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Call for Asia to Adopt ODF

ZDNet Asia reports U.N. official Sunil Abraham has called for governments in the Asia-Pacific region to “seriously consider” adopting the OpenDocument Format (ODF):

“Last month, Malaysia became one of the first Asian countries to propose the use of ODF as a national standard for office documents. Hasannudin Saidin, a member of Sirim, the country’s standards development agency, said on his blog last month that the proposal will now undergo approval from a higher-level committee within Sirim.”

“In the Philippines, there is no official policy on the adoption of ODF in the country, according to Peter Antonio Banzon, division chief of the Philippines’ Advanced Science & Technology Institute, although the government agency has already standardized its internal documents on the ODF.”

In Singapore, the government has not yet made a migration decision, and continues to use Microsoft Office. However, one of its agencies is well ahead of the rest:

“The island-state’s Ministry of Defense (Mindef), however, has gone ahead on its own to adopt the ODF after it made the decision to roll out OpenOffice in 2004.

According to Mindef CIO Cheok Beng Teck, ODF offers Mindef “true” ownership of its intellectual property. “We now know [how] the XML (extensible markup language) format [is implemented in] our documents, and have the freedom to manipulate it in whatever way we want,” he told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail interview. “We are no longer tied down by the proprietary standards of a vendor.”

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