KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — The aggregate data of low-income beneficiaries of health protection scheme mySalam funded by Great Eastern is accessible to other insurance companies, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said.
MOF also told Ayer Hitam MP Wee Ka Siong in a Parliament reply yesterday that the insurance company running mySalam is required to uphold the Personal Data Protection Act 2010, while the board of trustees of the B40 National Protection Fund comprising representatives of MOF, the Ministry of Health (MOH), and industry professionals sets the standards on mySalam’s data protection.
The Personal Data Protection Act, however, is exempt for the federal and state governments.
“Through this scheme, comprehensive B40 data that is collected in an aggregate manner throughout the period of the scheme can be accessed by other insurance and takaful companies to support more accurate product development and price setting that are appropriate for the needs of the B40 (bottom 40 per cent) group,” MOF said.
“Currently, such products are limited because of a lack of data about the B40 that poses a challenge to the industry to create and set product prices.”
Wee also complained that Singapore-based Great Eastern Holdings has yet to pay RM2 billion to the mySalam trust fund in exchange for not divesting 30 per cent of its shareholdings to local investors under Bank Negara rules.
The MCA lawmaker had cited the Great Eastern Holdings chairman’s statement on the non-payment according to the insurance company’s annual general meeting minutes last April.
“If that is the case, when will it be paid, what is the reason it has yet to be paid, and why did the Finance Ministry give Great Eastern Holdings an exemption from the divestment condition when the money has yet to be paid?” Wee asked.
MOF said in response that Great Eastern Holdings was currently funding mySalam pending the finalisation of an independent valuation on the foreign insurance company by the end of the year.
Singapore-based insurance company Great Eastern gave the Malaysian government RM2 billion for mySalam — a scheme that pays the bottom 40 per cent RM8,000 lump sum cash when diagnosed with a critical illness from last January 1 — in exchange for not divesting 30 per cent of their shareholdings to local investors under Bank Negara rules.
The Malaysian government in turn pays Great Eastern the insurance premiums of mySalam beneficiaries, about RM400 million annually for five years. According to Wee, mySalam has only paid out about RM3 million as of September 30 since the scheme began last January.