Khairy: Govt, not 3rd party, owns MySejahtera data

We are talking with KPISoft to have a proper contract on the governance and ensure that the govt’s interest is protected, minister says

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

HEALTH Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar reiterates that the government owns the data collected from the MySejahtera app.

He added that the government is in talks with the company that makes the app to have a proper contract on the governance and ensure that the government’s interest is protected.

Read more: Lack of transparency on MySejahtera takeover concerning

He highlighted that there was no clear contract between KPISoft Sdn Bhd and the government prior to his appointment as the minister.

“When I took over, I told them that we needed to regularise this service because they couldn’t do it under corporate social responsibility (CSR) forever, and suddenly they would ask for payments and what’s not.

“Hence, I’ve brought the issue to the Cabinet and stated the need for a contract signed between the government and the platform’s operator. That’s how the negotiations began between us and KPISoft,” the minister explained.

He said during the negotiations, the government also expressed concerns about the data being used for commercial purposes.

Read more: Clarify sale of MySejahtera, Anwar tells govt

“We have a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with MySJ Sdn Bhd. We don’t allow the data to be used for commercial purposes. The data will not be shared with private or third parties, and will only be used for the government’s healthcare services.”

Various quarters have questioned the transparency of the government’s decision to allow the application to be sold to a private company.

This had led to public outcry, with some threatening to delete the application altogether.

Lawyer and Malaysian United Democratic Alliance co-founder Lim Wei Jiet said the fact that Entomo (M) Sdn Bhd is entitled in licensing MySejahtera shows that it is the owner of the application, and not the government.

“It raises concerns if the Malaysian government can control and ensure the personal data of millions of people & businesses on the app is not accessed or used by any third party, since it is not the owner of the application,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Meanwhile, Klang MP Charles Santiago said the government must quit making unilateral decisions and be transparent on the matter.

“It’s all been shrouded in secrecy from the beginning — the relationship between the app developer and the government is unclear. It’s suspicious that the contract was awarded through direct negotiations and not an open tender,” Santiago said.

On Sunday, Khairy said the Covid-19 tracking app was developed as a CSR by KPISoft, and that the government has agreed for the service to be continued upon its expiry on March 31, 2021.

“The government’s decision on Nov 21, 2021, also stipulates that the Health Ministry (MoH) set up a Price Negotiation Committee consisting stakeholders’ agencies to perform procurement price negotiations and service management of MySejahtera with the company for a period of two years, in line with government procurement procedures,” said Khairy.

Khairy said the Finance Ministry in a letter on Feb 28, 2022, agreed to approve MoH’s application on MySejahtera’s acquisition, to be finalised by the ministry.

Khairy stressed that negotiations were still ongoing as he wanted to make sure the government got the best deal possible.

“I want to ensure that we get the best deal for the people of Malaysia, especially when it comes to their health. The data belongs to the government; it’s just a matter of management of the platform.

“For the sake of governance, I’ve asked for the negotiations to take place. And this is why this came out in the PAC. And once the negotiations are done, we will know what the basis of the contract is,” he added.

Khairy said this during the launch of the book by the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health, “Systems Thinking Analyses for Health Systems Policy and Systems Development: A Malaysian Case Study”, in which a holistic approach to the healthcare system was discussed.

The book is the culmination of a multi-year effort that offers an analysis of the current healthcare system in Malaysia as well as the challenges faced by the country.

Through a systemic approach, the book also provides recommendations to the government, the private sector, and the public to improve the overall quality of the healthcare system.