Middle-class resisting Padu registration due to security and privacy concerns

PETALING JAYA: There is still strong resistance from the M40 and T20 groups in registering on the Central Database Hub (Padu), with many citing security and privacy concerns, difficulty in registering, or, more worryingly, not seeing why they should bother.

A Kuala Lumpur resident who wanted to be known only as Fong said she didn’t see the need.

“I don’t qualify for subsidies, so I have no motivation to register for Padu. I am also concerned there is no avenue for me to declare if I am regularly supporting someone unrelated to me,” she said.

Fong also said Padu was not user-friendly.

“Its Know Your Customer (eKYC) process was very frustrating. I failed the first time and had to re-do it. Taking good photos of my identity card and a selfie was also difficult,” she said.

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Fong tried registering for her mother this week and also failed at verifying the eKYC. After re-doing it, she only received the ‘successful’ status 12 hours later via email.

“There is no way my mum could have done this on her own,” she said.

While registering, Fong said she also faced issues with keying in her information and understanding the questions.

“All of the questions are in Malay, and after translation, the meaning was odd,” she added.

Senior citizen Gina Wong, 62, chose not to register due to worries about personal information leaking.

“This is a concern, especially with so many scammers nowadays. I also heard that I’ll only need to register if I want to get a subsidy from the government. I don’t qualify, so I am not registering,” she said.

John Lo, 35, said that he also does not see any benefit in registering for Padu.

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“I am in the T20 bracket, and I don’t see a point in registering. I don’t trust the system, especially since it was done internally and not by experts.

“Most people around me also don’t want to register, and I wouldn’t register unless there is a law that forces me to sign up,” he added.

Similarly, May Ling, 40, also didn’t sign up because she thought it was optional and could not be bothered to go through the hassle.

“My family and I have not registered, and I have reservations about giving up more information on top of what the government already has,” she said.

IT executive Fiona Tan, 28, chose not to register as she has cybersecurity concerns about the Padu portal.

“What they use to update the data is not very secure, and looking at the frequently asked questions (FAQ) and statements, I don’t think they put much thought into the security of the system.

“Padu also asks for information, such as income, which could have been obtained from the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN). It is a lot of work that could have been simplified,” she added.

ALSO READ: Padu sign-ups hit 2.69 million

There should be a more secure system and transparency about the technology being used, said Tan, adding that she will only register when these concerns are addressed and if there are incentives for registering.

Salahuddin, a retiree, said he still has not registered for Padu, despite the fact that he knows that he could possibly qualify for aid from the government.

“At the moment, I am waiting for feedback from my family and friends. Because there are so many cases of people losing their money online, I am afraid of registering.

“There are also so many cases of government data being stolen, which makes me even more afraid,” said the 70-year-old, who used to work for a petrochemical company.

Siti Maria, who works for a government agency, said some of her relatives were reluctant to sign up.“They say they are waiting for the government to properly upgrade Padu’s security after hearing all these stories about government databases being hacked,” she said.

The 55-year-old tried to register and verify her details, but she said her phone could not detect the QR code on the website.

“I am not so motivated also because I don’t know if I will qualify for any government aid.”

Another senior citizen, Penny, 64, said she and her family faced a lot of difficulties registering online.

ALSO READ: B40 folk get help with Padu registration

“Those close to me wanted to register but were not technically savvy. We found that there was a physical pop-up counter to register near us, and registering physically was much easier,” she said.

She is also worried about the implementation of Padu and whether the aid will be supplied to actual people in need.

Padu registrations are open to the public until March 31, and users can update and verify 30 personal details, including their identity card number, household number, and residential address.

It will act as a national database of socioeconomic information for every household in the country, providing regular analytics with a comprehensive store of data updated in near real time.

It is intended to allow for data-driven policy and decision-making.

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