Friday, April 07, 2006

Accessing the 9MP

Tony and I are in the process of going through the 9MP and highlighting individual sections which pertain to education. But before I fire off the first salvo, let me first say a few things about accessing the 9MP online.

First of all, accessing the BM version take a long time. Secondly, there is no shortcut or link to the English version of the 9MP at the main EPU website. One would have thought that given the international interest in the 9MP and given that many Malaysians, including parliamentarians and business leaders and ordinary citizens would prefer to read the 9MP in English, this ommission seems short sighted. Thirdly, if one were to google '9MP English' or '9MP English EPU' you won't find a direct link to the EPU website either. It's more likely that you'll be referred to one of the many press statements by YB Lim Kit Siang. I don't know much about the algorithms of the google search process, but I'm willing to bet that this is party due to the fact that none of the EPU website had the words 9MP English Version on it (it has versi Bahasa Inggeris instead) (You can download the English version here). You might think that if the EPU wanted the 9th MP to get 'out there' as it were, they would be more concious of these issues.

Fourthly, the pdf file of the 9MP sometimes cannot be saved (depending on the version of Adobe which you have) and most definitely cannot be printed (on all versions of Adobe)! I know that this is partly motivated by the fact that EPU wants people to buy physical copies of the 9MP but is this a desirable motivation given the electronic world which we live in? I think it's fine for EPU to charge for physical copies since they have to defray the costs of production of the plan, which I assume is pretty thick. But how about students and other scholars who might not want to shell out the dough to buy these physical copies? How about international observers, researchers and students who want to print and read the 9MP instead of perusing it online (when was the last time you read a book online?)

I wonder if any of our readers have found access, saving and printing the 9MP equally frustrating?

Let me just spew over this over a little while before I fire of my first salvo which is a discussion of the proposed Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF).


Golf Afflicted said...

As I was telling Kian Ming in my email to him just now, I would have thought that the print copy will be easily available at the Times or MPH or possibly even news stands.

Despite having found access pretty quickly to the online English version, I'm no fan of reading stuff online, so I was all ready to part of RM80 just to obtain a physical copy to read.

But sigh... no. No luck. Looks like I'll have to stick to the downloaded online version. :)

Anonymous said...

I've also been searching for the hard copies of the Plan.. the common question is "where can we find it? it should be easily available right?" Not quite true! On the other hand, go to any MPH shop and you'll see one book overflowing on display stands. hint: initials of the title are I.H.

Anonymous said...

sorry, the above comment was from me.

Kian Ming said...

Apparently, you can only buy the 9MP from "Kedai Buku PNMB, Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Bhd, Jalan Satu, Off Jalan Chan Sow Lin, 50554 Kuala Lumpur". I've been there once before to get some election statutes and it's not an easy place to get to. I don't understand why the EPU doesn't want to release the 9MP to bookshops such as MPH so that it can be more widely disseminated. Unless, that's precisely what they want.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm monopoly of profit perhaps. What is weird is what would they get by making it hard for people to read it. Or maybe they are just discouraging the people from getting it and questioning it. I just read in Malaysiakini that the PM asked people not to question it or something like that. Do they seriously still believe this kind of political stance will still work nowadays? That is really absurd if you ask me.


YT Kuah said...

I would have normally thought that governments should support free and fair dissemination of information by *not* using such DRM technology against its own people. That's why governments like in Massachusetts are supporting open formats. Anyway, there are programs that remove the restrictions for only $1, or you can use linux commands :)