The Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) program was officially inaugurated by the 4th Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on 12 February 1996. The establishment of the MSC program was crucial to accelerate the objectives of Vision 2020 and to transform Malaysia into a modern state by the year 2020, with the adoption of a knowledge-based society framework (Jeong, 2007).
The MSC flagship applications were launched to boost the MSC Malaysia initiatives and to create a multimedia utopia (hub) for innovative producers and users of multimedia technology. Consortia comprising both the local and foreign companies (MNCs) collaborated with various government agencies, departments and ministries to enhance the socio-economic development of Malaysia in the new millennium (Information Age). The vision and mission of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) as expressed by Dr Mahathir Mohammad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia at the time (1981–2003), is essentially this:
“MSC is paramount to leapfrog (Malaysia) into the 21st century and to achieve Malaysia’s Vision 2020, the MSC was created to endeavour the best environment to harness the full potential of the multimedia without any artificial limits. MSC is a global test bed (hub), where the limits of the possible can be explored, and new ways of living, working, and playing in the new area of the Information Age.” (Ibrahim Ariff & Goh Chen Chuan, 2000; Jeong, 2007)
The Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) is a Government-designated zone in Malaysia designed to leapfrog Malaysia into the information and knowledge age. It aims to attract companies with temporary tax breaks and facilities such as high-speed Internet access and proximity to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
MSC Malaysia covers an area of approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) × 50 km (31 mi) (that is, 750 km2 (290 sq mi)) stretching from the Petronas Twin Towers to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and including the towns of Putrajaya and Cyberjaya. On 7 December 2006, Port Klang was added to the MSC.
This project was announced by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir at the Multimedia Asia Conference on 1 August 1996. Dr Mahathir's visit to the United States of America in January 1997 to promote the MSC to companies there succeeded in attracting the interest of many large information technology companies. During the visit, an international advisory panel comprising 30 information technology experts were formed to exchange ideas toward the success of the MSC.
The Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC, formerly MDC) was created to oversee development of the MSC.
Effects on press freedom
Though Malaysian law had provided for strict government controls on print media since 1984, a founding principle of MSC Malaysia was that government censorship of the Internet would not be permitted. Seeing a loophole, journalist Steven Gan and colleague Premesh Chandran decided to start an online news resource that would be free of the controls that they felt stifled print media. In November 1999, the pair founded Malaysiakini, an online, independent news source that would become one of Malaysia's most popular websites. The site was awarded a Free Media Pioneer award from the International Press Institute in 2001, and Gan was awarded one of the 2000 CPJ International Press Freedom Awards for his work with the site.
- "Steven Gan, editor Malaysiakini". PBS NewsHour. 2000. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "Malaysia's first online paper". BBC News. 20 November 2000. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "ICIJ Journalists: Steven Gan". International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "IPF Awards 2000 - Announcement". Committee to Protect Journalists. 2000. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Jeong Chun Hai @Ibrahim, & Nor Fadzlina Nawi. (2007). Principles of Public Administration: An Introduction. Kuala Lumpur: Karisma Publications. ISBN 978-983-195-253-5
- Jeong Chun Hai @Ibrahim. (2007). Fundamental of Development Administration. Selangor: Scholar Press. ISBN 978-967-5-04508-0
- Mscmalaysia.my: official MSC Malaysia website
- Mscmalaysia.my: MSC Malaysia Animation and Creative Content Center (MAC3)
- Mscmalaysia.my: MSC Malaysia Capability Development Programmes (CDP)