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Malaysia Mulls Compulsory Registration of Tech Workers

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the governments-generally-suck dept.

Censorship 187

Viceice writes "Hot on the heels of recently passed legislation further restricting Freedom of Assembly, the National Front-led Malaysian Government is now working to make the registration of all tech workers mandatory, making it an offence punishable by a stiff fine and jail for anyone to plan, deploy, service and maintain any computing system without a license. A leaked draft of the legislation has ignited a backlash among the IT community, which fear the law, when passed, will be devastating to the tech industry in Malaysia."

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187 comments

One step away from IT Unions (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38321318)

Whats wrong with requiring tech people to be licenced, we require it of doctors, lawyers, teachers, police need a warrant ..so why not IT tech workers.

managers needs them as well in other fields (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321552)

managers needs them as well in other fields they can't just sign off on building plans with no idea about how they work.

Please plug in your brain... (4, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321970)

Whats wrong with requiring tech people to be licenced, we require it of doctors, lawyers, teachers, police need a warrant ..so why not IT tech workers.

Quality of service in not why they want to regulate people that work with computers. It's a matter of controlling communication, repressing opposition views.

Re:Please plug in your brain... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38323840)

Whats wrong with requiring tech people to be licenced, we require it of doctors, lawyers, teachers, police need a warrant ..so why not IT tech workers.

Quality of service in not why they want to regulate people that work with computers. It's a matter of controlling communication, repressing opposition views.

So.. even open source developers needs to be registered as well?

Re:One step away from IT Unions (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322446)

IT tech workers need a warrant??

Re:One step away from IT Unions (2, Informative)

codegen (103601) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322618)

Except that doctors lawyers and engineers are licensed by a professional body, not by the government. And there is a professional code of conduct that they must adhere to. Teachers and police are a certification, not a license (despite the name). You do not have to be a member of the professional body to practice.

Re:One step away from IT Unions (1)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323398)

Really? You mean I can practice law without having to be admitted to the bar?

Sweet, I'm off to open a law practice.

I would say yes (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323886)

You are allowed to defend yourself, and that can be done without passing any bar exam. So practising law without being admitted to the bar seems possible.
On a side note , Abraham Lincoln practised law, and he never passed any bar examination, nor did he go to law school. Riddle me that Batman.

Re:One step away from IT Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322834)

Gee, maybe because most of the people who invented and commercialized computing weren't "licensed?"

Unions. Gotta love 'em.

Re:One step away from IT Unions (1)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323044)

What does an oppressive government that is taking steps to control information and communication channels and stifle dissent have to do with unions?

Re:One step away from IT Unions (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323272)

What's wrong with compulsory government registration of your trade, which you'll be able to practice at the whim of that government? Fuck that.

The west does it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38321322)

Only they call it "visa".

Re:The west does it too (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322040)

Right. Because every tech worker in the west is an immigrant (unlikely).

Re:The west does it too (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322336)

Only they call it "visa".

Some of us prefer "mastercard".

Re:The west does it too (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323582)

I'd mod parent Insightful, not Funny (despite the intended joke), given what certain credit card companies did wrt Wikileaks and friends...

Papers (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38321332)

I see you have your papers, but do you have your papers for your papers?

Ahh you do not. You shall be escorted away to be dealt with accordingly.

All for the sake of censorship. (5, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321340)

Malaysia had had passed on to an islamist party government. and they have been trying to increasingly implement sharia-compliant measures. internet irritates them to no end with its freedom and possibility of pursuing anything 'non islamic'.

this is simply another measure - if you make all i.t. workers registered, noone can set up stuff that may prevent/circumvent censorship or anything and still remain in business. this includes proxies, servers, networks - anything. basically its just a control scheme.

Re:All for the sake of censorship. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38321454)

Not just censorship. Mandatory legal licensing is a proven method of protectionism that restricts labor movement between states, grants special privilege to a select few, and offers more justification for bureaucracy. It is just one more tool of the labor monopolists.

It is fortunate that IT is too new a field to have yet become infused with these sorts of restraints. It provides a nice means to compare the vast assortment of innovation and falling prices to other more locked down labor sectors, like medicine and law.

