A study by Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) shows that Malaysia is one of the top 5 most connected countries in Asia-Pacific, alongside with New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. These countries all have between 55 to 80% of their populations using the internet by 2007, while the average in this region is at 20%.
A quick check at Internet World Stats does confirm that 59% (14.9 million) of our population are internet users. By this ratio, we are no.5 in Asia behind Japan (73.8%), South Korea (70.7%), Hong Kong (69.5%), Taiwan (67.2%) in 2008.
In terms of total internet users, we are no.9 in Asia as illustrated below. This, of course is weighted by the total population and does not represent how connected the country is.
Nevertheless, being one of the most connected countries in Asia is still an "achievement" by taking our poor internet infrastructure into account:
Not to mention that Malaysians typically need to fork out about RM100 for a 1.0Mbps broadband service, out of our RM3,686 average monthly household income.
That is why not all 14.9 million internet users are using broadband service, and how we can further improve our internet penetration. Majority of the internet users here are still only connected in offices, schools, cybercafes, hotspots or even dial-up internet access. According to MCMC, we only have around 4.6 million (16.6%) broadband subscribers from total population of 27.7 million, in the first half of 2008.