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.


Anonymous said...

Dear Dato',

To throw some light to your blog - Dato' Dr Halim bin Man is not in the information ministry : he takes care of Energy, Water and Green Technology.

Therefore, we can say the industry is currently lim-less !

sf said...

Halim Shafie is a man with good NIAT... sad that he left the gov... Malaysia should still engaged him as advisor!

ChengHo said...

Rais and his expanded ministry KSU no knowledge and experiance how to handle the most important asset of the nation ...telecommunication industry....


Aah Sdr, the ITU brings back fond and challenging memories about the years gone by.

The time when there were only three public phones in Baling (1969).

When a cub reporter you had to teach the Chinese coffee shop owner what "reversed charge" was.

Very often he was not convinced, mostly because he could not understand.

Then about sending telexes using the ITU Card in Jakarta, Bangkok and later downtown New York when covering the UNGA.

Later we had to contend with the complicated and not-so-reliable old type analogue modem. I was never good with that one.

And the Atur and the huge bulky first generation hand phones. Could kill a dog with one of those.

Today it's at the press of a button.

Wireless technology has made it possible to communicate from just about anywhere.

So, unless one follows the progress and development of ICT they way we do, he or she may not have a deep, intimate feeling for it.

But I hope Dr Rais, being an intelligent person that he is, will not treat ICT as a stepchild of his ministry. I am sure he's as interested in ICT as he is in information and culture.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...


I'm from the local telecommunications industry. I don't know the new minister, but one thing is certain - he's no Keng Yeik and Shaziman. These two did well. If the new minister doesn't get a move on on ICT advances, Malaysia will be left behind. Tks

Shih Huang Ti

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