Shared publicly  - 
Malaysian IT professionals: beware, there are factions trying to create a Board of Computing Professionals Bill to Act. This is not +ve for industry. Computer societies (like MNCC, BCS in UK, ACS in Australia) are one thing. But an Act just like we have for engineers/architects/lawyers/doctors only shows that there is monopoly coming soon. Remember, lots of people in IT don't even have degrees in their respective fields -- thats the beauty of IT. This will probably not be allowed in the near future if we allow such a Bill to become an Act.
Khairil Yusof's profile photostanley john suab's profile photoShawn Tan's profile photoRazzes Est's profile photo
This is a bill worth writing to your MP/representative about, to tell them how much you do not like this
Heh, I bet we'll find a lot of academic / certification entities pushing for it...
+Kevin Francis absolutely. We've seen how these monopolies affect lawyers, architects, etc.

Some of these organisations shouldn't even be pushing it. MNCC represents interest of 500 members. Irrelevant. PIKOM has no actual memberships besides organisations... so they are again not representing interests of the people. The list can go on.

Training providers will love this.

But I know many people in the IT field that have no professional degrees. They don't need it. This is where I see it being terrible.

Also, don't forget training. Tech trends come long before training & certification starts.

This just looks like a terrible potential money-making scheme
I wouldn't mind if its something our industry/community controls rather than some organisation monopoly. It can act as a registry of professionals and vouched by professionals in the industry as well. So rather than a top-down verification, its a verification of peers. That way degrees and all don't matter but your own experience and skills.

Rather impossible to do any sort of work without mixing with people in the industry and/or having a portfolio to speak for itself.
+Phuah Kok Keong I doubt this is their current aim. Peers can recommend each other on LinkedIn, github, etc. There is really no need of a "registry" because there will always be vested interests
True that, which is why I never considered it something necessary.
If this Act is going to regulate the IT people out there, my concern here is that people without the necessary certificate would be considered operating an illegal operation. That's if we're comparing it to the practices of people in Medical/Engineering fields.
if this happens, they would have to recognize that zuckerberg is not "certified". and "politically push" him out of facebook.

yeah right.
Sounds like yet another silly law to be passed. Where to find more information about the proposed Bill? Any MPs that has voiced concerns so far? Time to make our voice heard.
+Hanxue Lee +Sinar Project has started working on getting these out for about a month. +sweemeng ng is still working on trying to parse the Hansard into something useful for developers. One of the things we've successfully scraped is the MP list. Look to this weekend, using the scraped MP list allows us to set up targeted campaigns to all MPs, by state or by groups of specific MPs.
(In jest)....How about a Board of Professionals Politician Bill to Act? Politicians who do not deliver their promises are to be scrapped. We need an act like this to regulate and raise the Professionalism of Politicians.
I think the act is a good idea. This is because, the fact I have met a lot of non computing professional such as ex politician, ex government, lawyers, accountant and etc sits on a high profile position IT companies and government regulatory board. The positive side of such will induced the right people to sit and make decision at the right place. Another positive notes I can see here, is the benefit to a true real experience computer programmers and practitioner. They can secure their jobs and obtained higher salary.
+Azril Azam ARI if leading technology countries like the US, Scandinavian countries, Germany and Japan don't have such acts an are successful why does Malaysia need one?

Wrong action for the wrong problems.

The issues of unqualified people in high positions in Malaysia will not be resolved through this bill. The solution to that would be better anti-corruption and transparency laws. Just because companies need some requirements to be MSC status,doesn't mean they cannot get this without actually fulfilling any of the requirements.

IT also moves too fast especially for software for regulation and certification.

This is a legal act. It's a very serious matter. It will make it illegal for people to provide computer services without complying to some as of now unknown requirements.

Who defines "true experienced practioners?" if this is drafted by folks at MIMOS/MOSTI, then they're the same people who told me off that I was unqualified to work on open source software because I don't hold CS degree.

And you know what, we don't need this to secure good jobs and salary.
The Open Day for the review of the draft is on 13th December (Tuesday) in MOSTI Block C4, Parcel C, Putrajaya. Please book your time so that we can all come together review the draft. Send this info (date and time) to as many people as you can.
Kepakaran dalam bidang ICT tidak dapat diukur secara mutlak melalui sijil dan degree. Tapi adalah kemahiran dan kepakaran hasil pengalaman. Ia tidak dapat diukur secara total dengan peperiksaan namun ia dapat dinilaikan dengan hasil usaha sumbangan terutama kepada komuniti ICT dan awam. Jasa mereka.

