Health Ministry Now Owns MySejahtera

MOH has set up a MySejahtera steering committee chaired by Khairy Jamaluddin, consisting of MOSTI, MAMPU, MDEC, and MCMC to determine the direction of the app.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) officially took over ownership of the ubiquitous MySejahtera app in December last year.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin told Ipoh Timur MP Wong Kah Woh, who is also chairman of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), that a committee had been established to determine the future direction of the app, which currently has about 27 million users.

“The Ministry of Health, as owner of the MySejahtera app, has set up a MySejahtera Steering Committee, chaired by the health minister, consisting the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), MAMPU, MDEC (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation), and MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) for governance purposes and to determine the direction of the app, including weighing the project’s costs and benefits to take over MySejahtera in full,” Khairy said in a written parliamentary reply on March 14.

Wong had asked if the MOH had taken up the PAC’s recommendation to take over the operation of the MySejahtera app, which was developed by KPISoft Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Khairy, who was then Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, told Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in a proceeding on July 27, 2021, that KPISoft Malaysia was appointed by the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) under the Prime Minister’s Department, to develop the MySejahtera app.

Khairy said while the development of the app was free, the government, through NACSA, allocated RM10.4 million to KPISoft for a Google Map and Places application programming interface (API) item used for Covid-19 vaccination registration.

He added that neither MOSTI nor the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) were operating the MySejahtera app, with MOSTI only utilising data on MySejahtera.

“KPISoft was appointed by NACSA last year to develop MySejahtera, contrary to what some people assumed. MySejahtera is not operated by MOSTI or CITF. We ride on MySejahtera because they already have the database and users,” Khairy told the PAC, according to meeting transcripts from the committee’s report on Covid-19 vaccine procurement.

The PAC recommended the government to take over the operation of the MySejahtera app without incurring any additional costs as it has become part of the national health system.

MySejahtera is used to help the government manage Covid outbreaks in Malaysia, mainly through contact tracing, self-reporting positive Covid test results, and self-health assessments.

According to the privacy notice on the MySejahtera website, the app will only record a user’s personal data with permission from the user and that the information collected is used only for monitoring and enforcement purposes by government authorities in dealing with Covid-19.

The information is not shared with other organisations unless specifically stated, in line with the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) 2010 (Act 709). Despite the government’s stated reassurances in MySejahtera’s privacy notice, government agencies are legally exempt from the PDPA.

MySejahtera collects data ranging from details provided during user registration (including one’s identity card number, phone number, and address), check-in locations, complaints, and travel details (for Malaysians travelling abroad).

Users’ check-in data will only be stored for 90 days before it is purged thereafter. The MySejahtera app also collects anonymised data about the user’s device and OS (device model and OS version) to help improve the app and provide a better user experience.

CodeBlue last year reported that the MOH is considering expanding the use of its MySejahtera app beyond tracking Covid-19 to monitor chronic diseases, including cancer.

A health care analyst has also proposed the use of QR codes on the MySejahtera app to operationalise the government’s proposed generational smoking ban on everyone born after 2005.

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