Re:All for the sake of censorship. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321990)

Mandatory legal licensing is a proven method of protectionism that restricts labor movement between states

So THAT is how we end out-sourcing to the 3rd world. Thx.

Re:All for the sake of censorship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38321576)

noone

"No one"

A-noooooo-uh-one!

No one. It's so easy to fall in love with it. No one.

Re:All for the sake of censorship. (2, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321684)

You know, every time I tell people this on /. I'm the on that gets called a bigot and a racist. Glad to see that people are finally waking up to the reality of what Malaysia is like. Maybe they'll wake up that Egypt is now full steaming ahead to the same fate.

Re:All for the sake of censorship. (2)

Viceice (462967) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322248)

To be fair, the Malaysian government is like that (Bigoted and racist). The general population are generally nice people.

The government is working overtime shoring up power and restricting freedoms because they lost their 2/3 majority in parliament for the first time in 50 years last election and they are close to being tossed out next election (which is soon).

Re:All for the sake of censorship. (2)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322544)

To be fair, and having been to Malaysia in the last 8mo. You're better off skipping most of the country. While there are some parts and people that are nice, the fanatical islamists are on the march as much as the brown shirts were on the march in 1932.

In seemingly unrelated news (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322574)

Malaysian government ministers have recently been required to enroll in special yoga classes where they learn to bend their heads forward an incredible 270 degrees.

Re:In seemingly unrelated news (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322614)

Oops I mean 480 degrees.

Re:All for the sake of censorship. (2)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323470)

Islam is not a "race", it's SUPERSTITION, as ridiculous as all the others.

The idea that anything not supported by science and logic is to be respected is absurd.

Re:All for the sake of censorship. (2, Interesting)

sxpert (139117) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323900)

Wake up!

ALL religions are crap. Take for example the so-called Born Again Christians you have in the US.

Religions should be considered for what they are, CULTS and should be forbidden to take any part of the political life

New Jersey Tried a Law Like That Once (4, Informative)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322148)

It was back in the 90s, if I remember correctly, and unlike some licensing laws that were passed to protect special interest groups, this was just because a legislator had met a licensed civil engineer at a party who was complaining about how he needed a license to build bridges and buildings, but people could design safety-critical software without knowing what they were doing. It seemed like a good idea at the time, so the legislator cribbed the state's civil engineering licensing laws, turned them into software engineering licensing laws, and by the time she was done you couldn't operate a microwave oven without a four-year degree from an accredited software engineering program, much less tell a web site designer what you wanted your web site to look like. And because she was in the majority political party in the state assembly, it not only passed her committee without any intelligent thought being applied to it, but also passed the state House. (And after all, most of the legislators were lawyers who also needed licenses to practice, so it didn't occur to them that this actually mattered.) Fortunately, a reporter from the Bergen Record saw the bill, thought about what it might mean, and asked the PR person from a major high-tech firm in the state what their opinion was. They looked at it, said "[expletive deleted]!!", told their friends, and all of them told their state senate contacts to kill the bill or it would cripple all the high-tech business in the state, and it died quietly.

Re:All for the sake of censorship. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322220)

Organized religion of any kind is complete bullshit. There is/are no god(s); will you fucktarded overgrown childres fucking grow up already and get over it? All these people do in the end is make everyone else completely miserable with their superstitious nonsense.

Re:All for the sake of censorship. (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323052)

A few points.
Most organized religions in the US are 501C3 tax exempt

The gov't has made it possible for people to donate to the church and not have that amount considered as income and for some church activities to not be taxed.

The church to receives this benefit had to agree to become a corporation and agree to certain rules.
501C3 tax exemption gags the church from any political speech or act among other restraints.

Recently the IRS has been granted the power by the supCt to choose what is and is not a tax exempt church corporation for the purposes of 501C3 tax exemption. RE: moon vs IRS

This applies to any 501C3 organization.

There are a few religions that are not so organized nor do they beg government for a gag and what is an indirect handout. They do not worship icons nor do they have a fixed structure. The may be better or they may not but they are not US government sanctioned.

