We don’t need a National Car. We need a National Search Engine.


    In the 21st century, technology is the key enabler of economic progress and development. Unfortunately, a big part of the global technology landscape is dominated by the Big Tech companies based in the United States – the Googles, Facebooks, the Apples and the Amazons.

    These companies run global empires that cover the entire world. Their revenues are measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars and their companies collectively worth trillions of dollars.

    However, the critical question for us – the underdeveloped South East Asian nations is very simple.

    “Why should Malaysia, and the rest of South East Asia be mere consumers?”
    If there is one thing that Trump has shown is that he puts America First and is willing to go to fight the rest of the world to protect American interest. Now, for a long time we knew that the previous leadership in Malaysia did not have the country’s interest at hand and Malaysians have kicked him out of office, and possibly heading to the gaol.

    The previous PM had US interests in hand. Impossible for Tun Dr Mahathir to behave in such a manner.

    However, right now if there is one thing people can be confident of is that Tun Dr Mahathir is a “right thinking” leader who is willing to evaluate new ideas. More importantly, Tun is passionate about seeing the country develop and the progress of the Malaysian economy. And lastly, Tun is one of those special kind of leaders who immediately commands respect throughout the region.

    And so what The Rembau Times proposes is that for Tun Dr Mahathir to spearhead a co-operation of South-South Nations (“SSN”) communities of the world to fight for technological independence. This means that these countries should own their own technology stack of the future. For example, through a smart partnership with China, the SSN could develop their own search engine, social networking application and e-commerce platforms.

    Government’s could collectively ban Google and Facebook from their countries in favour of a SSN led local solution. This will ensure that the SSN countries will be able to achieve technology independence in the future through the innovation provided by a captive market of about 1 billion individuals.

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    1. i beg to differ…

      As you have stated clearly…
      “the Googles, Facebooks, the Apples and the Amazons….”
      and one could put any other companies or entity deemed as “game changer” along that list for that matter….

      One would find a common denominator in each of those in the list and that is…
      “challenging and overcoming status quo”
      be it from a technology, commercial, political etc… stand point or perspective…

      Sorry to say this but even though the intention means well but we have to shoot it down because it akin to a common Malay saying… “doa lebih skit”… how do you do that? Doa we all can do, lebih also can.. skit also can but lebih sikit.. hehe.. i know it is simplistic in nature as an example but on serious note this is also applicable to the “cyberjaya” senario.. was it is successful? was it a failure?.. actually that is not the Q to be honest…

      The driving force of “silicon valley” was never actually the physical perspective… it was alway and will always be the logical factors… it is what drives it.. something that is intangible but the output is something that is tangible so if plans that wishes to emulate this must alway have this in mind (do not get it mixed up and ending it backward.. the result will not be the same)

      my penny worth of thinking out loud….

    2. I see the dominance of GAFA as they are called a form of colonialism. By the way, their raw material is the data we generate for them. China banned Google and FB, as a result created domestic champions like Alibaba, Weibo, Tencent and a whole host of others.

    3. People will just use VPN and continue to use Google, Facebook and etc. You cannot force innovation, you can only create a good environment and hope that it flourish – a bad example – cyberjaya.

    4. I think we have a segment of people who will be supportive of it. Malaysia has changed since GE14. Critical mass is possible. Most important with a right campaign ppl will see that for no $ switching cost they can help create an environment that is better for themselves. Digital infrastructure must be back in the hands of the rakyat and not in the hands of Big Tech.