Posted by: commonsresource | July 12, 2010

Go Malaysia Go! – Open Source Software continues to gain momentum

Over the past several days, I came across a number of posts demonstrating the increasing adoption of open source software by Government.  Interestingly enough, most of them relate to Malaysia.

Let’s start with Michael Tiermann’s OSI post entitled Malaysian Government has reached 97% OSS Adoption.  Michael’s post states that “the Government of Malaysia proudly reports an astonishing 97% adoption rate for open source software” and  includes a great summary chart from its OSS Agency Adoption Charts and Tables .  He goes on to provide this status summary and congratulation:

While the 80% target for back-end infrastructure has been met, and the 30% target for Desktop usage has been met, the 100% target for at least some OSS usage across all Malaysian government agencies has not been met. 21 of 724 agencies have yet to deploy either OpenOffice on the desktop, Linux as an operating system, MySQL as a database, Apache as a web server, or JBoss as an application server. Nevertheless, I believe this represents an historic achievement, and the world should congratulate Malaysia on its outstanding leadership and accomplishments in the past five years of effort.

As a follow-on, let’s look at Jeremy Malcolm’s Open source software in Malaysia post on his A2Knetwork.org blog. Jeremy begins his post by stating that “The Malaysian government has set an example for the Asia-Pacific region in its support for free and open source software (FOSS). In 2004 it launched a master plan for rolling out FOSS throughout the public sector. That plan is now in its second phase of “accelerated adoption”, which is intended to make the use of FOSS within government more pervasive”.  He wraps up his post with a discussion of “FOSS in healthcare” and points out that “The Open Source Health Care Alliance (OSHCA), also based in Malaysia, is a good resource point for those interested in investigating such initiatives”.

Let’s wrap up with Colin Charles’ short Open Source Saves Malaysian Government RM188 Million post on his Colin Charles Agenda blog. While some of his point overlap with the other two posts,  Colins points out that “the Malaysian Government… over the past six years [has had] total costs savings [of] RM188.39 million (USD$58.54 million)! That’s a hell of a lot of money for software licenses, don’t you think?” He also points out that “that before the OSS Master Plan started, there were zero companies supporting OSS registered with the Ministry of Finance. Now more than half of the 4,000 companies do (53% is the quoted number)”.

It is exciting to see the amazing progress that the government of Malaysia has made and the leadership that it is showing in the open source software area.  It will be interesting to see other governments follow this lead – perhaps the Bloomberg Businessweek post by Kitty Donaldson and Robert Hutton entitled Dump Microsoft, Use Linux to Save Money, U.K. Officials Suggest is a sign of things to come. In the meantime, Go Malaysia Go!


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