Re:All for the sake of censorship. (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323158)

“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” - Denis Diderot

Re:All for the sake of censorship. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323992)

The trouble is the ones doing the most strangling[1] are usually the next king or priest ;).

It is better to have leaders selected by "most votes", than "most firepower".

[1] With or without entrails.

All for the sake of Affirmative Action (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322602)

It's also a good way for them to enforce their Affirmative Action policy [wikipedia.org] against the disliked Malaysian Chinese and the disliked Malaysian Indian minorities in favor of the "disadvantaged" Malay majority.

After all, it's very difficult to implement a quota system without some kind of registration and licensing requirement first. For instance, this licensing distinction between University graduates and non-graduates will only ensure that the two minorities that are being "positively" discriminated from attending the Malaysian University system do not attempt to try to bi-pass the system and steal the tech jobs away from the Malay graduates.

Re:All for the sake of censorship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38323356)

Actually, the ruling party isn't islamists, it's nationalist, the opposition is islamist and this is why the malaysian government is so little in the media.

Licensing (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321352)

By itself, licensing isn't a big issue. Many trades require licensing. However, if it's meant as a knee-jerk reaction to people who might pose a threat to a totalitarian government, perhaps it is not such a wonderful idea....

Re:Licensing (3, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321570)

Many trades require licensing IF the person involved is going to offer their services to the general public.

Licensing provisions do not apply anywhere as often if the person is going to practice the trade as an employee.

Re:Licensing (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38324034)

Licensing provisions do not apply anywhere as often if the person is going to practice the trade as an employee.

Nurses, doctors, lawyers, accountants and who knows how many others - all require licenses even if they are only employees.

What employees are you referring to that would only need a license if they were offering their services directly to the general public?

well bad code can lead to disasters (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321604)

By itself, licensing isn't a big issue. Many trades require licensing. However, if it's meant as a knee-jerk reaction to people who might pose a threat to a totalitarian government, perhaps it is not such a wonderful idea....

so maybe some licensing is not that bad of a idea and poor security can let hacks get in and take info that should not be out in the wild.

Re:Licensing (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321870)

The fact that "Many trades require licensing" is very, very far from making it "not a big issue".

I mean, even aside from the fact that in this case it appears it is being done for political reasons. State licensing has gone a long way toward ruining some professions, at least from the point of view of the public at large. Look at lawyers, just for one example.

Here's what happens as soon as a profession gets "licensed" or "certified". (I saw this happen gradually in the field of networking, after they started offering network certifications, like Novell CNE, and MCSE:

Some self-proclaimed licensing or certification body (if it's not the state) comes up with a certification exam. (Or, in more egregious cases, several to many exams that must be passed.) Not long after, tech and publishing companies begin to publish "Study courses" on how to pass the exam. When I was studying for my MCSE, I had several complete sets of books, some of which retailed for as much as $400 per set.

Soon -- very soon -- lots of big companies have a huge investment in this certification. And they lose lots of money every time the exams change. Also, the certification bodies rarely keep up with new technology. And worse... certification becomes the only indicator of who is "a professional" in that field. And so everybody who has already passed it has a stake in making sure that certification is difficult to get. Further, those who have passed certification feel they have earned their wings, and consider themselves tenured professionals. They don't feel they need to constantly study and keep up with everything new anymore.

As a result of all this, innovation in the field begins to slow. People who have licenses usually get paid well. But as time passes -- at least in tech fields -- they become less and less relevant. Sooner or later, they find that industry has passed them by and they have become dinosaurs. So they get a job flipping burgers or something to pay to go back to school (which no longer works, by the way: school is far too expensive).

So, no. I am sure there are exceptions, but in general, at least in tech fields, licensing or certification tolls the slow but sure death knell of your profession. To be replaced by something similar but not quite the same, 10 or 20 years later.

(Anybody remember CNE or MCSE? I never finished my MCSE, by the way: I saw the writing on the wall and went for a software career instead.)

