“Together with the above statement, 100 companies selling modern computer equipment in Cambodia held a meeting on Friday evening of 3 July 2009 at [one of the three] Pizza World establishments to find new strategies and important methods to encourage stronger developments to meet the demands of information technology of their clients and of the Cambodian people nowadays.
“The meeting, in which 100 companies participated on Friday evening, was organized by the Professional IT Group. The director of the Profession IT Group, Mr. Ngor Sang, said that this program attempts to step up friendship among all computer companies in order to further develop information technology to help the society, as well as to develop the market to have good prices in line with present conditions.
“Mr. Ngor Sang said, ‘Our major aim is to help that Khmer citizens can use computers starting when they are young. This is the first step to organize children to play computer games and to type on computers from the time when they are young, so that they can use computers well, even when they are at lower and senior secondary school, like using Microsoft Office, to help them to do different types of work to earn their living.
“During that meeting, many companies requested that the government should facilitate the paying of taxes by establishing a system like in Malaysia.
“The director of the Professional IT Group who chaired the meeting on Friday evening, Mr. Ngor Sang, said that this was the first time to create such a great event for IT friends, in which 100 computer companies in Cambodia participate, though computer technology grows significantly in Asia, and the Cambodian people should also be enabled to use computers. The knowledge for citizens should be further developed so that they have the possibility and capability to seek jobs where computer usage is involved, like in Australia and the United States of America.
“At present, it is estimated that computer companies in Cambodia can sell 5,000 to 6,000 computers per month and in future, it is expected that this will increase to 10,000 computers per month, increasing the number of Cambodian people who are capable to use computers.
“Through this commercial partner meeting on Friday, many companies said that it is a part of their business to promote computer marketing relations. Khmer people must love and educate each other to use such technology in Cambodia, in order to help reduce poverty and efficiently develop human resources in Cambodia in this present new era.”Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #228, 5-6.7.2009
The basic policy of the Cambodian Government has been stated during the three days National ICT Awareness seminar, where Senior Minister Sok An, also Deputy Chairperson of the National Information Communications Technology Development Authority – NiDA – declared on 13 September 2001:
“All laws, regulations and policies in the IT sector will reflect the following guiding spirit and philosophy:
- to uphold the interests of the consumers and general public
- to guarantee security of information, while facilitating the broadest possible access to public information
to respect individual rights, and
- to avoid dependency on proprietary systems, instead promoting open systems and interoperability.”
(Source: http://www.nida.gov.kh/activities/it_awareness/ – “Closing remark of Senior Minister Sok An [PDF(19.0KB)]“)
This commitment of the government “to avoid dependency on proprietary systems” of commercial software is a clear expression of preference for Open Source software – an important contribution “to help reduce poverty and efficiently develop human resources.”
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is following the same line, by introducing and promoting Open Source software in the Khmer language, based on the international UNICODE standard, in the Ministry, the Teachers Training Colleagues, Provincial Departments of Education, and, of course, in those High Schools where computers are available.
Such software is available legally free of charge, and it is compatible with commercial software in all fields of general office use. Thus the high cost of commercial software can be avoided – and this is possible also without using illegally copied commercial software.
While such legally free Open Source software is being used increasingly in many countries – developing countries and economically rich countries alike – there continue, on the other hand, efforts to rather disregard the availability of legal, free software alternatives, and to disregard these progressive policies, and to promote business interest instead.
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Editor of the Mirror