A QUESTION on the development of the MySejahtera app triggered an argument between a minister and an MP.
Dr Maszlee Malik (Independent-Simpang Renggam) was asking Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof why the government had given the contract for the official Covid-19 contact tracing mobile app to a US-based firm, KPISoft Inc, instead of a local one.
“Why didn’t Perikatan Nasional give the opportunity to Malay-Muslim companies to develop the application when we have many local companies?” the former education minister asked in his supplementary question.
Mohd Redzuan replied that KPISoft Inc was a Malaysian-owned company.
Maszlee interjected and said the company was registered in Houston, Texas, in the United States, and hence was not local.
“KPISoft Inc is not a Malaysian company and it is significant, ” he said.
“The Social Security Organisation (Sosco) has also engaged a company from the Netherlands to develop MyFutureJobs and many digitalisation schemes were given to foreigners using our taxpayer money.
“This was also questioned by the Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM) on why the opportunity was not given to a Malay-Muslim company, ” Maszlee said, referring to the KPISoft Inc app.
To this, Mohd Redzuan said just because a company was registered in the United States it did not mean it could not be owned by a Malaysian.
“I think we need to open our minds. The company is owned by a Malaysian. We need to open our minds to globalisation and internationalisation.
“Sometimes, we need to realise that the ecosystem in our country does not enable local expertise to be further developed, so it is good to expand and go overseas, ” he said.
However, Maszlee said the capabilities of local companies should not be looked down upon.