Jaring, Malaysia’s first internet provider, has ended up under liquidation. The court order reportedly came last Thursday, with first news appearing over the weekend. Jaring was originally a subsidiary of Mimos Berhad, but was eventually taken over by the Finance Ministry; it was under the Ministry that the company was sold to Utusan Printcorp.
Internet users will remember the days of Jaring that brought the first dial up internet services to the country, using a prepaid model similar to telcos at the time. Since then, the company has been involved in an uncompleted broadband project in Sabah and Sarawak for the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia.
Former Jaring CEO Dr Mohamed Awang Lah posted his disappointment about the liquidation of the company on his Facebook page. While Dr Mohamed did not go into specifics of the event, he still made references to the sale of Jaring to Utusan and what the thinks of the incident. In the Bahasa Malaysia post, he claims that Jaring was sold to a company that was only interested in profits and not in the financial well-being of the company.
Jaring may not be the only victim of Utusan Printcorp. Other employees of the holding company have staged a protest several months ago to demand their for their unpaid salaries; it was reported that some Jaring staff were among this number.
Assets owned by Jaring will be sold and the proceeds used to pay off its creditors. The liquidation order likely means that it is too late for any investors to step in to save the company, although it is possible that someone else steps in and buys everything over.
The next few weeks will be very interesting for the local broadband scene as Jaring still has some substantial networks that may be of value to telcos. That being said, it is a sad time for those of us who still remember using Jaring in the days of dialup connections.