We also discuss this here
I think that there's a big issue particularly with engineers. Engineers who are working in the ICT industry would need to register with two boards? Overlap.
Did they consult the stake-holders before pushing it through? I don't think it's a bad idea to regulate the profession but things need to be done properly.
Retarded. After reading the bill, I have so much objections that the only way to express them is to say that one word. Retarded.
+Ruben Tan Try identifying the specific retarded sections and why. Easier to fight that way.
+Shawn Tan , this industry does not need regulation. Make no mistakes on this part, the IT industry is an emerging industry, and a very young industry. The bill has extremely vague clauses which allows the government wide powers to shut down online dissent, or harm them by proxy (e.g. targeting their hired employees). The IT industry need no regulation. Already the term IT is so inclusive that you cannot find anything modern without IT in it. Regulating this would be akin to regulating waist lines (which actually happened in Japan), and is pure stupidity. There's already the commercial laws, business laws, penal code and such to safeguard against any shady business dealings. As meme goes, we have 99 solutions but regulation aint one.
Just FYI: the BCS helps the UKEC to award the Chartered Engineer professional qualification. So, instead of having a new computing board, might be useful to just expand the engineering board to cover it?
+Ruben Tan As someone who has been in the IT industry for 14+ yrs, I know what you're talking about. But IT is no longer an emerging or young industry. It wasn't when I first started, it definitely isn't one now. As a registered engineer, I can also see the other side of the coin.

It could be one way to take IT out of the support role into a more main-stream role.
+Shawn Tan I was referring to IT industry vs say, the medical industry. The IT industry in relative to other regulated industries is extremely young - only less than 50 years. And also, having a BOARD of engineers deliver certification is complete different from a BILL of law governing it. The former is a self-regulated body, while the latter is subject to regulation from people who might not even understand the industry at all, let alone pass laws for it.

And this bill does not just cover IT as in IT support. It covers every aspect of anything that can be termed "Computer Services". Want to start a IaaS or PaaS? Kiss that dream goodbye and say hello to government ass licking and under table money. This will do to our industry what the taxi license does to taxi drivers.

The IT industry moves at light speed. The laws move at sub-snail speed. With this bill, one has to catch up with the other. And I'm sure as hell the law will continue to move at snail speed.
+Ruben Tan That's why I mentioned above that there is a lot of overlap with engineering regs.

Anyway, I think that there is a slight over-reaction to this bill. It seems to be limited to those "Critical National Information Infrastructure" (Section 2).

Like engineers, you need to be PE if you want to submit plans for infrastructure projects that require regulatory approval. However, you can still sell your engineering services otherwise.
+Shawn Tan Expanding the engineering board is not an ideal solution, simply because the two disciplines are different. The IT industry is moving much faster than the other engineering fields. Having a board to regulate IT is simply a stupid and uninsightful move, considering the speed of its advancement.

It's highly dangerous if someone use it to seek 'renting' opportunities out of the industry. The industry will move backward. Brain drain will become worse.
+Guo Lin See There's already so much overlap, particularly in the electronics/embedded space.
+Shawn Tan The part of IT that overlap with EE is only a small part of IT. And no, it does not limit to CNII projects only. See 19(1) in Page 31. It covers anyone who performs services of a RCP, and RCP means a person registered under 14(1) (which also means no dropout can join the industry because it needs at least a qualification/certification/experience to become a RCP). No mention that the compliance only applies to CNII.
+Guo Lin See No, you've got to read law in it's entirety, not section by section. So S.2 seems to indicate that the Act only applies to CNII. This makes more sense as it is also similar to how the engineers are regulated. Not every engineer is registered with the board and not all engineers need to be PE and they can continue to work as an engineer as long as they do not submit plans to authorities.
+Shawn Tan but S.34 on restrictions has a CNII and persons clause, which restricts any unregistered person from providing any services. True need to read in it's entirety. While this doesn't sound too bad, another section further restricts the services that a registered member can provide to their area of expertise. For computing that's a huge overlapping and changing restriction. As these are undefined, this makes it a very dangerous bill. If following a list of available certs for what I do, I would have to take about 8-10 certs on various technologies for my work today.
+Khairil Yusof +Colin Charles Lol. Yea, like for engineers - limited to provide services in registered areas only, which can be quite odd since Electrical Engineers can provide electronic services but Electronic Engineers cannot provide electrical services. Ditto with Computer Engineers (can't remember if this is a recognised category under the board).

I guess that for IT, they will start dividing it up into stuff like Security, Networking, Web, Mobile, etc. The main trouble with this would be that the categories would need to be broadly defined. Otherwise, if it is defined too narrowly, you're right to say that each RCP would need 8-10 registrations.

Personally, I'm all for the principle of registration, but the devil's in the details. I wonder how long it took to draft this bill - 2 years or 2 months or 2 weeks. They should take the time to solicit feedback from the people who will be affected.

A thought occurred to me that the FDI might be affected as foreigners can't own local IT companies since they are not governed by the bill, but I guess that MSC might have provisions to over-ride this.

Can someone who has MSC status investigate this issue to see if it will screw around with the MSC? That will provide a much better argument against the bill. Tell the ministry that it'll screw with the MSC and drive FDI out of the country.

