The Malaysian and Western Australian Governments today signed an historic memorandum on collaboration in the development of information technology.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Perth by Malaysia's Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, Yang Berhormat Datuk Law Hieng Ding, and the Western Australian Deputy Premier Ian Taylor.
In a joint statement later, Datuk Law and Mr Taylor described the agreement as opening the way to significant co-operation between the two governments in their efforts to adapt IT to the expanding needs of government administration.
"Initially, the most practical demonstration of the agreement will be seen in the creation of a direct computer link between Technology Park Malaysia, and the Western Australian Technology Park," they said in the joint statement.
"The aim will be to develop information technology in all areas of mutual interest and particularly those relevant to economic and social development.
"There will be a regular exchange of views on the formation and application of information technology policies and every assistance will be given to encourage dialogue between government officials, scientists, and technologists."
The two Ministers said there would be co-operation in the development of `open system standards' to enable each government to make optimum use of its present computer network.
At the same time efforts would be made to expand existing co-operative arrangements to further develop expertise in the application of space satellite data to land management.
"Today Malaysia is an important centre in the production of computer hardware," they said.
"At the same time Western Australia is earning a growing reputation for its work in developing software.
"Malaysia and Western Australia have long enjoyed a warm and friendly relationship.
"It is hoped that this agreement will pave the way to others and in particular lead to commercial joint ventures where the computer expertise of each can be used to maximum effect."