Re:Licensing (-1, Flamebait)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322126)

Sounds like a bitter IT professional who was incapable of getting his MCSE, despite years of trying. I got my company to buy some Sybex study guides, read them, and within a month of getting my first MCSE study material, I was MCSE. Same with CCNA/CCDA, but then, I actually worked for a living, so I knew almost all of it before even starting studying. Perhaps that's why you needed to be a programmer, you couldn't handle the technical side.

Re:Licensing (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322250)

If you can't get an MCSE first try, then you must be really bad at your job. I passed all the tests first time around, no problem. Of course once I got the damned thing I quickly discovered that it was worth exactly nothing unless you were already an IT worker, so I never bothered keeping it updated. All these "certifications" are good for is making money for the training schools, because all they prove is that you're good at taking tests. It has little bearing on whether or not you're going to fuck up someone's Microsoft servers and workstations.

Re:Licensing (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322866)

"I quickly discovered that it was worth exactly nothing unless you were already an IT worker ..."

Precisely my point. But apparently some people think that being smart enough to stop pursuing something that is a waste of your time equates to being unable.

It takes all kinds, I guess.

Re:Licensing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322400)

I used up all my mod points so I could not mod you arrogant asshole. Too bad.

Re:Licensing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322842)

Wait a second, you're saying programmers don't work on the technical side of operations? Well, I've been working on both the networking and programming side of operations for 15 years, earning a fine living, and I have zero "industry standard certifications." Sounds like you need to pull your head out of our ass and wake up to reality... I have a standing policy that anyone walking in the door proclaiming MCSE certification instantly gets moved to the circular file, because in my 15 years of experience, the vast majority of them are complete idiots. Frankly, I categorize it as roughly equivalent to saying "I went to DeVry University." I don't have time to waste on that kind of garbage.

Re:Licensing (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322852)

I don't much care what it sounds like to you. I had already taken a job in the software field by the time I was halfway through my MCSE. My boss offerred to reimburse me for my tests and pay me $1000 bonus if I finished. I considered it. But then I found out that the company stood to save $20,000 annually in software licences if they had an MCSE in-house.

If the bastard had offered me even 10%, I might have said yes. As it was, I told him it wasn't worth my time. If I really saw any career advancement in it, anywhere near the direction I was going, I would have finished it. But it wasn't, and in fact as it turned out it wasn't worth my time. Considering how things have turned out since, I'm glad I had that foresight.

And by the way, you pompous ass, I "worked for a living" too. Before I took that software job I was the highest-paid hardware tech in the region, which encompassed most of several states.

So take your assumptions and stuff them. I'm doing just fine.

Re:Licensing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38323632)

I personally don't feel certifications hold much weight, I know plenty of people with them that aren't very intelligent. They were just capable of retaining knowledge long enough to complete a test, e.g. a book study. That said, it's worth noting your boss offered you 5% of what they stood to save, not a bad deal really. Actually, slightly more than that since he offered to pay off you for your test bills as well. You probably made the right choice though, because you focused on your job and life instead. Personally, if you interviewed with me I wouldn't hold a certification against you unless you seemed to hold yourself in high esteem because of it and your background wasn't sparkling. I really hold a higher regard for experience.

Interesting story... Recently, I walked into a Best Buy and someone was standing next to me in an aisle trying to make a decision regarding some computer hardware, I believe it was a router. I gave him some informed opinions on the quality of the various brands. One of the staff overheard and came over to argue with me. He tried to tell the other customer not to listen to me, that he was more intelligent because he had 12 certifications. I simply dropped it. I'm wealthy and successful, and he was wrong and arrogant. But, I'm not going to bother hurting his fragile ego, let him have his fantasies. Also, I'm not a dick. Unfortunately, because I backed down the customer listened to him. I suppose if a store employee gives a customer advice, most people will take it over a stranger's. They should be the experts on their own products one would assume.

Re:Licensing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38323002)

Here's another anecdote for you.

In Washington DC there was a fire that killed several Georgetown students. The city's response was to require landlords (even if you're just renting one condo) to get a basic business license, get inspected, etc.

When I left DC I put my apartment in the trust of a property manager who assured me that they would handle all of that. Big mistake.

They turned out to be real cruds. They didn't handle any of it. My apartment was technicly an illegal rental the whole time. Wait. It gets better.

