Malaysia is planning an ambitious project to overhaul all of its digital services, and is building a big data platform to predict citizens’ future needs, GovInsider can reveal.

Speaking in an exclusive interview, Dr Suhazimah Dzazali, Malaysia’s Government Chief Information Officer, said: “We are going to use and transform it into a single gateway so that citizens don’t have to worry about which agencies are offering the services.”

“We want to anticipate their needs,” she added. “We need to change our perspective a bit and engage more with the community of citizens to create online services that are more iterative”.

Over the next five years, MAMPU – the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit – will create clusters of online services based around life events, rather than linking through to other agency websites. This is an approach that has been pioneered in the UK, and latterly the US and Australia.

The government is also going to put more transactions online, she said, accessed through the central portal. “Right now it’s very vertical. We go to one agency and say: ‘What services do you want to put online? This has created over 10,000 online services. When you have that number, the citizen is not aware of them.”

“The end game is to improve service delivery, and into the future that needs to rely on digital technology.”

This year, Malaysia also launched a central app store for government mobile apps, and Dzazali said that more is planned for this area too. “The end game is to improve service delivery, and into the future that needs to rely on digital technology.”

Big data platform

Over the next two years, MAMPU is building a big data analytics system to understand citizen requirements and better predict their needs. The system will use citizen data and website analytics to track which are the services that citizens most use, and the patterns of how they interact with these services.

“[We are] leveraging big data analytics to create digital services and a more accurate prediction of what the citizen would want,” she said.

MAMPU is responsible for central government data centres, and is also launching a data exchange so that agencies can more easily access public sector datasets. “Right now it’s very cumbersome,” she said. “We want to establish the central data exchange in MAMPU so that we can become a data broker that will enable multiple organisations to share data.”

Cyber security announcements

Later this year, Malaysia plans to announce a new cyber security framework, Dzazali said. MIMOS, the government research agency, and Cyber Security Malaysia, are announcing a plan to help agencies know what to prioritise, both in procurement, and in daily operations.

“It will be a living document, and once we launch it in November this year, it will become a reference for more and more guidance for the Malaysian public sector,” she said.

MAMPU will also be announcing policies on open data, mobile services and public infrastructure in the next three months, she said.

Progress report

This has been Dzazali’s first year as Government Chief Information Officer. Two of the biggest policy successes, she says, have been the digital document management system, and the unified communications system.

“That is actually a game changer for us”

The document management system has brought 23 agencies on board in the past year, bringing it close to 20,000 users on the system. “That is actually a game changer for us with regards to paperless administration.”

Second, MAMPU has seen the consolidated email services reach 200,000 users.

Over the past year, she adds, Malaysia has launched pilot projects to use big data analytics in policy delivery. It has also published more than 300 datasets on its online portal.