Thoughts on Compatibility

Pondering back on my promise to talk about my published comments on "Thoughts on compability (Malay Mail 3 Sep 2008)" last week, there was a few rewrites to ensure I did not breach any Code of Blogging Ethics. After reviewing it this evening, I may just incur the wrath of my System Developer buddies. But I do believe they will still continue to invite me to join their daily beer sessions when we discuss about work.

Beers + Computer + Ideas = Potential New Applications

We use various Computer Systems/Apps in our daily operations. I am amazed myself with all this useful applications working and planning should be a breeze. I will say on a stand alone basis it does benefit the end users. The information enable us to make rational, fair and cost saving decisions when we execute our daily functions. How would an integrated information be useful.... Well, there's this MyKad related joke (imagine if MyKad is able to integrate all your personal information) which I modified for the Nadai Nama Nama Sri Aman blog. The original version of the joke is different and floating around in the Internet so if anyone you know needs to be credited for the idea give me a hint. I will rename it to MASkad lest my buddies in the Registration Department here will not be happy:

Operator : "Thank you for calling Benak Pizza. How may I assist you?"
Bujang : "Haloo Dom, ...I want to order....."
Operator : "Can I have your name and MASkad number first, Sir?"
Bujang : "Wait ah..ah tu ia.....X231-13-5433"
Operator : "OK... you're...Bujang Ensing alias Bujang Skrang and you're calling from Rumah Lelingai Nanga Pantu, Sri Aman. Your home number is 083-32105, your office 083-32106 and your mobile is 018-321017. Which number are you calling from now Sir?
Bujang : "I am calling from my Talipaun Bincing (handphone) lah! Apuuuuu...How did you manage to get all my numbor"
Operator : "We are connected to the MASkad system which is linked to the Central Telco Company Sir"
Bujang : "Ya lah ya lah.....I want to order your Benak Pizza Double Layer Special."
Operator : "Ermm....That's not a good idea Sir"
Bujang : "Why....Dah abis kah?"
Operator : "According to your latest medical records from the Sri Aman Hospital updated in the MASkad system, you have high blood pressure and even higher cholesterol level Sir"
Bujang : "What?...Kelalu ah!....MASkad got my Medical Record... What do you suggest I take deh?"
Operator : "Try our Low Fat Bamboo Pansuh Pizza. That is your favourite Sir"
Bujang : "Pia...How do you know I like Pansuh?"
Operator : "You ordered pansuh dishes three times while staying at Kuching Hotel last month while on assignment to Kuching. The information was keyed in by the Hotel's Customer Preference System. They store information about their regular guests."
Bujang : "Apuuu...bulih tahan neh... I take that Pansuh Pizza..... Can I have three family sized ones then? How much will it cost and please deliver ot to Bilik Bujang at my Longhouse?
Operator : "Your order is in queue Sir. I think it should be enough for your family of 10 people. The total is RM45..."
Bujang : "Isk... how many people in my bilik you also know. I pay by MASkadkredit...Can or Not?"
Operator : "I'm afraid you have to pay us cash, Sir. According to the System your MASkadkredit has a balance of RM30 and you still owe the MASPetrol Station RM8 which is yet to be deducted for the gas purchased 2 days ago"
Bujang : "Akai dai!...Like that ka...parai kitai!"
Operator : "That's not including the late payment fine for your Cukai Pintu which the District Council sent you a reminder yesterday Sir.
Bujang : "Okay lah...I use my other MASter Card lah - Utangkad number 12345678"
Operator : "That would be fine Sir - you have sufficient credit for that one - Your order is confirmed and RM45 has been deducted - and the Pizzas are ready and you can get 10% discount if you collect it in 5 minutes"
Bujang : "Eh why you can't send it to my longhouse?:
Operator : "Sir, according to your Car's GPS signal you are just around the corner - its faster to collect yourself - our delivery boy has just left for other orders and will be back in half an hour only"
Bujang : " got Satellite eyes kah? Mata di langit ah? How do you know I am in my car?"
Operator : "Your GPRS telephone signal location matches with your Car GPS signal so you are definitely calling from your Car - try to use wireless headphone Sir....the Police Summon System database indicates that you have been caught talking on the handphone while driving."
Bujang : "These System things can drive people crazy one......nadai senang idup!"
Operator : "But Sir, systems are designed to enable us decide the best for our customers."
Bujang : [Speechless for a while] Ok ok.... I come collect my Pizza now!
Operator : "Is there anything else you wish to add Sir?"
Bujang : "Ya....just add 3 bottles of cola as advertised in your Combo Meals package sent via SMS.This is the last time I am ordering using my MASkad info......tomorrow I just go ngasu (hunting) for my food."
Operator : "I am sorry Sir, we normally include the Colas Sir, but based on your records you're also diabetic so our "Customer Health First" campaign requires us to replace that with Green Tea bottles. And about the ngasu thing, I advice you to renew your Shotgun license at the Resident Office. According to the system your permit expires today. "
Bujang : Kelalu kelalu!

