KUALA LUMPUR: All Malaysians may soon have a national digital ID, says Gobind Singh Deo.
The Communications and Multimedia Minister said his ministry was looking to develop this "platform of trust" in cyberspace.
"A plan for a national digital ID is being formulated. This digital ID is not meant to replace the MyKad nor would it be mandatory for everyone," he said at the launch of the Malaysiakini e-commerce summit here Thursday (Oct 11).
Gobind added that a national digital ID is meant to provide a verifiable platform of trust.
"Let me give you an example. When one applies for membership in a certain organisation, more often than not, the organisation would request for a photocopy/image of your MyKad.
"That is not an example of trust nor is it 'verifiable'.
"In comparison, this is what a national digital ID can offer: You could apply to be a member of that organisation by registering your application using the national digital ID. This would be a trusted and verifiable platform," said Gobind.
This is the second time Malaysia is looking into creating such a platform. In 2011, the previous administration under former premier Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the 1Malaysia email project that was to form the basis of a national digital ID as part of the Economic Transformation Program (ETP).
The official government line then was:
"The 1Malaysia Email project is a government initiative in providing a unique and official email account and ID for the citizens of Malaysia.
"This initiative will serve to allow direct and secure communications between citizens and the government, as well as enhance the delivery of government services to consumers and businesses alike."
The RM50mil contract was awarded to Tricubes Bhd but faltered after it was revealed that the company was in the danger of being delisted because of financial irregularities. It was ultimately delisted in 2012.
There was also a grey area whether the project would be funded by Tricubes itself or by the Malaysian taxpayer.
The company was also going to charge government agencies 50sen for each email sent through its platform.