Concerns raised on sale of MySejahtera to private company

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 – Concerns have been raised by several Members of Parliament on the plan to sell the MySejahtera Apps to private companies.

On Friday, Member of Parliament for Port Dickson and PKR President, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim issued a statement questioning the sale of the MySejahtera application, which had been developed in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and has since become an essential element in the national health system.

Anwar said the Monetary Accounting Committee (PAC) meeting earlier in the week raised questions about the sale of Covid-19 detection applications to a private company.

The cabinet had decided on the sale in November last year and permission has been given by the cabinet to the Ministry of Health to appoint MySJ Sdn Bhd through a direct negotiation mechanism to obtain MySejahtera application.

However, in December 2021, the PAC recommended that the government should resume MySejahtera operations at no additional cost and that Health Ministry officials who testified in front of the PAC claimed that MySJ Sdn Bhd had nothing to do with KPISoft, which is the company that developed the MySejahtera application as a CSR initiative, Anwar said.

KPISoft has since changed the company name to Entomo.

He also called for an investigation into allegation that there is no connection between KPISoft/Entomo and MySJ Sdn Bhd, adding that the directors of MySJ Sdn Bhd included individuals with political and business ties with several parties in the government.

Anwar also raised concerns on the management of personal data and the possibility of misuse of health information of millions of Malaysians with the sale.

According to PAC, all data inside MySejahtera come under the Ministry of Health and the data cannot be shared with any third party. The government had also given the assurance that the personal data information will be used for the purpose of managing and curbing the spread of Covid-19.

“Why was the decision taken to sell MySejahtera to a private company rather than allowing the application under the control of the KKM? Why isn’t the sale of this app made through open tender on the basis of transparency? What are the reasons why MySJ Sdn Bhd became the only company considered for this project?

File photo of Klang MP Charles Santiago (Forefront).

“What is the scope and expertise of MySJ Sdn. Bhd. related to the operation of MySejahtera and how KKM can ensure that the data collected by the application will not be misused by third parties.”

Meanwhile, in a statement issued today, Member of Parliament for Klang, Charles Santiago also called for a stop to the sale of MySejahtera App, saying that it could threaten security and democracy.

“All the government had to do is create an application to monitor the Covid-19 outbreak and keep the data gathered secure under the Ministry of Health.

The MySejahtera application has a huge amount of data about peoples’ health, their movements, preferences and habits and this data can be mined even for voting purposes, he said, citing the case of the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2016 where the personal profiles of over 240 million Americans was created by mining personal data. This data was then used to micro-target American voters during the 2016 presidential election.

“The same approach was used during the 2016 Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom.”

Reminding on the purpose of the MySejahtera application, which was developed to manage and mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic, with the promise that the data would be kept safe, Santiago urged the government to be transparent on the matter and added that the people’s “buy in” will be needed on the matter.

— WE