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The Malaysian eBook Market

Report delivered by the Universiti Malaya eBook Research Group at the ASEAN eBook Conference 4-5 Dec, 2012 in Kuala Lumpur


The following report was delivered by Mr Poh Swee Hiang on behalf of the group.


It is still early days for digital publishing in Malaysia and current development is driven by a few key players and government initiatives especially in the education area.


The highest demand for ebooks come from educational institutions. As in other countries, Malaysian publishers are faced with a number of challenges in the digital world including copyright issues and the role of traditional publishing.



There are 3 local ebookstores:


Xentral Method: e-sentral.com 

(commenced Oct 2011)

Number of local titles: 1800


MPH Digital: mphdigital.my 

(Nov 2011)

Number of local titles: <100


Maxis: ebuuk.com.my 

(Apr 2012)

Number of local titles: 200

Total titles: >500,000


Pricing of local ebooks

On average, 20-30% cheaper than print


Largest group of ebook users are Institutions of higher learning

Ebooks purchased

Universiti Malaya 25,000

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia 17,000

Asia e University 30,000


The Libraries of Universities in Malaysia have formed a network together with the National Library to form the Malaysia Online eResources Consortium (MOLEC). The aim is to expand access to electronic resources in the country.


The National Library of Malaysia has an ebook lending section with access to ebooks from state libraries as well as from Overdrive, Britannica Library Edition, ebrary, EBScoHost ebook collection, Credo Reference, Zinio and World e-book Library.


Government initiatives:

Create a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) under the 1BestariNet etextbooks project. 


The Centralised Customised Education and Learning Exchange (CELEX) portal, a Digital Malaysia project. Digital Malaysia is a national programme aimed at advancing the country towards a developed digital economy by 2020.


Key Challenges:

  1. Compatibility of e-readers and devices
  2. Copyright and security issues
  3. Ebook solution providers are becoming publishers and are dominating the ebook market
  4. Role of conventional publishers in the digital and self-publishing world



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