Now if you're a Malaysian, you probably heard of the MSC initiative launched by our previous PM to boost Malaysia into the information age. Well MDeC (formally known as MDC) is the (goverment linked) company tasked as being the steward of MSC. (www.mdec.com.my)
Being a steward of MSC is a blur job description. So MDeC does everything from managing real estates, managing gov. grants, making sure that IT talents are always available etc.
Should MDeC write software? Yes they should!
Ok, I know that all the business folks who make up MDeC's higher echelon is all eyeful and ready to grab their guns and shoot this idea to kingdom come... but please, hear me out.
Whay is Malaysian IT isn't taking off, despite what we do. Every single day, we have more and more Indian nationals working in Cyberjaya instead of the locals. Our IT graduates are not performing and lack way behind in either skills or theory. Our IT enterpreneur are afraid to speak out, our venture capitalist should just be called capitalist since most of them are even worse than banks, our IT shops, diligent and hardworking as they are, have to resort to selling computers since no one is helping them to create and monetize their IPs. We are the third outsourcing destination after India and China and yet we do nothing to at least maintain that or, God forbid, improve our ranking.
I'm matured enough and knowledgable enough to understand that not all these problems are MDeC's fault. The problem is that MDeC is, intentinally or not, blissfully unaware of these problems. Ok, that is not entirely true. A lot of people in MDeC are aware of these problems but the processes put in place to solve these problems are so out of touch with the reality of things its not even funny anymore.
I'm not about to hang MDeC by the neck without offering some way to improve things. How to improve?, why, MDeC should create its own software and "suffer" like we suffer, experience the pain that we experience at every tick of the clock. Now don't just write software, market it, find investors for it, find clients to back it up etc. And MDeC will surely know where to put the dollars of their next budget to.
Now before we dismiss the possibility of this, do know that MDeC is already creating creative contents (www.saladin.tv) and I guess that is why support for creative contents are quite extensive because they did go through the pain of actually creating something. But do know that a lot of MSC companies create software too (heck, by my account, there are a lot more software shops compared to creative content shops).
To MDeC, unless you experience things that we, the Malaysian software industry, had to go through, you will never truely understand the pain. No matter how many dialogs you run, no matter how many face to face, heart to heart meetings you have with the local software shops, experience is and will always be the best teacher.