All Malaysians may soon have a National Digital ID

All Malaysians may soon have a national digital ID, says the Communications and Multimedia Minister.

Gobind Singh Deo (pic) said his ministry was looking to develop this “platform of trust” in cyberspace to eliminate elements of fraud and cheating.

“A plan for a national digital ID is being formulated. This digital ID is not meant to replace the MyKad nor would it be mandatory for everyone,” he said at the launch of the Malaysiakini e-commerce summit here yesterday.

Gobind added that a national digital ID, which is likely to be out by the middle of next year, was meant to provide a “verifiable platform of trust”.

He said that when you apply to join a certain organisation, you would be asked for a photocopy or image of your MyKad.

“That is not an example of trust nor is it ‘verifiable’.

“In comparison, this is what a national digital ID can offer: You could apply to be a member of that organisation by registering your application using the national digital ID. This would be a trusted and verifiable platform,” said Gobind.

With e-commerce poised to become the largest retail channel in the world by 2021, the minister said there was a need for such an ID.

“If we look at the complaints on e-commerce and mobile phone scams, there is ample possibility of fraud and cheating. We can verify the national digital ID to ensure that it reduces the scope for such crimes,” he said.

The national digital ID project will be a co-operation between his ministry, the Malaysian Communi­cations and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Gobind explained that MDEC “has vast experience in the area”.

“We will also get other stakeholders in,” he said.

Gobind added that to ensure such a national digital ID was legal by law, his ministry would study various pieces of existing legislation, including the Perso­nal Data Protection Act 2010.

He said Malaysians would enjoy numerous benefits by having a national digital ID.

“A national digital ID will be an integral and crucial platform for the digital government initiative.

“The government or its agencies can deliver targeted subsidies efficiently via an e-Wallet account that has been registered using the national digital ID,” said Gobind.

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