Rafizi’s reminder to register for PADU before deadline seen as “a thinly-veiled threat”

ECONOMY Minister Rafizi Ramli’s exhortations to Malaysians to register with PADU or the Central Database Hub before the March 31 deadline have met with mixed reactions online.

Rafizi had taken to X (formerly Twitter) to remind citizens that they need to upload their personal information before the end of the month to qualify for potential government aid/ subsidies.

For context, PADU is a central depository for national household income and socio-economic data. It contains individual information encompassing address, education, household members, employment, wages, expenditures and government assistance. It is intended to serve as a central database for rolling out targeted subsidies.

Since its launch on 2 January 2024, the government has encouraged Malaysians to register and key the above particulars into the system. Although the number of registrations has increased over time, the number of people who completed the registration process – including submitting a selfie and a snapshot of a national registration identity card (NRIC) – still needs to be improved.

Not everyone took kindly to the gentle reminder. Some saw his post as nothing more than a thinly-veiled threat. Here is how some netizens responded on the minister’s X page:

A few netizens highlighted that the website still had gremlins with error messages popping up whenever they tried to register.

Some netizens chided the minister for not taking a more user-friendly approach, highlighting that not everyone owns a smartphone nor has the wherewithal to navigate the registration process.

Another netizen made the useful suggestion to extend the deadline beyond Raya Aidil Fitri to allow returning sons and daughters to their kampung to aid their parents in this endeavour.

One netizen posted a helpful suggestion for those preferring a walk-in rather than an online process.

As many are aware that in the digital age, data is gold. More than a few sought assurances that their personal details would not fall into the wrong hands, as happened previously.

Another simply asked what was the great urgency – were the handouts going to be worthwhile?

One netizen lamented that system did not seem to have the capacity to actually help those who are in need of aid such as handicapped dependents.

With so many short comings, perhaps the good Minister should ensure that the system is good to go before issuing warnings about impending deadlines.

At the moment, it would appear it is not just the ignorant and the reluctant who will miss out but the many who are encountering problems registering with PADU.

Dear YB, please get your house in order before issuing such proclamations.… – March 20, 2024

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