In what is probably a world first, a Malaysian state plans this month to start giving newborn babies an e-mail address that they will be able to use throughout their lives. The scheme, called 'e-mail 4 all', would give newborns and their parents a head start in using information technology in everyday life, said Zambry Kadir, communication minister of northern Perak state. The scheme is one of a dozen projects the government is undertaking to popularise the internet and promote 'e-government' amid plans to get at least 40 per cent of the state's 5 million people connected by 2010. Other states are expected to follow suit with the e-mail-for-babies move, which includes stating the e-mail address on birth certificates. Currently, Malaysians are issued with a compulsory chip-based identification card when they reach the age of 12. The chip contains the personal particulars and medical history of a person. The national government is campaigning for every home to have a computer and internet access and is offering loans, subsidised software and free training. The internet penetration rate is now about 17 per cent among Malaysia's 25 million population.