6M Internet Users in Malaysia This Year, MDC Says

SINGAPORE (04/06/2000) - The number of Internet users in Malaysia is expected to increase to between 6 million and 7 million by the end of this year, in tandem with an anticipated rise in the number of internet subscribers, according to Othman Yeop Abdullah, executive chairman of Multimedia Development Corp. (MDC), the organization driving Malaysia's national IT plans.

That equates to about 35 percent of the country's 18 million people accessing the Internet regularly, a high figure by Southeast Asian standards.

Malaysia will register about 1.4 million Internet subscribers by the end of this year, a 79 percent increase over the 778,000 subscribers registered at the end of 1999, according to MDC figures. For each subscriber, there are normally four or five users getting access to the Internet, Othman said in an MDC statement issued today.

The level of e-commerce is also rising in Malaysia, according to Richard Tan, managing director of Web developer Interbase Resources Sdn. Bhd. In a statement, Tan estimated the number of Malaysian Internet buyers at about 100,000, of which 30,000 would be consumer or home users.

Total revenue from e-commerce activities in Malaysia was estimated at M$187 million (US$49.2 million) last year, up from M$68 million for 1998. The figure is expected to roughly double every year and reach some M$6 billion by the year 2003, Tan said.

The highest level of Internet penetration in Southeast Asia is in Singapore, where there are 1.69 million subscribers for a population of 3.21 million, a penetration rate of 52.6 percent, according to government figures. At the other end of the scale is Vietnam, with 45,000 Internet subscribers in a population of 79 million, a penetration rate of 0.06 percent.

MDC, in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, can be reached at +603-8318-8477 or online at http://www.mdc.com.my.

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