Lower prices of software, industry told


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 31 Jul 2003

By HAMDAN RAJA ABDULLAH

MUAR: The Business Software Alliance (BSA) should reciprocate the Government’s wholehearted push to promote information and computer technology (ICT) by reducing their prices in Malaysia, said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry. 

Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said no other country in the world had done what Malaysia had in promoting ICT. 

Malaysia, he added, had spent billions of ringgit on related infrastructure, including setting up the Multimedia Super Corridor. 

“We have spent a lot in the development of ICT as we want Malaysians, from the simple villagers to students and businessmen, to use the computer. 

“The Government has even launched a campaign for every home to have one computer,” he said on Tuesday after launching a Fly the Jalur Gemilang campaign at Felcra Bukit Kepong here.  

Muhyiddin said he had urged BSA, a global anti-piracy watchdog, to lower software prices during a dialogue in Kuala Lumpur earlier in the day on with its representatives from the Asia and Pacific areas. 

“I told the representatives that Malaysia has done a lot to promote ICT and since their products are being used by most Malaysians, they should be fair towards us. 

“I also told them I cannot accept their argument that software prices are the same everywhere as other countries do not promote ICT as aggressively as we do,” he said. 

Muhyiddin said the ministry had also launched anti-piracy campaigns and beefed up its staff strength and delegated more powers to its officers to curb software piracy. 

He said the high prices of the software had led to piracy and producers should reduce their prices voluntarily. 

According to Muhyiddin, the special committee set up by the ministry was still in the process of formulating a price mechanism before fixing the ceiling prices for software. 

In the interim, he said, the industry could assist by lowering prices or providing some form of incentives for schools and the small and medium-scale businesses. 

On the ceiling prices for CDs and VCDs, Muhyiddin said the special committee was compiling the necessary information. 

However, he said, a majority of those in the industry had not responded with proposals on the ceiling prices.  

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