PUTRAJAYA: The government’s central database hub (Padu), which integrates socio-economic information from every household in Malaysia, is now 60% complete and is set for operations in January 2024.
The timeline for the project, according to Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli, is extremely constrained because it entails gathering data on 32 million Malaysians and ensuring the security of every single piece of data.However, with the help of the Statistics Department, the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu) and support from other government departments and agencies, Padu is on schedule to launch next year.
He said upon completion, Padu will become the most comprehensive database introduced by the government as it ensures a fairer distribution of targeted subsides as well as minimising exclusion errors.
“Through Padu, we can also highlight and focus on those who are at risk of exclusion, either through validation, introducing new policies or making any changes towards the targeted subsidies mechanism. This is to ensure that no one is excluded,” he said.
Padu will also serve as a “nucleus” for the governments’ plans to move towards government technology (GovTech) and becoming a more advanced technological government.
“It is not just about digitalisation and digital interface. Once we have accurate information through Padu, it allows the government to draft programmes and strategies based on data and analysis,” Rafizi said a press conference about Padu.
He highlighted that the government will be able to take into account the success rate and effectiveness of each programme, allocations as well as the suitability of target groups.“We have actually conducted a qualitative and quantitative study to ensure each programme and allocation set is truly effective and reaches the right target group,” Rafizi added.
He explained that the entire project and workload will be handled through the efforts of government employees.
The reason for this is that the government wants to ensure that knowledge and skills in the area of digital systems and technology are combined and developed inside the government sector itself.
“I would also like to prove that Malaysia has plenty of talent that can be further developed in the field of GovTech, data science and technology, especially among government employees,” he said.
Rafizi said that once Malaysians are aware that the nation’s civil service comprises highly qualified individuals, they will feel secure in the knowledge that they are in capable hands.
In terms of cybersecurity, Rafizi stated that Padu will assemble its own team of experts and will get started with a more static approach by gathering data from agencies.
On another note, Rafizi said the Omnibus Act will be presented in 2024 as he noted that one of the main issues discussed during the event is the constraints of data sharing between government departments.“As it will take a long time for us to wait for the Omnibus Act to be tabled, Mampu and the Statistics Department, together with other government agencies, will be working on a data sharing agreement at the same time as a parallel effort,” he said.
Rafizi added that eventually, each government agency will need to develop their own applications or digitalised solutions to benefit from the deployment of Padu, as to accelerate and smoothen their service to the public.