Turns out there was a guy there who was a recovering adict. Embezzled. The company was sold, and rent checks stopped coming to me. Ridiculous. You hire a prop manager so you don't have to bother people for checks. So I fired them. I got my back checks, but that's when I found out the licensing was not handled by them.

I was done. I wanted to sell out. To sell, I had to be legal. I cleared the legality. My tenant moved out, which made it easier. Ironicly, the tenant turned out to be the easiest person to deal with. He was patient waiting for the inspectors, presented receipts for repairs, threw in some labor. Very cool.

Anyway, I was glad to be done with it. Oh, this well intentioned law? Well think about it--that whole time my place was illegal. I know for a fact that many of those basements--the kind that G-town students got trapped and died in, were still there because I had to live in one for a while before I got my condo, and in retrospect it was almost certainly illegal now that I know what it takes to get certified.

So. Feel-good law. Crooks get away with it because there's no incentive to really fix the problem. It just burdens honest people like myself. Sorry I fell like I have to post AC; because I don't want to deal with all the people; but this is all honest truth.

Re:Licensing (2)

quenda (644621) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321934)

Licensing is not enough. If IT techs are going to make anywhere near as much money as plumbers and electricians, we need laws prohibiting anyone from repairing or installing their own computer.

    In this stupid nanny-state of Australia, I cannot even (legally) replace a faulty GPO (power outlet) or leaking tap in my own home without paying $100 callout plus $90/hr (bloody mining boom), so why should that tradie be allowed to run Windows Update without paying an IT nerd to do it?

Re:Licensing (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323290)

Already happened here in California. I do wonder if the licensing requirement (the license is moderately expensive, and applies to the business, not the individual tech) might have contributed to the demise of the small computer repair shop industry, by being just one more barrier to entry while not actually ensuring that the tech knows anything.

what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38321354)

This will kill any Malaysian's ideas for growth...
"In other words, if I don’t register, it is technically illegal for me to even email ANY MALAYSIAN with even an IDEA for a tech-related project. It would be against the law for me to even sketch, on a napkin, my idea for a new app while having coffee with someone.
      Want to know the hilarious part? The country with a bill nearly identical to ours isNigeria. So we’re taking a leaf out of their book? Brilliant, Malaysia, totally brilliant. "

Re:what? (2)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321842)

"This will kill any Malaysian's ideas for growth..."

If they wanted modernity and growth the would reject religion. Since this is motivated BY religion, it's a self-punishing choice.

Re:what? (4, Interesting)

SlashdotWanker (1476819) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322044)

it's not religion or faith that's an issue. It's a totally corrupt regime who's been in power quite a while and is trying to implement sharia law for their own personal benefit. if this law goes into effect, it will cause the entire countries IT infrastructure to start slowly imploding. Who wants to paint a gigantic red bullseye on their back?

Re:what? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323456)

Superstition gives social leverage which would not otherwise exist, and is immune to correction or argument.

Reject it and be free.

Impact on open source development (4, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321374)

This could also affect everyone that develops open source on any project.

Re:Impact on open source development (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38321592)

Your cute thinking that matters.

Degree debt (4, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321378)

This will happen in the US. Count on it. It will serve two purposes.

1. National Security or some such crap.

2. Students have too much debt because of the degree bubble. Thus, they should be fast-tracked into employment to pay it off. Your 20+ years of experience with no degree? Back of the line with you and a mound of debt in tuition to boot.

Re:Degree debt (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321390)

It should be noted that I do not agree with the two statements above. Just making a point how the feds will justify this kind of behavior.

Re:Degree debt (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321898)

"Degree bubble"? That's hardly how I would describe it. The fact that government has driven up the cost of an education is rather the opposite of a "bubble".

Re:Degree debt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322650)

The government is forcing me to punch you in the face.

Hey, it has exactly as strong a causal link as claiming that stafford loans (limited to $5.5k for years and years and years despite the rising tuition costs) cause tutition to go up.

