Thursday, July 19, 2001

  MIC To Launch National Campaign To Instill
Internet Values Among Malaysian Indians

Net-For-Life To Focus On Children, Working Adults, And Senior Citizens

Kuala Lumpur, Monday, April 23, 2001 – In stepping into the new Millenium, the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) will launch a new national campaign, tagged Net-For-Life, aimed at transforming the Malaysian Indian community into a web-savvy one by 2005.

MIC President and Works Minister, Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu said, “The time has come for Malaysia’s Indian community to make a quantum leap. It is important that our community continues to contribute positively to national development. We have to embrace the latest technologies, become web-savvy and quickly shirk-off any negative perception people may have of  our community. This is our responsibility to the new Malaysia. Each and everyone of us need to be engaged in this renewal. Net-For-Life is MIC’s way of transforming Indians in this country into effective netizens.”

Net-For-Life, when launched, will cater to three distinct groups – children, working adults and senior citizens.

Several programmes will be launched within this campaign nationwide. Among these programs are Web@8, a programme to ensure children are comfortable using the Internet by the time they are 8-years-old. Yet another program, this time targeted at teenagers, is eSkills@15 – which aims to equip every 15-year-old Indian teenager with Internet development skills.

“By the age of 15,  a teenager must be adept at developing Internet pages and sites. With such interest, sown at an early age, I am convinced that our community will go on to produce excellent Internet technologists and professionals. This is the new way of life – the eLife, and we have to live it,” added Samy Vellu.

As for working adults and senior citizens, the campaign aims to create awareness of the opportunities that the Internet economy provides. The MIC does not want this group of people, who are most vulnerable to technology shifts, to be left behind.

The MIC plans to work with other organisations in the country to generate with even more exciting programmes for all three target communities.  Committees have been set up to drive the respective campaigns. These committees have already started working. In support of this plan, the MIC invites proposals from organisations and individuals to further expand the campaign.

Malaysia To Host World’s Largest 
Tamil Internet Conference
Tamil Internet 2001 To Focus On  
Multimedia Content, The Digital Divide, Entrepreneurship and Technology Standards,  
To Be Held On Aug 26-28 at Kuala Lumpur’s Putra World Trade Centre.

Kuala Lumpur, Monday, April 23, 2001 – Kuala Lumpur has been chosen as the host city for Tamil Internet 2001, an international conference and exposition focusing on standards, issues and the development of Tamil-based Internet services.

The decision was announced today, jointly by Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu, Malaysia’s Minister of Works and leader of the country’s dominant Indian-based political party, the Malaysian Indian Congress; and Dr M Anandakrishnan, the chairman of the International Forum For Information Technology In Tamil (INFITT), the custodian of the international conference.

 “We are honoured to have been chosen as the host city for this important international event. Tamil Internet is rapidly growing with more than 1,000 websites and portals that use the Tamil language. The 75-million strong Tamil Diaspora is also one of the leading providers of IT skills globally. In addition to the hundreds and thousands of Tamil-speaking IT professionals, there is a growing number of Tamil-speaking entrepreneurs making it big in the new economy. Kuala Lumpur will be the focal point for these professionals and entrepreneurs come August 2001,” said Samy Vellu.

He added, “This is also an opportunity for us to showcase Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor to the Tamil Diaspora. At the same time, we are using this opportunity to take the Internet to as many Malaysian Indians as possible.”

Tamil Internet 2001 is the fourth in the conference series which began in 1997 in Singapore. The second conference was held in Chennai, and the third in Singapore again, last year.  Carrying the theme ‘Pathways to  Progress’, the conference will delve into many issues surrounding the development and use of Internet in the Tamil Diaspora. Among the themes that the conference will discuss are Multimedia Content, The Digital Divide, Entrepreneurship In The New Economy, Wireless Applications and Technology Standards for Tamil Internet. More than 50 international experts are expected to present their papers and findings at the conference.

Anandakrishnan said, “INFITT is devoted to the promotion of Tamil culture and language through Information Technology, including the Internet. We are also cognizant of the fact that the Tamil Diaspora is continuing to produce world-class IT skills and entrepreneurs. There is an increasing appetite for information and applications in Tamil on the Internet. It augurs well for INFITT that Tamil Internet 2001 will place emphasis on a topics that are close to its goals. “

Anandakrishnan added that Malaysia, with more than 1.8 million Indians – mainly Tamil-speaking has an important role to play in the development of Tamil Internet. To facilitate this, he added, INFITT is in the process of forming a Malaysian chapter of the organisation.

In conjunction with Tamil Internet 2001, an international exhibition – DuniaWeb 2001, will be held. The exhibition will showcase Internet technologies, products and services from Malaysia, Singapore, the Indian sub-continent and other countries. The event is expected to attract about 50 exhibitors and more than 50,000 visitors over the three days.

Knowing that the Indian community in Malaysia is well spread out though out the nation, the event will make its way to both Penang and Johor Baru, to cater to the nothern and southern regions.

Planning for these regional events have begun through special committees formed in the respective regions. The regional events are expected to be a one-day version of Tamil Internet 2001, held in September.