4.74 in 2011.
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Latest Estimates for Facebook Users by Country – Asia (Quarter 1 2011)

Facebook in AsiaSince March 2010, I’ve been monitoring the growth of Facebook users in Asia on GreyReview. In October 2010, I’ve found out that Facebook exceeds the 100 million users mark. At the start of year 2011, there was an estimated total of 111.9 million of Facebook users in Asia.

This is the latest edition of Facebook in Asia series. The followings are some interesting observations of Facebook growth in Asia in the first three months of 2011:

  • The latest estimated number of Facebook users in Asia: 131.3 million.
  • Total Facebook users grew by 17.3% in the Quarter 1 2011, which is slightly less than the 21.4% in the previous quarter (Quarter 4 2010).
  • Indonesia continues to lead with 35.2 million users. Second-placed India with 23 million, followed by Philippines (22.4 million), Malaysia (10.1 million) and Taiwan (9.1 million)
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