Re:Degree debt (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323800)

I'm sure someone somewhere has blamed solely Stafford loans for the mess. However, I blame student loans which, while it includes Stafford loans, it also includes a lot of other loans.

Re:Degree debt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38323134)

"Degree bubble"? That's hardly how I would describe it. The fact that government has driven up the cost of an education is rather the opposite of a "bubble".

Housing bubble: People incur significant debt to acquire an asset (a house) with inflated value, that later proves to be less valuable than the debt incurred.

Degree bubble: People incur significant debt to acquire an asset (a degree) with inflated value [they thought they could get a job that paid well], that later proves to be less valuable [nobody but McDonald's is hiring someone with a degree in English with a minor in Women's Studies] than the debt incurred.

no tech work needs apprenticeships like other (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321580)

licensed people like plumbers have them and they are a mix of class room (non therey loaded) and real work that is lacking in many CS degrees.

man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38321514)

Who knew Mugatu was actually the hero?

That whooshing noise Malaysians hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38321550)

...is the modern economy going past them.

"Mulls" (0)

cshay (79326) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321590)

"Mulls" is an awkward verb that only gained a foothold because newspaper headline writers had to meet a size limit.

On Slashdot, which has a huge amount of space for headline title, it should never be used - instead replaced with words like "Considers".

Re:"Mulls" (1)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321654)

Maybe your screen is wide, but what about phones consuming the RSS feed?
Besides, people only read the first 11 characters [useit.com] , so short is sweet [useit.com] .

Now, mulls may not be the best word in this particular situation, but to rule it out in all situations is silly.

Re:"Mulls" (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321680)

"Mull" is more subtle than consider and has a secondary meaning implying "to screw up" or "to fail".
And, since it's alliterative with Malaysia, it's a very appropriate use for this story's headline.

Re:"Mulls" (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321778)

Or they liked the alliteration.

Although "Malaysia Mulls Mandatory Registration" would've been better.

Re:"Mulls" (1)

Viceice (462967) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322374)

Thank you. It actually occurred to me, but by then i had already hit submit.

Indians and Americans rejoice... (3, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321600)

Thanks Malaysia. You've just made for better job security in India and the US. We Americans won't have to compete directly against you because only a minority of your people will be able to afford to comply with this (thus making them a highly paid minority) and Indians will have fewer competitors, making it easier for their wages to increase (which again, makes it easier for Americans to compete).

If I didn't know better, I'd wonder how much a US Trade Representative paid someone to make this happen!

A typical Malaysian problem (3, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321666)

Having worked in this wonderful country I dare say this is a typical Malaysian problem.

The country has a diverse population with a Muslim majority and economical strong Indian and especially Chinese minorities. The last two make this a quite well off country.
Historically this mix has been tightly controlled by an undemocratic government, this government knows the economy would seriously suffer when they would let slip the present (enforced) balance of power between these groups.

It's no surprise the present government tries to continue this control and protect the relative strong economy by among others regulating new means of communication like computers and especially the internet.

Re:A typical Malaysian problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38323084)

I currently work with this country, I have thus far worked with three agencies that do exactly the same thing, each time they think it's politically expedient they create a new agency to do the same job, but fail to shut down the previous agency, it's a nightmare.

Re:A typical Malaysian problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38323240)

Why don't the Chinese and Indian communities secede?

Re:A typical Malaysian problem (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323730)

Some years ago Singapore did exactly that.

stifle innovation? really? ya think? (5, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321726)

I mean, really. What do these people think it will do, besides *restrict* technological innovation? That is defact the point with this kind of legislation.

In the case of licensing doctors, it is to *restrict* people with dodgy credentials performing surgeries, or proscribing medications. Ideally, this is to protect patients, as it helps regulate a standard QoS in that industry. Same with legal professionals. Likewise, that restriction reduces the number of people performing those services. This has two immediate effects: 1) it reduces supply for that service, increasing costs. 2)it reduces the number of people doing that work, naturally reducing the number of minds that would bring innovative ideas to those service industries.

