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Sunday, April 26, 2015

IT BYTES BACK! says: Hub of Hot Air

IT BYTES BACK! says: Hub of Hot Air
By Catherine Yong, Enterprise IT News
26 April 2015

Recently, I attended an event that sadly reinforced my view that Malaysia is becoming just a hub of hot air.

Big Data Week KL 2015 kicked off with a Big Bang with over 2,000 participants from some 18 countries around the world converging at the Sunway Convention Center.

Themed 'Unleashing the Power of Big Data', the event was supported by none other than MDeC, the country's main ICT agency, to drive our National Big Data Analaytics (BDA) initiatives.

As a representative from the local academia, I was one of many eager participants gathered to listen to the keynote by MDeC CEO Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, who to her credit, gave no less than a very encouraging message that committed the Malaysian government's full intention to 'go through with its journey of making Malaysia a Big Data hub in the region'.

To exemplify this, she shared about the latest collaboration efforts with institutes of higher learning (IHL) to offer more undergraduate and postgraduate data science and computer science courses with analytics specialisations.

Diamond sponsor Fusionex, a local Malaysian set up currently listed on the London Exchange, was also given a huge limelight as the country's hugely successful Big Data and business analytics solutions provider. Rightly dubbed so, they also showed their support by declaring that MDeC's vision of making Malaysia ASEAN's ICT hub was ideal, timing and highly achievable.

Numerous awards were also given out to international speakers, experts and influencers – obviously to convince the crowd that we have the right connections and worldwide appeal to meet this lofty goal.

...which only brought back memories of the many half-cooked, failed attempts by government associations and GLCs to make Malaysia yet another 'thriving hub' of exemplary success and admiration in this flamboyant area of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

The MSC, the IAP, Iskandar Malaysia, the numerous 'ICT corridors', etc.

And yet all this blowing of hot air continues against a stark and conspicuous reality - the decline in our overall academic quality and graduates, shitty ICT talent pool, embarrasing IT 'jaguh kampung's' egotistical heads interested only in lining their own pockets – all evidenced by MNCs quietly leaving our shores for India and neighbouring countries to continue their operations.

While I must admit that some of the participants at the Big Data Week KL 2015 were genuine in their interest to seek information and partnerships to progress with this worldwide ICT trend, the bulk of them were simply interested in the food and getting a day or two off from being in the office.

In short, without changes to improve the execution of such grandiose ICT visions, we are simply blowing just another big and colourful balloon of hot, hot air.

IT BYTES BACK! says: Let's wait a few years to see if we are kidding ourselves again. But hey, can we afford to wait so long?