The emergence of a so-called ‘network society’ (Castells 1996, 2000) based on developments in information and communications technology (ICT) underlie notable shifts in Malaysia’s political and economic positioning from the 1990s. Perhaps most famously, a 50 by 15 kilometre zone stretching southwards from Kuala Lumpur was set aside for ‘high-tech’ development to turn the nation’s main metropolitan area into a ‘node’ or ‘hub’ in transnational social and economic networks (Boey 2002; Bunnell 2002a). In his speech at the launch of this Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad described the project as:
a multicultural ‘web’ of mutually dependent international and Malaysian companies collaborating to deliver new products and services to customers across an economically vibrant Asia and the world. I fully expect that this ‘web’ will extend beyond Malaysia’s borders and out across Malaysia’s multicultural links to our neighbours.