The whole reason why the internet exploded with applications (both computational, and user service oriented) and service providers was *because* of that lack of regulation. The emergence of top players comes about as genuine success stories in an unregulated/minimally regulated system. If providers were abusive, people stopped using them, and other providers gobbled them up. The reason for this explosion of innovation was because literally *anyone* with an internet connection and some intelligence could contribute to, or create a new idea, and promote it. This is how free software thrives. Anyone with an internet connection can download a code repository, read it, and suggest improvements. It doesn't matter if you are a millionaire payboy, or an ammonia scented cleaning woman, if your suggested changes are sound, you have improved the collective work, and everyone benefits from your innovative idea.

Instigating this kind of licensing would block out the vast majority of users from legally engaging in this process. As such, their ideas, even if perfectly valid, and even game changing, are withheld from inclusion, because "they aren't licensed."

This applies to every level of internet culture and its distributed source of innovation. It is poison to the very infrastructure they want to control.

The addage "don't ascribe to malice what can be ascribed to ignorance." Is stretched very thin here. How can you create such legislation, knowing what the internet is, and NOT see how it is antithetically counter opposed to the very foundational source of that system's recourcefulness and robustness in terms of innovation?

Stifle innovation? Really? Ya think?

Re:stifle innovation? really? ya think? (2)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321942)

Actually i think they dont give a fuck about that innovation you speak off, they have a ticking clock to serious social problem, and the internet can speed it up. Sooo lets keep the techies under control.

Re:stifle innovation? really? ya think? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38321966)

See my own comment above. We agree, but for different reasons. Our arguments somewhat reinforce each other.

Re:stifle innovation? really? ya think? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322954)

I mean, really. What do these people think it will do, besides *restrict* technological innovation?

And that is exactly the point of the law. Islam seeks to live in the past where individual freedoms are dangerous to the group think.

Re:stifle innovation? really? ya think? (2)

Reziac (43301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323200)

Technically, California already has this sort of licensing, at least for computer techs (and a broad interpretation could include just about any sort of computer-related job).

http://www.bearhfti.ca.gov/ [ca.gov]
It is illegal in CA for an unlicensed person to perform repairs on a computer.

And the state runs sting operations:
http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/press_releases/2007/0928_sting.shtml [ca.gov]

Re:stifle innovation? really? ya think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38323682)

Innovation-schminnovation! Patent troll be damned! Actually, this can be a great idea to prevent off-shoring. The companies are required to find engineers that are locally licensed to do the programming work that is going to be deployed anywhere in the nation. Then, the licensing body must require citizenship / permanent residence along with the necessary technical requirements to obtain such license. Plus, the local pay of programmers will be bumped up due to fewer competition.

As an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38321754)

... I fully support other countries destroying their IT Outsourcing Industry.

One needs to consider the facts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38321876)

And the facts are that licensing is a good thing. If it is done in a transparent manner, with equal opportunities. Alas, Malaysia is far away from that. A country where you can get an 'A'level in 8 month, officially, when you belong to a specific (governing) ethnic group, while others need 2 years, and where you have a university with 140.000 students of just one ethic group (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kvTrpVwzX4), officially, that country is just different.
This measure is not undertaken to increase the quality of IT-services. It is solely meant to keep the more enterprising ethnic Malaysian Chinese and ethnic Malaysian Indians out of opportunities and create a competition-free environment for the ethnic Malaysian Malays.

That's nearly everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38321910)

Who defines computing system? A lamp or light switch could qualify. So anyone who plans to or actually installs a lamp, or changes the light bulb, would be in violation of law if not licensed. While an extreme case, its not as ridiculous with even slightly more complicated devices.

Re:That's nearly everyone (1)

Pembers (250842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322182)

What, exactly, does a lamp or light switch compute? A useful definition of a computer is anything that's Turing complete - see here [wikipedia.org] . Changing your own light bulbs is probably already illegal if you're not a Registered Electrical Practitioner...

Paging anon.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38321928)

Anon to the Malaysian helpdesk line please!

Draft Bill (4, Informative)

Viceice (462967) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322008)

The leaked draft bill is here:

http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/75107593?access_key=key-22cz53lb62552asmdd43 [scribd.com]

The pertinent part is paragraph 18.

