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Red Hat steps up commitment to Malaysia

AvantiKumar | Aug. 13, 2009
New office, new open-source initiative in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, 13 AUGUST 2009 Open-source solutions firm Red Hat says it has demonstrated deeper commitment to Malaysia by opening a new office earlier this year, and by launching the Open Source Collaborative Innovation (OSCI) initiative.

Speaking in Kuala Lumpur, Red Hat president and chief executive officer, Jim Whitehurst, said OSCI's primary goal is to build a global open source community for greater collaboration, which includes the provision of support for the open source community in Malaysia.

Malaysian companies appreciate the nature of the open-source model, which includes the behaviours of sharing, collaboration and open participation, said Whitehurst, who added that OSCI's aims include economic development, education and fostering an open- source community.

Malaysian government agency Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) vice president, Saifol Bahri Shamlan, said open source was supported actively by the Malaysian government. One illustration of this is the launch of the first government-sponsored Open Source Conference (OSCON) earlier this year.

In addition, 72 per cent of Malaysian government agencies now use open-source solutions and have thus far recorded cost saving of US$14.8 million (RM52 million), said Saifol.

Better to share, open to change

Red Hat's Whitehurst said: Companies were drawn to open-source solutions to avoid technology lock-in, reduced monopoly influence, and general freedom of choice.

Open source is an important wealth creation sector for local companies, said MDeC's Saifol. Some 420 local companies with MSC [Multimedia Supercorridor] status are making substantial revenue already from providing open-source solutions and services.

Saifol added that the government had made available US$2.85 million (RM10 million) seed funding to help companies offer open-source solutions, which was to be used by the end of 2009.

Speaking of OSCI's benefits, Saifol said: For the immediate future, the goal is to develop at least 25 globally-competent open source companies and also train 5,000 qualified open-source professionals.


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