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Malaysia’s Omnibus Act: Streamlining Data Sharing for Efficient Governance

The Malaysian government intends to introduce the Omnibus Act in the Dewan Rakyat, which aims to facilitate data sharing among various government agencies through the Malaysian Main Database (PADU).

According to the Economic Affairs Minister, the proposed Omnibus Act is deemed necessary due to the convenience and efficiency offered by the integrated data gathering system, PADU, as compared to the existing systems. He highlighted that the Act aims to ensure both the security and legality of data sharing processes, establishing PADU as a continuous and mandated database.

This statement was made in response to a question raised by a Senator during the question-and-answer session at Dewan Negara on 19 June 2023.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, on 15 May, gave his approval for the establishment of PADU, a platform designed to consolidate household socio-economic information across the country. The main objective of PADU is to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of targeted subsidies by streamlining their implementation processes.

The PM further emphasised that the adoption of an integrated database would enhance data security by eliminating the current fragmented management of data across various ministries. This integration would enable the government to develop expertise and implement improved cybersecurity measures.

He made these remarks in response to a question raised by another Senator, who sought assurance regarding the security measures implemented to prevent hacking and unauthorised access to personal information.

During a recent session in the Dewan Negara, the Economic Affairs Minister highlighted that past attempts to establish a consolidated database faced challenges due to varying rules on data sharing within different ministries.

However, he explained that the introduction of the Omnibus bill would eliminate the need to individually amend each Act empowering the respective ministries or agencies. This streamlined approach aims to facilitate the establishment of a unified database without requiring extensive modifications to existing legislation.

Currently, the Malaysian Government has multiple data-sharing portals. For example, the Malaysian Government Central Data Exchange (MyGDX) is a comprehensive data-sharing platform that encompasses a range of standards, tools, components, repositories, and registries.

Its primary purpose is to facilitate the sharing of data, in an agreed format, from various source agencies to target agencies. MyGDX functions as a data brokerage service, catering to the information needs of client-serving agencies.

By leveraging MyGDX, managing cross-agency data sharing becomes more efficient and effective. Currently, MyGDX is used by registered Government agencies, including federal and state agencies, local governments, and statutory bodies.

The development of MyGDX aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Facilitate Data Sharing and Enhance Coordination: MyGDX seeks to streamline data sharing processes and foster coordination among government agencies, promoting efficient information exchange.
  • Ensure Accuracy and Consistency: MyGDX aims to serve as a reliable source of accurate and up-to-date information, acting as a single source of truth for shared data across agencies.
  • Seamless Integration and Reduced Duplication: MyGDX endeavours to enable seamless integration of data sharing platforms, minimizing duplication of efforts in the development, operation, and maintenance of such systems.
  • Improve Government Service Delivery: By reducing data access and processing times, MyGDX aims to enhance the overall performance of government service delivery, making it more efficient and effective.

Meanwhile, the internally-developed Public Sector Open Data Portal was also launched in 2014. The portal serves as a centralised platform for citizens to access and download various government open data datasets online.

To align with the global open data trend and enhance user experience, the portal has undergone upgrades, incorporating new features that facilitate easier access to the available datasets. These additions aim to improve the accessibility and usability of the data sets within the portal.

The Malaysian government is taking significant steps to enhance data sharing and management across government agencies. The proposed Omnibus Act and the establishment of the Malaysian Main Database (PADU) aim to streamline data sharing processes, ensure security and legality, and foster coordination among various ministries and agencies.

Additionally, the existing Malaysian Government Central Data Exchange (MyGDX) serves as a comprehensive platform for efficient data sharing, while the Public Sector Open Data Portal provides citizens with access to government open data.

These initiatives reflect Malaysia’s commitment to harnessing the power of data to improve service delivery, promote transparency, and drive innovation in the public sector.

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