Its rather far fetched I know - but this could be the future scenario. In my day to day administration we use the different systems and applications for our work. The development of these systems help us serve the public better in terms of speedy service delivery. Yes - I repeat, on a stand alone basis these systems perform excellently.

Picture above shows the Sarawak Administrative Officer (SAO) Puan Suzana providing adminstrative work at the Lingga Sub District Office

With the expanding coverage of Sarawaknet Statewide our offices are equipped with the necessary Wide Area Network technology which should enable us to share information

Let's put that Benak Pizza Scenario to good use as I attempt to deliver development in the Sri Aman Division. I usually gather my most experienced SAOs (let's call them Rick and Phil) during our discussions on development planning.

Me: Okay people let's call this planning meeting to order. Based on the recent Budget 2009 by our YAB PM, Sarawak is allocated RM3.3 billion in 2009. Let's see how much is channeled to Sri Aman Division, what projects and programs are in the list so that we can set a time frame to intiate and implement them. Rick you are in charge of the Ninth Malaysia Plan System (RMK9sis) or SPP II - can you please print out the list?
Rick: Tuan, we are not linked yet to RMK9sis. Its a Federal System and we are not given access yet so we would not have the latest list.
Me: The Ninth Plan is in the middle of implementation and we are not linked to it even now?
Rick: No tuan, we have requested for it last year, the computer for the RMK9sis has been delivered to our Office but the line has not been linked.
Me: What do you mean not linked? Just go over to the Implementing Coordination Unit of the PM's Department and click on the System Pemantauan Projek II. We have been sent the usernames and passwords have we not?

ICU of the Prime Minister's Department

SPP II returns with an Error everytime

Rick: There is someting wrong tuan - I get disconnected everytime we try to connect. I also tried to access our own Sarawak Monitor but I get the same results. Its like that in the outstation here tuan - the connection is slow. We may have to reproduce our previou list from our Star Office applications.

Sarawak Monitor Online: Oops....

Me: The Federal Agencies are not using Star Office are they? How do we suppose we email that to them - they would not be able to open the information as they are using Windows Apps there?
Rick: Just reprint hard copies - retype the whole list.
Me: Gosh, how are we suppose to save paper? Okay just go ahead and print the list out and get our typist to reproduce the list. [Rick proceeds to get the printout finalised] Ok Phil - you are in charge of the Minor Rural Projects that are not in RMK9sis. Most of these projects are used to assist the small villages and folks through Gotong Royong mainly. Do you suppose we can have an updated list or are we going to face the same problem as RMK9sis.
Phil: Its okay Sir, we will pull the State list from the E- MRP and for the Federal list we get it from the Sistem SPKR site - the other site at the Kementerian Kemajuan Luar Bandar dan Wilayah is the E-GDW (Gerak Desa Wawasan) - I will try to get more info from there too.

E-MRP - Sistem Pemantauan Projek-Projek Kecil Luar Bandar

E-Sistem Skim Pembangunan Masyarakat

Me: And I suppose we have to extract those infos manually again as they have different formats?
Phil: Looks like it
Me: I feel a headache do you suppose we start planning with these scattered data? We have to start from square one.
[Rick returns with the RMK9sis printouts]

Me: Alright let's work with the list that we have here....out of the 10 Federal Projects here, let's pick up this one - the proposed building of the new Primary School at Rumah Lelingai at Pantu. According to this letter the State Planning Authority has approve the siting - meaning land has been acquired. Do you have the design and locality plan?
Rick: This list is fresh from the Federal agencies and that means our local Public Works Department have not updated it in their system. The drainage works - I believe some of the drains in the area are maintained by three agencies - the small drains are by the Majlis Daerah (Council), the larger ones by the Drainage and Irrigation Department apart from the Public Works Department which looks after the concrete drains.....
Me: Ok ok.....Do we have the info or map online in the GISnet? If not get them to send the old copies through email.

