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Malaysia suspends ODF approval process: Sirim BHD's head wants end to feuding between ODF, Open XML advocates

By Eric Lai, Computerworld

The government of Malaysia, which last year started moving to adopt the OpenDocument Format (ODF) for Office Applications as a nonbinding public standard, has halted the process indefinitely, according to a local newspaper report.

Malaysia's The Star newspaper reported Wednesday that the head of Malaysia's official standards body, Sirim BHD, had "suspended" the approval of the ISO-approved document format because of the political feuding between IBM, the chief commercial backer of ODF, and Microsoft Corp., creator of the competing Open XML standard.

"No time frame has been set to resume the process. I am waiting for everyone to calm down before we do so," said Datuk Dr Mohamad Ariffin Aton, CEO of Sirim, which helps Malaysia's Department of Standards manage standards-setting groups.

According to the Star, ODF remains "stalled" in a technical committee that helps evaluate responses from the public to the proposed adoption of ODF as a Malaysian standard.

Lucrative government contracts are at stake, which is influencing committee members, Ariffin said.

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