THE government must resolve the issues plaguing the new Central Database Hub, or Pangkalan Data Utama (PADU) to serve and aid citizens who are in genuine need of subsidies in a more targeted and efficient manner.
MCA national youth deputy chairman Mike Chong Yew Chuan said despite PADU’s noble intentions, the government cannot turn oblivious to the shortcomings of the system after its launch.
“Otherwise, the continuous discovery of flaws as highlighted in social media will only erode public confidence in the database. The purpose and significance of launching PADU would then all be lost,” he said.
The integrated database of personal information, which paves the way towards a fairer distribution of targeted subsidies for Malaysians in need, was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Tuesday (Jan 2, 2024).
Several critical flaws were, however, discovered just hours after its public rollout, sparking concern among members of the public.
“Feedback by users uncovered certain technical glitches during the registration and usage process,” Chong pointed out.
“In particular, security and privacy insecurities are PADU’s main loopholes. Meanwhile, users are also inconvenienced with PADU’s requirement that up to 40 questions must be duly completed.”
Chong said of greater concern, one only needs to know the MyKad number of another individual to easily reset the password, therefore locking the real person out of the system.
As such, he said the government should adopt security measures that are stringent to strengthen user identity verification.
“This will ensure that user privacy and security are better protected. Otherwise, the rakyat would be discouraged from registering with PADU owing to privacy and security concerns,” he added.
Chong further noted that the PADU database also highlighted the lack of shared resources and coordination among government departments, as indicated by the fact that the database required up to 40 questions to be answered before the registration can be submitted.
“Sensitive questions such as personal income have already been submitted to the Inland Revenue Board via the annual e-filing, or when Malaysians apply for government assistance or incentives,” he asserted.
“Filling in the same information repeatedly will undoubtedly be more time consuming and lower the public’s willingness to fill it out.
“The government should ensure a smooth process to encourage the public to furnish PADU with information and not the opposite whereby citizens’ willingness to submit details to PADU is discouraged as they are confronted with multiple inconveniences during the filing process.” – Jan 3, 2024
Main pic credit: Bernama