Rick: We have to get the hard copies tuan. They can't email it as the size of the file is to large and the network speed here is rather slow. Besides, we won't be able to print it as we do have a Plotter to print the maps out.
Me: How come I am not surprised... right let's work on the plan for road alignment to the school then - maybe we can start off with that.
Rick: Hmmm... the SPA approval did not indicate the proposed road alignment - we have to call Land and Survey for that and request for the specs from the Public Works Department to include that in their new list. They will put an application to the Sistem Maklumat Rekod-Rekod Jalan Raya Malaysia (MARRIS). Imagine if we build a school without a road access leading there....the YBs will be laughing at us.
Me: Are you sure its not in the system?
Rick: Mana ada Sistem!
Me, Rick and Phil: Mana ada Sistem - MAS!! Hahahahahaha..........
Me: Okay people - it looks like we have been discussing this the whole day and I am hungry already. My table is full of papers and maps of all sizes! Let's go to Benak Pizza! My treat.

End of story. Its only the tip of the iceberg really - we have this tendency to come up with systems which existsto make our lives less complicated. I do not know why but maybe there's a competition to design it and give it cute names.We have I Cerve U, E-Sapa, i-Bless and E-Kasih (which is coming soon).

Singgah Sebentar - Selesai semua? How I wish!

Pretty much confused I would love to come up with a suggestion to try to enable these agencies to share their data (maybe I am asking the impossible) but well - if some Chief Information Officer in the country gets my drift, that is. I can't imagine how many applications are born every day but someone has to work towards integrating these infos between agencies for a better information management. Who do you think we users can send this proposal to? Again there is a few to choose from - is it:

Warkah untuk PM - increase his headache?

Biro Pengaduan Awam?

Sarawak's local Talikhidmat?


No wonder our YAB Prime Minister is getting a lot of headache himself. There's too many duplications and each agencies guard their databases jealously to justify their existence. Imagine going into the 10 different systems and you need 10 different passwords. Even if you use the same password the clicking and different windows can drive you crazy. What more if the User Interface on the screen for the System have buttons and links that look like an Aircraft Control panel. Information technology is supposed to make our lives easier - linking one database with the other on a similiar platform like our MASkad joke. I used to give lectures during Government Officers Induction Courses on the subject of ICT - the basic of IT: RAW DATA when processed will become useful INFORMATION. Systems and applications are designed to ensure IT produces information that are useful to assist decision makers. But the way we are implementing it now - apart from poor connections, it seems that duplicating systems and confusing applications are being churned out leading to chaoticv information management and poor service delivery.


Licia said…
lucu amai sketch Bujang and Operator nya..nowadays all things are possible..everything is just in one click and the world become smaller and smaller..thats bcoz of the power of technologies..hopefully in the future all the longhouses, especially in remote rural areas will get the privileges to everything..
Pemancha said…
Hi DJ,

Can I say that the Govt Employed IT Staff is not that competence enough in maintaining Govt Website, maybe because of IT working culture in Govt is too far low from ITIL standard. The govt website especially, there is always a grande launching BUT lack of maintenance later. The downtime is really high, maybe profit does not count govt terminology.

Being working in MNC, I have experience that the Environment in working is totally different. As we have to be always at the top in our work performance, if there is a downtime from our end, that is going to worry us a lot because if the issues is not resolve according to SLA we may end up losing our Customer to our close competitor. Everything must have their workaround. Eventhough we work under pressure and always working long hours, but you will enjoy the working environment and culture.

In govt, the IT need to change a lot. ask the IT staff to attend this ITIL course. Most IT MNC like HP, IBM, Microsoft, Symantec, Dell are following to this standard.

ITIL - The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of concepts and techniques for managing information technology (IT) infrastructure, development, and operations.

SLA - A service level agreement (frequently abbreviated as SLA) is a part of a service contract where the level of service is formally defined. In practice, the term SLA is sometimes used to refer to the contracted delivery time (of the service) or performance.
Elsa Gabriel said…
hahahah..the pizza dialogue was funny..LOL :)and technology are amazing which can gave us the pleasure and headache too...
Pn Hamidah said…
This is one post that adds humour in good taste and deliver well-meaning and useful info that educates.Thanks.
Uchu Keling said…
OMG! I will not ask anymore of those from the government from today onwards knowing how difficult it is to get it from the P3 era computers and servers.

No wonder the fuel subsidy comes late!

Did try to join the gov service, but then paper qualification do not permit me to wawawawaaaaa...
nicksuneo said…
Internet connection is something really important now days for the used of our daily routine work. Not only to have it, but the performance of internet line that we are using is important to make sure our work running smooth. Sometime when my office internet 'downed', I feel like losing my left hand.
Tia said…
wah...a very long entry... but enjoy the joke!!