Friday, May 15, 2009
And now there's only one Lim left...
AT ONE TIME, the country's telecommunications industry was ran and ruled by three Lims. Everyone in the industry were fully aware of this. They were Lim Keng Yeik, Halim Man and Halim Shafie. Minister Tan Sri Dr Lim used to joke and brag about this over many dinner tables and meetings.
After Dr Lim left and rode into the sunset with his umberalla (the Press boys will tell you why!), there were only two Lims left - Datuk Dr Halim Man and Datuk Dr Halim Shafie. And now I hear there's only one Lim left - Dr Halim Man.
Recently, Dr Halim Shafie quit as chairman of MCMC, the industry's regulator. I'm not privy as to why he quit and where he's gone to. Halim Shafie was responsible for quite a number of initiatives in the telecommunication industry was quite passionate about narrowing the digital divide. He spoke volumes about this and toured the country promoting IT connectivity. Halim Shafie was a household name and has deep knowledge about the industry.
It was partly due to the Lim trio that internet connectivity and broadband access is that much better today. Of course it's still far from the desired level. Last week, telecommunication bosses from all over the world gathered in KL for the ITU conference (International Telecoms Union if I'm not mistaken) but word coming out from there wasn't very encouraging.
The big bosses had come to hear if the new administration have any new policy decisions made, or if there were going to be any major changes in directions and emphasis. I'm not sure if there's going to be any, but the industry is now no longer under KTAK, the old ministry. Telcos now come under the new and expanded ministry of Information, Culture and Communications. It's run by Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who was the Foreign Minister in the previous regime.
I'm sure Rais will attend to the telcos soon, but telco bosses, including big investors from overseas, had hoped to meet Rais at the recent ITU conference. Rais, busy with an expanded ministry, have to meet the world's telcos soon before these giants become restless and look for opportunities elsewhere.
The two pictures show Rais addressing a London conference on Palestine in March and with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and a Rabbi who disapproves of the Zionist Israel's attack on Gaza.