More time for Computing Professionals Bill

PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) has proposed further consultation and engagement be conducted on the establishment of the controversial Board of Computing Professionals Malaysia (BCPM).

Following an Open Day held on Dec 13, and a period of feedback collection from members of the public, the ministry received 70 official submissions, from both individuals and organisations.

Of that total, only 29% supported the proposed Bill.

Noting that “this number may not reflect the overall segment of the ICT community”, the ministry has proposed that further consultation and engagement be conducted.

This endeavour will include all relevant stakeholders and consultation with the National ICT Human Resource Taskforce that initially proposed the establishment of BCPM.

The move has been endorsed by the Cabinet Committee on Human Capital Development and upon the completion of the study; the findings would be presented to the Cabinet Committee, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister for a final decision.

The Cabinet Committee on Human Capital Development mandated the proposed BCPM in March 2011, with the intent to safeguard the national interest of the country in relation to computing services provided by practitioners or professionals in the Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII) sectors.

However, the proposed Bill sparked much public backlash, with many members of the ICT community calling for it to be scrapped altogether.

Major issues of concern raised and acknowledged by MOSTI include clear definition of the powers of the Board and interpretation of the terms in the Bill and consistency in relation to legal provisions and issues of replication with other existing Acts or Bills.

In addition, concerns with the implications of the Bill, particularly in terms of international commitment such as with the World Trade Organisation and free-trade agreements, brain drain, stifling creativity and innovation were also raised.

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