It’s a done deal: RIP, Jaring

  • Utusan Printcorp’s challenge to liquidation order thrown out of court
  • Pioneer ISP’s assets and business to be sold piece-meal to bidders

It’s a done deal: RIP, JaringWITH the Court of Appeals in Putrajay dismissing a last ditch attempt on July 8 by Utusan Printcorp and its managing director Norhisam Mohamed Nor to challenge the liquidation order on Jaring Communications Sdn Bhd, the curtain now comes down on a part of Malaysian Internet history. Norhisam had earlier tried unsuccessfully on June 22 for a stay application at the same court. [Updated]
Jaring, the first Internet service provider (ISP) in Malaysia, introduced the Internet to the country in 1995, but will now be relegated to being a question for future game shows.
For its almost 200 remaining staff, who no doubt had to endure a bleak Hari Raya updating their résumés, all thoughts are on what their next career move will be.
Liquidator KPMG Deal Advisory Sdn Bhd, which has received various offers in response to its Expression of Interest (EOI) posted in some daily newspapers on May 29, is expected to soon announce which parties have won various Jaring assets.
An EOI is an informal offer made by an interested buyer for the purchase of a business or parts of a business. The primary purpose is to suggest a valuation range that a buyer is willing to pay for a company.
KPMG’s EOI was for either en bloc or piecemeal bids, with Jaring’s assets and business broken into four categories:

  • Customers and contracts;
  • Assets and equipment;
  • Tenancies, data centres, nodes, call centres and network monitoring centre; and
  • Trademarks, internet domain names and IP (Internet Protocol) addresses.

According to one party which put in a bid, various companies have put in bids for different parts of Jaring which are relevant to their particular business. One particular interesting bid was for Jaring’s brand name.
Observers do not expect that the amount raised from the sale will come anywhere near the estimated RM20 million (US$5.3 million) that Jaring is said to owe its creditors.
While Jaring is now consigned to history, one key question still remains: Why did the Ministry of Finance sell Jaring to Utusan Printcorp and its managing director Norhisam for the measly sum of RM2 million when there have been much higher bids in the past?
Despite constant reminders, Digital News Asia has not received answers to questions it has posed to the ministry. Requests to Norhisam for comments have also gone unheeded.
Related Stories:
The unfolding tragedy of Jaring, Malaysia’s first ISP
Week in Review: Who killed Jaring … and why?
Jaring’s cloud-ready infrastructure, its best asset
Jaring board surprised by timing of CEO resignation
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