Saturday, December 10, 2011

CPB2011: MOSTI's Response

This is a statement from MOSTI on the CPB2011:


The Establishment of the Board of Computing Professionals Malaysia (BCPM)

Recently, there was a misconception about the proposed BCPM Act currently being drafted by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). The claim is that the new Act will regulate computing practitioners and force them to register with a new Board called the Board of Computing Professional and that those who are not registered with this new board would not be allowed to practise programming, software engineering or apply for government tenders regardless of their years of experience or other qualifications.

MOSTI would like to assure all concerned parties that the establishment of the proposed BCPM is a body that will give recognition to the information, technology and communication (ICT) practitioners in the country as professionals in their respective computing domain. BCPM does not aim to regulate the computing profession in the nation but only applies to those that are identified as Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII) entities with the intent to safeguard the interest of the nation in view of the current dynamic and challenging global environments. CNII is defined as 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 defence and security or Government capability to function or Public health and safety. The CNII entities will be as identified by the The Chief Government Security Office (CGSO).

As for the need to be registered as Computing Professionals with BCPM, it is not mandatory. Registration with the BCPM does not apply only to graduates from the computing domain but will also take into consideration those from other disciplines with adequate computing experiences as well as those with professional qualifications in their respective computing domain.

Why do we need this Act? The need of this Act is to achieve the following objectives:

Enhance the value of the profession as it will require registered members to possess minimum levels of qualification/experience;
Raise professional standards by developing and maintaining a code of conduct for computing professionals;
Review qualifications offered by other bodies in order to serve as a guide and reference when gauging which certifications are valid and relevant;
Provide some level of assurance of the quality of computing professionals to employers who hire those who are registered by BCPM;
Enhance the supply of ICT manpower in the country and help the nation achieve the goals of the New Economic Model in becoming a productive high-income nation; and
Serve as a central repository of all computing professionals and practitioners in the country.

The vision of BCPM is to ensure that all computing services provided by the Malaysian Computing Professionals are globally recognised and with full regards to the public interest in mind. BCPM’s mission is to elevate the standing, visibility and recognition of Computing Professionals to ensure that computing services provided by the Computing Professionals in the country are in compliance with appropriate legislation and policies.

Within the context of this draft BCPM Bill, “Computing” has been defined as a goal-oriented activity to plan, architect, design, create, develop, implement, use and manage information technology or information technology systems.

In coming up with the draft of the BCPM Bill, MOSTI has initiated an effort to ensure the views of all key stakeholders are taken into consideration. With this intent, MOSTI has engaged various parties from both the private and public sectors such as the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Public Service Department of Malaysia, Malaysian Administration Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), National Security Council, CGSO, National ICT Deans Council (MADICT), National Professors Council, Association of the Computer and Multimedia Industry Malaysia (PIKOM), Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), CyberSecurity Malaysia, MIMOS Berhad and Malaysian National Computer Confederation (MNCC) to deliberate and confer on all pertaining issues on the subject matter of computing professionals in the country.

In order to solicit further inputs to improve the BCPM Bill, MOSTI will be having an open day on 13 December 2011 (Tuesday) from 9.30am to 5.00pm at the following venue:

Dewan Perhimpunan
Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation
Level 1, Block C4, Complex C,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,

The intent of the open day is to inform the public of the proposed establishment of the BCPM and to provide a platform for all interested parties to view the draft BCPM Bill and give the opportunity for members of the public to present constructive feedbacks, opinions and thoughts on the draft BCPM Bill. All feedbacks, opinions and thoughts will be considered by MOSTI in ensuring the draft Bill address the concerns and issues of all parties.

Ahah! This is the MOSTI response to the uproar against CPB2011 (now BCPM). They are stating what some people discovered earlier yesterday. That the Bill will not seek to regulate the ICT industry.

That means no registration of anyone for anything except for the CNII.

Honestly, I am torn about this issue. On one hand, we have the benefits of having such a board. On the other, I do not trust any organisation or body that is not formed by the grassroots.

UMNO was created by the grassroots. Granted, they were Johor's elite, but grassroots all the same. A regulating ministry, setting up a body and populating it with whomever they choose is... suspect. To me.

It's like if my bosses set up a union for me. And elected themselves as de facto Jimmy Hoffa.

Secondly, there is the matter of the vaguely defined CNII. It is determined, it is now revealed, by The Chief Government Security Office (CGSO).

Copypasta: Chief Government Security Office or CGSO is a unit under the Prime Minister's Department of the Malaysian federal government. CGSO is responsible to provide 'security protection' on all government assets such as federal buildings and so on. CGSO also provides 'security clearance' for the candidates who wish to join the civil service to ensure if he or she is not a member of any extremist groups.

Here's their website:

Now, CNII is as defined by CGSO. Fine. Will the definitions change over time? I dunno.

I know that a bunch of people got really pissed off about this and I was extremely concerned as they are some of the more prominent members of the ICT industry. Others were depressed and thought their jobs are lost. A few have planned for emigration.

So here's a few suggestions to MOSTI concerning the BCPM:

1. Define, or get CGSO to define clearly, what current projects are deemed CNII. Also a guideline for what will be deemed as CNII in the future. Then, put this in the bill.

2. Ensure that no one outside of Gov-linked projects will be required accreditation. Ever.

3. Just a thought, but maybe the ICT people would be better suited to be on the Board, with one or two Government people on it as well. Let them govern themselves. And open doors to work with the Government, instead of against it. If that is the plan, then good.

I hope there is a good outcome over this. The news that MOSTI has stated no one will be carted off to jail for installing Windows is good enough for today. Let's make tomorrow less dramatic as well, on all sides?