Of the 10 countries in ASEAN, four of them have an official public policy on the use and adotion and promotion. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam have a documented policy that details their reasons and justifications to promote the use of open source software. The common thread is that it enables their respective economies to build up the IT sector and skillsets and also that it reduces the financial outlay.
Will something like this ever be possible in Singapore? We actually suffer from the “curse of money” – ie, we can afford to pay the tax. It is simple to ask “should we continue to pay”? I hope that the new iDA initiatives to replace the Singapore government desktops with Linux will pre-empt the need for an official policy as it were. Bottom line – just do it!