KUALA LUMPUR, August 30 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has sent the outcome of its direct negotiations to procure management of the MySejahtera app to the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Khairy Jamaluddin said.
The health minister said in a written parliamentary reply last July 25 that MOF’s letter to MOH dated February 28, 2022, cited three conditions in its approval for MOH to conduct direct negotiations.
Firstly, MOH along with other related agencies must review the “actual cost” of the MySejahtera application and negotiate for the lowest possible price in favour of the government.
Secondly, the results of the negotiations must be submitted to the MOF for approval.
Thirdly, “MOH must ensure that the MySejahtera application and its data are wholly owned by the Malaysian government.”
“The outcome of negotiations has been forwarded to the Finance Ministry on 12 July 2022 for further approval,” Khairy told Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh in his written Dewan Rakyat reply.
Despite Yeoh’s question on the costs involved in MySejahtera, the health minister did not state what price MOH had negotiated with MySJ Sdn Bhd to directly procure management of the contentious Covid-19 app that MOH intends to expand to store childhood vaccination records and for monkeypox surveillance.
Prior to the direct negotiations, a Cabinet meeting held last November 26 decided to transfer management of MySejahtera from the National Security Council (NSC) to MOH to ease management of system operations, contact tracing, and public health awareness under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).
Khairy added that the Cabinet then had also decided that MOH needs to set up a price negotiations committee comprising members from related agencies to negotiate procurement and management of the MySejahtera app for two years with the company in line with public procurement rules.
Hence, in line with the Cabinet decision, MOH submitted an application last December 27 to MOF for approval to directly negotiate procurement for management of the mobile app.
Khairy’s written reply did not mention MySJ, the company that is currently managing the MySejahtera app, or Entomo Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a separate company that had developed the app for the government on a purported pro bono basis.
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) did not table its report on the procurement and development of MySejahtera in the last Dewan Rakyat meeting after interviewing Khairy, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, and officials from various government agencies, namely the NSC, the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), and the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA).
PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said last April that the government was “confused” about who had appointed KPISoft Malaysia Sdn Bhd (now Entomo Malaysia Sdn Bhd) to develop the MySejahtera app.
He also confirmed that no contract was ever signed between the government and the app developer over the past two years, nor was there a letter of appointment for KPISoft, save a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) signed between the NSC and the company on “the data”.
MySJ is currently embroiled in two lawsuits filed by its shareholders, one initiated by Hasrat Budi Sdn Bhd, a unit of property developer Eco World Development Group Berhad, and the other by P2 Asset Management. Hasrat Budi’s lawsuit is set for hearing in the High Court here on November 29.
According to an affidavit filed by Hasrat Budi in the High Court last April 29 that disclosed MySJ meeting minutes, the minutes of MySJ’s coordinating committee meeting on September 22, 2021, quoted Entomo founder CEO Ravee Ramamoothie as saying that “various government bodies” have attempted to have the MySejahtera application “transferred to the government entity.”
“However, these government bodies were unable to do so as the intellectual property rights belongs to the Company,” according to the meeting minutes, referring to MySJ.
“Hence the GOM (government of Malaysia) is unable to take over the MySejahtera application unless the GOM buys the intellectual property rights from the Company which will amount to an estimate of RM300 million to RM400 million.”