By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM
Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) is shrouded in uncertainties as the authorities begin a probe into its joint-venture (JV) project Asean Data Analytics Exchange (ADAX) over suspicious dealings.
The agency, founded to promote the country’s Multimedia Super Corridor and falls under the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, is temporary without a CEO after its head Datuk Yasmin Mahmood went on voluntary leave starting June 30, 2018, The Sun had reported.
Her leave was to ensure a completely transparent investigation and an independent outcome, according to the report.
Her absence, however, left a void in the agency where she had always been the face for MDEC. It is not known how long she will be on leave.
The investigation into the ADAX project was ordered by Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.
ADAX is a a private-public JV between MDEC and Centre of Applied Data Science. It aims to create a talent pool in big data analytics, besides raising awareness on the subject, which is gaining global attention.
An ADAX spokesperson said it welcomes the investigation and reiterates the agency’s full and complete support to the ministry and relevant agencies investigating ADAX project.
The spokesperson said ADAX will diligently work with the authority and assist to ensure complete transparency in the investigation.
“ADAX remains steadfast in fulfilling this mandate to develop the ecosystem and build a critical mass of talent pool of big data analytics in Malaysia and Asean region,” the spokesperson told The Malaysian Reserve when contacted yesterday.
“I have called for a full investigation into the concerns raised over this project,” Gobind said in a statement on Saturday.
“A probe is currently being undertaken by MDEC into the matter. I am informed that MDEC has further requested the National Audit Department to conduct an audit, which is also currently underway, on the said project,” he said.
Gobind said the project by MDEC had raised questions over a possible conflict of interest between the programme managers and training providers.
“For now, there is no assumption made that anyone has committed any misconduct nor committed any offence on the matter,” the minister said.
ADAX was supposed to produce about 20,000 data professionals by 2020. There are some 6,000 data professionals in the country presently.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, relevant authorities and MDEC will be sharing the outcome of the investigation into ADAX.