TRANSPARENCY International Malaysia (TI-M) is deeply concerned and disappointed about the new alleged data leaks.
Throughout the pandemic and 2022, Malaysians have gritted their teeth and been left in the dark as data leaks and sales of personal data on open platforms have been reported time and again in the media.
Back then, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government had informed the public they were looking into the matter and had stated the leaks ‘did not originate from the National Registration Department’.
Half a year later, we do not know the status of the investigation or the cause of the leaks.
Fast forward to the New Year, we have fresh allegations of personal data breaches and leaks. We note that newly minted Communications and Multimedia Minister Fahmi Fadzil has taken to social media to say “I will ask CSM (Cyber Security Malaysia), PDPD (Personal Data Protection Department) to investigate whether there is a data leak involving the parties concerned and take action”.
TI-M once again urges the government to do better than the previous governments; the unity government must start this year on a new note and set a more transparent and sustainable approach towards dealing with national security issues.
Firstly, we need a long-term solution for data privacy and security. The problem appears to be recurring and tends to be reported by the media before the government takes any steps to inform the public whether it involves promises of investigation or outright denial.
The investigations previously initiated and currently underway have to do with national interest. TI-M urges the government to transparently share with the public what the findings of the previous investigations were, what action has been taken against those responsible, and what remedial measures have been implemented in the affected organisations or agencies.
The same methodology must be applied to the hilt for the investigations into the latest data leak involving the data of 12.5 million Malaysians.
The people voted for change. The change must extend beyond the names of the people behind the post, and the social media posts. The change must be seen in the transparency and sustainability of handling national interest crises. – Jan 5, 2023
Muhammad Mohan is president of Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M).
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
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