They may not care about brain drain much but they definitely care about FDI.
does anyone know how big the IT industry is here? how many professionals it employs or even the number of IT graduates we churn out?
CNII (entities and persons) my bad. However the definition of CNII is very broad.
What someone said earlier in this thread is right. The Bill must be read in its entirety.

TLDR: The only thing that really changes with this Act is that critical government services will now only be serviced by an exclusive club which restricts membership according to formal qualifications (and/or extensive proof of experience). Rest of IT not affected.

After speaking with one of the proponents of the bill (possibly one of the many editors), and re-reading the Bill - it turns out that this has been a huge misunderstanding. If you read it carefully, you will find that only "CNII" (Critical National Information Infrastructure) services requires one to be registered. I.e., if you're in the IT industry, and you don't provide IT services for the government in critical areas, you don't need to even be aware of the existence of this act.

There are only two places in the document which talks about restrictions to non-registered persons. One says that non-registered persons shall not render the services of a registered person. The other says that only registered persons can render services for CNII related stuff.

The only remaining issue is less major - i.e. that the academics require that the word 'professional' to be reserved for those with formal qualifications / training or extensive proof of experience. Considering that this doesn't affect freedoms in any major way, I'm fine with it.

Cross posting this in several different places.
+Willie Poh then they have to call it the "CNII Service Procurement Act". It is still dangerous, because like the OSA, the government of the day can decide what is critical and what is not. eg. Toll Agreements.
The bill is not from the government - that's why it's not phrased that way. It's actually proposed by industry and education in order to elevate the status of IT (accountability etc etc) to Professional status. So happens that the government agreed to make CNII exclusive to registered professionals under this Board.

So yeah - debate on some places on the web have now centered on the definition CNII, which is the correct and probably more effective direction to take this, rather than condemning the whole thing as something which will bring doomsday to IT in the country.
CNII specs: Its very wide/varied. And yes, of course this didn't start from the government -- its factions like MNCC and PIKOM that have pushed it.

And the Boards powers can expand. We've seen this work negatively in other industries.
+Khairil Yusof +Willie Poh I think that we need look at this like those other statutes that regulate the other professions. These professions have been regulated for years. The CPB2011 is essentially a carbon-copy of these other regulations. I think that the closest would be the ones regulating engineers (as opposed to say accountants, lawyers, doctors etc).

A Professional Engineer (PE) is only required for submitting plans for government approval. Each PE is given a serial number and a seal. Most engineers who don't do have this can still make money. Heck, even having a PE these days does not mean you can necessarily secure a contract. A lot of engineers can still do design work, without having a PE because their designs do not require regulatory approval e.g. electronics stuff.

Just guessing but most engineers working in Intel, Penang probably aren't even registered with the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM). I know that I had trouble finding a single PE in the previous organisation that I worked in, with more than 500 engineers on staff doing all sorts of design, development and deployment work. I was the only registered engineer in my department. Most others didn't even bother to register.

So, this CPB2011 will definitely be used to restrict those providing services to 'critical' sectors. To me, this is not necessarily a bad thing as you don't want anyone to be able to build systems for these sectors. On principle, it is sound.

But as I mentioned, the devil's in the details. The question is how exclusive this club is going to be. Would it be too restrictive or would it help to separate the wheat from the chaff. If it is the former, the whole industry will suffer. If it is the latter, then it can help spur growth and make people think more highly of the IT profession.
Who's idea is this in the first place? It must be somebody really qualified and overly genius and so clever to come out with such unnecessary act/idea! Im sure this Act soon will kill Malaysian creativity in IT field. Most people like me who not graduated in IT will become illegal practitioners! Sad, such a waste of time.
+Shawn Tan thanks for a very objective review. CNII vagueness is still the sticking point. If that is made specifically clear (and in writing as an amendment in the Bill) so it can't be changed.

It's vague in that it says destruction, yet also covers national image as critical. Finally the part that I can't feel comfortable with brushing off "National Security" is how often that's been abused in Malaysia and overseas eg. Toll Agreements, Power Plant Gas subsidies, Price of Land bought/sold by government from private owners, state boundaries etc. Is Toll Rate agreement a matter of national security? No. But it was under OSA.

It's would be even easier to abuse this, if say CNII definition and listing of what comes under it is considered "secret". This Tourism FB page is considered CNII due to importance to Nations image.
+Khairil Yusof Thanks. On this, I can agree with you - the devil's in the details. There are also a few other issues that I've identified and written on my blog.
+stanley john suab Not a genius, since they pretty much carbon-copied the law for other professions e.g. engineers, architects, etc
Shawn Tan: Computer professionals are not traditional professionals like: Architects, lawyers, engineers, Medical/health personnel. Computer professionals are exclusively unique.
getting a certificate can be harder, as you can see a lot of our students study overseas having completed medical and law but cannot pass in getting a certificate in m'sia.....and also need to pay money + time to study for that useless exam....
Add a comment...