Next year Malaysia will launch a new single government website that pulls together services from across federal and local agencies. The move represents a big change for the country, which has built hundreds of separate agency websites over the past few years.

The government is currently working on the proof of concept to demonstrate how such a portal will work, Dr Suhazimah Dzazali, Malaysia’s Government Chief Information Officer told GovInsider.

“For the proof of concept, we are focusing on business registration and licensing. This is because SMEs contribute to 50% of Malaysia’s economy,” she said.

Businesses will be able to apply for over 1,500 licences on the website from next year. “If you want to do business in Malaysia, you will go to one single window and register your business. You would be able to find any type of license without having to run around various authorities,“ she said.

The Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) is working with local and federal agencies to reduce the number of licences required by small businesses.

“We need to look at licenses that need to be consolidated and reduce the number of licenses. We are looking at how processes can be streamlined so that when we build the application there is not so much complexity at the back,” Dzazali said.

The portal will cluster services around life events, rather than directing citizens to individual agencies. “We are going to use Malaysia.gov.my and transform it into a single gateway so that citizens don’t have to worry about which agencies are offering the services,” she said.

Malaysia.gov.my before its overhaul
Malaysia.gov.my before its overhaul

This approach was pioneered by the British Government through it’s Gov.UK portal, and has since been used in the United States and Australia. The moves coincided with the closure of thousands of separate agency websites, which is already under way in Malaysia.

The business licenses are the first group of services to go on the portal. The next few clusters will include education, welfare and disaster management. “It is not going to be a big bang launch. We are going to tackle critical citizen touch points first, and then slowly expand,” Dzazali said.

The government is going to set up a separate digital unit to work on the new portal. “Once we complete the proof of concept, we will establish a proper team to work on two or three clusters concurrently,” she said.

It has not yet been announced where this team will sit in the structure of government.