[Fsf-friends] "Malaysia formally embraces open doc format"

Mani A a.mani.cms@[EMAIL-PROTECTED]
Thu Aug 16 02:42:00 IST 2007

"Malaysia formally embraces open doc format"

Malaysia formally embraces open doc format
By Lynn Tan, ZDNet Asia
Monday, August 13 2007 09:15 PM

The Malaysian government today announced plans to adopt open standards
and the Open Document Format (ODF) within the country's public sector.

The Malaysian Administration Modernization and Management Planning Unit
(MAMPU) last week issued a tender for a nine-month study to evaluate the
usage of open standards in its information communications technology
(ICT) deployment. The study will also look into how the Malaysian public
sector should migrate to open standards and the ODF, according to the
Malaysia Open Source Software Alliance (MOSSA).

"The decision taken has been deliberated carefully for a considerable
amount of time, and much thought process has been put into it," Nor
Aliah Mohd. Zahri, ICT deputy director general at MAMPU, said in a

"These discussions centered on open formats, particularly as they relate
to office documents, their importance for the current and future
accessibility of government records, and the relative 'openness' of the
format options available to us," Nor Aliah explained.

The study will document the benefits of open standards, suggest policies
and guidelines for achieving openness and provide a roadmap for
implementing the ODF in Malaysia' public sector, added MOSSA.

The country unveiled its intentions to consider the ODF as a national
standard for office documents in July last year. A month later,
Hasannudin Saidin, a member of Sirim, the country's standards
development agency, said on his blog that the proposal would have to
gain approval from a higher-level committee within Sirim before it could

In July this year, Japan became the first country in the Asia-Pacific
region to embrace open software standards. Last August, the United
Nations urged countries in the region to adopt the ODF.

Published by OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured
Information Standards), the ODF--or Open Document Format for Office
Applications--is an XML-based open standard, enabling any office
software to format, save and exchange file documents such as
spreadsheets, databases and text.



A. Mani

A. Mani
Member, Cal. Math. Soc

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