Re:Draft Bill (2)

udippel (562132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322168)

Make that paragraph 19, I'd suggest:
"no person shall, unless he is a Registered Computing Professional
(a) practice, carry on business or take up employment which requires him to carry out or perform the services of a Registered Computing Professional"
is sufficient to get the gist.

Re:Draft Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322270)

What will happen to Malaysan Gran Prix? Will they make the pit crew be licensed?

Re:Draft Bill (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322426)

Pertinent part is section 2:

"This Act applies to the Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII)."
"“Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII)” refers to those assets, systems and functions that are vital to the nation that their incapacity or destruction would have a devastating impact on National economic strength or National image or National defense and security or Government capability to function or Public health and safety;"

It makes perfect sense to require companies and entities dealing with CNII to be evaluated and certified as competent.

A lot of things are wrong in Malaysia's political landscape, but this bill is a bad example of it. The government (the same political party in power since independence 54 year ago) is rotten by corruption and cronyism, it supports within the population has been going downhill in recent years as more and more corruption scandals have been exposed (thanks in great part to the internet - the local press is self-censored and owned by the political parties in power, most other publications are banned). With the next general election expected within months, the people are quick to bash the government for any proposed law or act that attacks their freedom. Most of the time, they are right to complain, the Peaceful Assembly Act the TFA briefly mention is a very good example of how the Malaysian government wants to control and restrict the freedom of speech and movement of their citizen, but that IT bill, well, it is not.

Living in Malaysia for 5 years now, it's a very nice and friendly country. Not what some people here may say. It's a muslim majority country, but very moderate and multi-ethnic. There are racial-based laws in effects which grants financial advantages, preference in employment and education, to the Malay (and Muslim) majority, corruption exists at every level of power and cronyism is a real plague. These are the real problem. Yet, Malaysia has a lot of potential and its people, the younger generation especially, is looking forward to make it a better place. I'm pretty confident they will.

This is bizarre (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322262)

The tech industry is Malaysia.

Can this standard be imposed on the legislators? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322356)

Addendum:

Any lawmaker proposing legislation on computer law without being a "Registered Computing Professional" shall be removed from office and fined for unlicensed practice of computer legislation without a license.

So I'm thinking... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322408)

...the Malaysian government can fix their own damned computers. See how they like it.

Slippery Slope (1)

Froggels (1724218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322564)

While there may appear to be justifiable reasons to implement this now, the long term unintended consequences may be devastating.

Trade Guild Power Grab, Restraint of Competition (1)

cmholm (69081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322578)

I've read the leaked draft of the bill linked by @Viceice. Lacking background on the bill's authors, I'll hazard a guess that this is the work of incumbent local IT firms looking to lock out new entrants, and thus reduce competition and pressure to reduce billing rates. As such, it would be no different than taxi cab or barber licensing stateside, whose purpose is usually similar... while using the fig leaf of ensuring qualified vendors.

Re:Trade Guild Power Grab, Restraint of Competitio (1)

dartarrow (930250) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322648)

Note that the registration of computer professionals only applies to those working in the 'Critical National Information Infrastructure' (wtfever that means), but I doubt your iPhone app or that Open Source project falls into this category.

"tech worker" = ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322686)

Since when "tech worker" equals someone working with computers?

Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII (2)

kaeru (245396) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322754)

Some people have pointed out that this only applies to government or CNII http://cnii.cybersecurity.my/main/about.html [cybersecurity.my] . This is all the public have info on, and it encompasses almost every economic sector in Malaysia. Would ISP, Telekoms and Mobile operators come under critical services? How about Banking? Would this be another layer of requirements on top of existing ones to provide IT services to banks and financial institutions?

National Security is also a red flag. Malaysia has history of using National Security laws to hide information related to corruption or even arresting opposition politicians under this pretense.

Long term wise, the public statement has already stated that the objective is increasing quality for *all* IT professionals. So their intentions are obviously not limited to just CNII requirements.

Shame they don't crack down on their spammers (1)

Indy1 (99447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323860)

.MY is a spam cesspool, and has been for 10+ years now. Maybe if they destroy their IT industry, it'll fix the spammers too.

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