Rafizi Likens MySejahtera To ‘Black Box’, Pledges Improving Data Protection

Rafizi Ramli says a PH government will go through issues on a case by case basis, including the MySejahtera app, saying that PH won’t compromise on data protection.

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 16 — A Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will assess MySejahtera before determining the future of the controversial health app that the previous administration did not procure before the dissolution of Parliament, Rafizi Ramli said. 

Although Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s government had approved a fee ceiling of RM196 million to pay MySJ Sdn Bhd – the private company operating the MySejahtera mobile app – over a two-year period from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2023, his administration did not publicly announce payment for MySejahtera pending the Finance Ministry’s deliberations.

“Any new administration, when they come in and take over, should that happen, you know, we have to get all the facts, we have to get all the feedback, we have to be able to make an informed assessment first,” said Rafizi, who is PKR deputy president, during a fundraising lunch event for Pakatan Harapan (PH) here yesterday.

“To be fair, now, we don’t actually know. I mean, it is a black box, and that’s the problem in this country,” added the PKR deputy president, referring to MySejahtera. “Everything is almost black box, so I wouldn’t preclude or jump the gun more.”  

The PH candidate for the Pandan parliamentary seat in the 15th general election emphasised how PH is governed by a stricter code of conduct, and how that will translate into a more transparent method of dealing with such matters. 

“I think what we want to focus on is that so long people understand that as an administration and administrative team: we have qualified people, we are more transparent.

“We are governed by stricter code of conduct with the public, and it is that expectation, hopefully as we go through case by case, including MySejahtera or any other issues that come out, then we will be able to make a good call for the public. 

“The difference is this – most probably, as we go from one issue to another, we will get the public involved, we will be transparent and everything will be done, in the interest of the public.”

CodeBlue previously reported, citing court documents from litigation among MySJ shareholders, that the software used to develop the MySejahtera app is legally owned by app developer Entomo Malaysia Sdn Bhd, who sold a software licence and the app’s intellectual property to MySJ for RM338.6 million in an agreement until end 2025.

Despite the uncertain future of MySejahtera, Rafizi stated that data protection is one area that will set PH apart from Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Barisan Nasional (BN) due to the added emphasis the party will place on data protection. 

“One, I think there’s no compromise, because small pun dah boleh scam. So it is a big issue. Data protection is a huge issue, so I can take that bold step and say that data protection is certainly one area that will differentiate Pakatan with BN or PN because we will certainly put a lot more focus on data protection, whether or not that includes, for example, amendments to the law, whether or not, for example, there are other specific initiatives,” said Rafizi.

“Again, that’s something that I hope, you know, in the process of beefing up data protection in this country, whatever laws that need to be amended, I think definitely if it’s time for that, it will be on top of PH’s agenda. 

“Whatever, for example, resources that we have to allocate to put priority to data protection, those are the kind of things within the ambit that I was talking just now, which is sometimes we need to relocate resources…Definitely data protection is, in my opinion, one area that we definitely can do better.”

The Personal Data Protection Act 2010 regulates the processing of personal data in regards to commercial transactions, but exempts federal and state governments from application.

The government has disclaimed legal responsibility for any loss or damages caused by the usage of any information obtained from the MySejahtera mobile application.

Outgoing Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, during his tenure, expanded MySejahtera from Covid-19 management and vaccination to include other features, collecting more data – albeit, voluntary – from users on blood donation, organ donation, as well as basic personal health information like weight.

MySejahtera’s privacy policy also does not cite a specific law that protects the confidentiality of personal data collected by MySejahtera, nor does it state exactly when “applicable laws” would be enforced in relation to MySejahtera data protection.

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