How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.

Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) is the leading central agency for modernisation and transformation of Public Service Administration in Malaysia. We are entrusted in catalysing and being the change agent for the country’s digitalisation of public service administration and management. Besides being the consultant and facilitator for digitalisation, we are also taking charge on planning and leading in the development of government’s Information, Communication & Technology (ICT).

Leading and leveraging much on technology and ICT, we envisage to transform the public service delivery through digitalisation for the citizens’ well beings and decent standard of living to ensure sustainable digital government embracement towards digital society by the year 2030. Realising that digitalisation is the game changer to the nation and having this envision, MAMPU has started developing the Public Sector Digitalisation Strategic Plan (PSDSP) for year 2021-2025 since January 2020.

What was the most impactful project you worked on this year? 

In-house development of PSDSP 2021-2025 is one of the most impactful projects that I have worked on this year together with my team. Currently the executive summary of PSDSP 2021-2025 (beta version) is available on our website (https://www.mampu.gov.my).

The PSDSP 2021-2025 outlines the big and bold strategic direction of the public sector digitalisation over a period of five years encompassing the strategic thrust, strategies, programmes and high level action plan to guide public sector ministries and agencies in the planning, alignment and implementation of digitalisation initiatives in their respective agencies. Besides that, this comprehensive digitalisation strategic plan has been aligned to various plans and blueprints at the national and global level namely Shared Prosperity Plan 2030, Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP), National Policy on Industry 4.0, The 10 Essentials to Achieve National Goals, Jalinan Digital Negara Plan (JENDELA), PRIHATIN Economic Stimulus Package, National Anti-Corruption Plan 2019-2023 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 based on the concept of “leaving no one behind” and “Whole of Government”. Apart from that, this plan also supports both the Smart Nation and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4th IR) in an endeavour to better leverage data, harness emerging technology and accelerate wider efforts to contribute to the digital economy and develop digital society.

Moreover, this plan includes four categories of services namely Government to Government (G2G), Government to Citizen (G2C), Government to Business (G2B) and Government to Employee (G2E) involving all ministries and public sector agencies. With the vision of Sustainable Digital Government Catalysing the Digital Community, this plan comprises of seven (7) strategic thrusts, ten (10) guiding principles and nine (9) enabling ecosystems as shown in Figure 1

Figure 1: Public Sector Digitalisation Strategic Framework 2021-2025

Apart from PSDSP 2021-2025, another impactful project that I have started working on this year together with my team is Malay Language Corpus Development. This project focuses on developing a Malay Language Corpus that can be used for sentiment analysis to understand the citizen’s common perception of the ministries/agencies. The corpus is a collection of lexicons where each lexicon consists of a root word, its sentiment which can either be positive, neutral or negative, as well as its score value which determines the weight of its sentiment.

In order to obtain better accuracy of the Malay Language Corpus, this project will be using a hybrid method which combines both machine learning and data collected from the ministries/agencies on people’s perception. This project will be developed in-house, and as a start, it will be implemented as a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) in MAMPU using data from our one-stop call centre known as MyGCC. We aimed to complete this project by Quarter 1, 2021.

Ultimately, this project aims to realise the first Malay Language Corpus in Malaysia that can be used as a special reference for sentiment analysis combining artificial intelligence (AI) elements such machine learning, natural language processing and text analysis. It also aims to promote research and development of new products based on natural language processing (NLP) leveraging on our Malay Language Corpus among the public sector, industry and academia.

What is one unexpected learning from 2020?

It seems that pandemic Covid-19 has dominated the whole year and many countries around the world are witnessing the second or third waves of Covid-19. Therefore, an adaptation to the new norm is crucial where the government has continued providing public service delivery during the pandemic and Movement Control Order (MCO) started from 18th March 2020. Indeed, it is a “blessing in disguise” where more people revert to online services and digitalisation initiatives provided by government agencies that contributes to the increase of online and end-to-end services usage, online training and coaching programmes, meetings and conferences via video conferences/webinars, crowdsourcing initiatives etc. The pandemic has also accelerated data sharing between ministries and agencies to create a single source of truth for dissemination of information as well as for data analytics purposes.

What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2021?

A tool or technique that interests me in 2021 will be emerging technologies such as AI, the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics, aligned with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Our aim is to use AI, IoT, data analytics as well as to venture into robotics towards realising smart city and smart nation.

What are your priorities for 2021?

Among my priorities in 2021 is to ensure that Public Sector Digitisation Strategic Plan (PSDSP) 2021-2025 will be launched, recognised and appreciated by ministries and agencies in the public sector as well as to ensure the programmes and activities are implemented as scheduled in the action plan.

Besides that, we will continue to give consultancy and advisory services to ministries and agencies in the public sector on developing their respective Digitisation Strategic Plan for the next five years as well as aligning their Digitisation Strategic Plan to PSDSP 2021-2025.  Apart from that, we will establish a framework on emerging technologies namely blockchain, AI and IoT for fostering digital transformation along with best practices as a guidance to ministries and agencies in the public sector. Therefore, it will be my priority to carry this concern into action in 2021.

What advice would you give to women looking to start a career in GovTech?

I believe that women today are multitasking, more resilient and quick to adapt to the new normal. To start a career in GovTech, women need to be ready with a digital mindset, embrace digitalisation and practice continuous enculturation of digital transformation. I suppose these will reshape our society towards digital society who will adopt, integrate and innovate ICT at anytime, anywhere and anyplace.