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Thursday, 06 September 2007


Wu MingShi

When SIRIM's director fires the whole committee, he did not say the committee's decision stays. It is not standard practice to fire a committee but let its decision stand. Moreover, he is quoted to be saying that the reason for the suspension is the amount of political and business pressure, implying the committee appeared to be biased, thus the decision cannot stand.

Since a new committee was not formed in time, the only option available to SIRIM is to "abstain", the de facto default position.

This is unlike the South African situation where SA specifically said that its default position is to vote "No".

Hence, I do not feel the need to speculate, or to accuse others of bad decision.

I would had preferred a No vote, and a Abstain vote probably favoured MS more than it deserves, but this does not alter the fact that Abstain is usually seen to be the fair position in case of dispute or indecision.

Yoon Kit

Hi MingShi,

Just some factoids which need to be elaborated before you feel complacent:

The previous SIRIM CEO "suspended" talks on ODF as a National Standard. Why he suspended it was not entirely explained, as the reasons he gave to the public differed significantly to the reasons which was given in an internal email to committee members.

However, TC4 members were encouraged to research MSOOXML and provide its results to SIRIM by July 07. We dutifuly fulfilled our responsibilities.

ISC-G, which is the Industrial Standards Committee for IT, and oversees the work of TC4 subsequently convened at the end of August. They specifically met to come up with a consensus on Malaysia's vote.

This senior technical committee unanimously voted to "Disagree with comments" as a conditional approval against MSOOXML as an ISO standard.

So: There was a technical committee which reviewed the concerns against MSOOXML, and that committee voted "Disagree". Under normal circumstances, ISC-G has the ultimate say on Malaysia's position at ISO.

So the fact that this technical decision was altered to an "Abstention" shows that there is room to speculate on what occured between the time of the ISC-G meeting, and the 2nd of September vote.

Malaysia was going to do the responsible thing as a IT savvy country by voting "No".

So this change is very favourable to Microsoft's position.


What Yusseri is speculating is that Microsoft's perceived brand value has significant influence on people. Policy makers of developing countries are afraid of upsetting this mega corporation who has almost limitless funds to help drive potential future IT projects.
[Even Singapore (a supposedly developed country) faced such threats]

Who would you bank on? Techies who blog on a voluntary basis, or well oiled money machines (who are not afraid to use it) with international reach?

Guess which side you'd rather hedge your career on if you still have third world IT mentalities.


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