Sunday 14 Jul 2024
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PUTRAJAYA (Dec 6): The government’s initiative for digital identification — dubbed MyDigital ID — is expected to be made available for the general public by July next year, according to Mimos Bhd chief techno-venture Dr Saat Shukri Embong.

Saat said MyDigital ID will be rolled out in four phases, starting with Cabinet members, followed by civil servants, government beneficiaries like subsidies receivers, and finally to the general public.

“We are rolling out this way because we want to ensure there are use cases available before the general public come onboard,” he told reporters here at a briefing on Wednesday.

Saat also said that MyDigital ID can be used for verification to receive targeted subsidies, but stressed that the government has not made a decision on this yet.

“Target subsidy distribution is one of the use cases, but that is beyond us; it is up to the government on whether to use it (MyDigital ID) in rationalising subsidies,” he added.

In terms of registration, Saat said it can be done through physical verification, whereby Mimos can verify through identification card and thumbprint at various government premises currently.

For online registration, Saat said users will be restricted from performing financial-related activities, until they are physically verified.

“A user can perform online registration, use the digital ID to make a medical appointment at a government hospital or clinic, and finally make physical presence at the clinic, where the clinic personnel can physically verify them. So, it can be done that way as well,” he explained.

Saat said the government is streamlining more of its services under a single portal to allow easier access by the public, especially with this new digital identification.

He emphasised that MyDigital ID is not meant to replace the existing MyKad system, but merely an extension for ease of accessing government services going forward.

“I was told that there are more than 1,700 government services currently, and with MyDigital ID, we understand that more services will be made available and [it] is expected to have over 2,000 services. Currently, you will have to remember all the username and password. With MyDigital ID, you will have access to all of them without the need of username and password, because your identity is already verified through our app,” he said.

Saat also allayed concerns about possible identity theft, as the digital identification system is protected by the security mechanisms of today's smart devices, while users can also revoke access to MyDigital ID within minutes by contacting a helpline in the case of their phones going missing.

Moreover, he said the information contained in the MyDigital ID app is very limited, offering no valuable information in any theft cases.

“We [MyDigital ID] doesn’t store any of your information, we are just verifying with existing government database like those owned by JPN [National Registration Department] and in the case of foreigners, with the Immigration Department. We don’t even get feedback of your information from them, during the verification process, we are only providing your information to JPN, for example, our system is just asking JPN whether these information matches with their database, we are only getting a yes and no feedback, nothing more,” he said.

Saat said the verification involves a few government database, hence chances of error is deemed to be low, and upon completion of the verification process, a user will be issued a certificate as proof to his or her identity, which can be used for access to government services.

“We cannot force private sector to come onboard, but our approach is to involve civil servants for their HrMIS [Human Resources Management Information System] use case, that’s about 1.7 million people, then we move to government beneficiaries like e-Kasih or subsidies, that’s about more than eight million people, then we move on to MySejahtera, which has over 30 million users, 24 million of them are citizen, by then we will have about 30 million people onboard, with the volume, we hope it can entice private sectors like banks to adopt MyDigital ID,” he said.

Saat said Mimos developed MyDigital ID with local talent and collaboration with domestic small and medium enterprises, hence the government will have full control of the system without any potential sovereign threat or concern from foreign parties.

The cost of investment is also negligible since its inception in 2016, as it involves mainly salaries to Mimos staff in this project, whereby the amount spent is likely is estimated to be less than RM10 million so far, said Saat.

Edited ByLam Jian Wyn
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