MySejahtera probe mulled

Mass usage: The MySejahtera app has some 38 million registered users.

PETALING JAYA: The Parliament bi-partisan committee is mulling a probe into the procurement of the MySejahtera app, says the panel’s chairman Wong Kah Woh.

“The Public Accounts Commitee (PAC) is considering opening up the subject for further deliberation,” he said when contacted.

Wong said the hearings by the committee will be related to the government’s recent decision to negotiate a deal with an IT company (MySJ Sdn Bhd) to procure and manage the MySejahtera app.

The app was initially developed free of charge under a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project by another company when it was launched in 2020 as an immediate response to battling the Covid-19 pandemic when it first emerged.

“What are the justifications and how much cost will be involved?

“Should the government be paying for something which is supposed to be a CSR?” Wong said, citing some of the issues that may be raised if a probe is called.

He said that a parliamentary written reply from the Prime Minister’s Department in July last year had said the government would start paying the company for its services once the year-long CSR initiative ends on April 1, 2021.

Wong added that in December last year, the PAC had recommended that the government take over the management of the app and its operations, rather than pay for it.

The government, he said, decided to go ahead with direct negotiations with the company earlier this month.

On Sunday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin clarified that the government had already decided on Nov 26 last year that the MySejahtera app would belong to the government.

He said an approval was obtained on Feb 28 this year for the ministry and the company to begin negotiations for a two-year contract.

He has also reassured the public that the data in the MySejahtera application is owned by the Health Ministry and that it will not be shared with any government agencies or private entities.

Khairy has also said that the management of data under MySejahtera is subject to strict regulations under the law.

Several MPs, including Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, have raised the issue surrounding the procurement of the MySejahtera app and the security of its data.

On Monday, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, too, expressed worries over the security of data obtained through the use of the app, noting that it has private data and health information of millions of Malaysians.

The MySejahtera app has some 38 million registered users and offers over 10 modules and features catering to citizens, non-citizens and travellers.

MySejahtera is set to play a crucial role in the nation’s transition to endemicity starting April 1, particularly when Malaysia is fully reopening its borders to international travellers from that date.

New features include allowing international travellers to upload pre-departure documents such as PCR test results and the issuance of a “Travellers Card” on the app.

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