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

Presently, my role as one of Public Sector ICT Consultant working under Dr Yusminar Yunus, Head of ICT Consultant (Strategist) in ICT Consultancy Division, at the Malaysian Administration Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU). My responsibility is to lead my team to provide consultancy to Public Sector agencies in the development ICT/Digital Strategic Plan and ensure their plan aligning to the The Public Sector Digitalisation Strategic Plan (PSDSP) 2021-2025 which has been developed this year 2020.

Both technology and policy are critical to bring government services back to a point where they can meet citizen expectations and needs.

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

Amazingly enough, the most impactful project I worked on this year is to develop The Public Sector Digitalisation Strategic Plan (2021-2025) as I mentioned earlier. This plan outlined the strategic direction of the ICT/digital implementation and public sector digitalisation for next five years. Hence, this plan is very important and needed for the public sector as a reference and guidance to the public sector agencies in formulating digitalisation strategies for their respective agencies. PSDSP 2021-2025 is an effort to ensure the sustainability of the Digital Government through systematic, consistent and integrated digitalisation initiatives for the well-being of the citizen. The plan is focusing on an inclusive and integrated services delivery based on Government to Government (G2G), Government to Citizen (G2C), Government to Business (G2B) and also Government to Employee (G2E).

PSDSA 2021-2025 with the goal of “Sustainable Digital Government Catalysing the Digital Community” comprises seven strategic thrusts, ten guiding principles and nine enabling ecosystems as shown on Figure 4 – The Framework of Public Sector Digitalisation Strategic Plan. PSDSA 2021-2025 focuses on the sustainability of Digital Government through an inclusive, integrated and secure service delivery system to all levels of society from various target groups in various geolocation based on the theme of SDG 2030 “No One Left Behind”

Apart from that, many agencies need our consultancy to develop their ICT/Digital Strategic Plan for next five years also such as Ministry of Health, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Foreign Affair and many more including the front liner agencies National Registry Department and Road Transport Department. In the pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), digitalisation is critical to ministries and agencies to deliver their digital services to the citizen and minimise physical and face to face transactions and increase the integrated and end-to-end online services. All agencies must enhance their digital services to the citizen. There are many challenges for me and my team to give advice and consultancy to agencies. MAMPU as the leading agencies in digitalisation must ensure all agencies to enhance their delivery services focusing on the concept Whole of Government, integrated and inclusive services delivery, open government data, cyber security and adoption to the emerging technologies. This is important in order to increase the ranking of Malaysia especially in the Online Services Index (OSI), which was evaluated as one of component in the United Nation Electronic Government Development Index (UN-EGDI) every two years. In 2020, OSI Malaysia was ranked number 24 among the 193 countries participated. MAMPU is responsible to ensure all agencies collaboratively working together to increase the OSI index to higher level by 2023.

What is one unexpected learning from 2020?

Pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has impacted all the countries including Malaysia. As governments across the globe rally to flatten the curve for the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses are forced to rethink and re-strategise the way they operate. In response, the government and companies in Malaysia have quickly adopted new operational strategies once the Movement Control Order (MCO) was introduced on March 18.

Recently the World Health Organization (WHO) praised Malaysia for its preparedness and response in managing the Covid-19 crisis. It even selected Malaysia as one of the countries to test the effectiveness of drugs used to treat afflicted patients, a testament to the country’s ability to conduct lab work and research.

For the public servant, during MCO I myself have learnt to work from home efficiently and productively and learnt in a new normal. Trustworthy, integrity and honesty are important factors to make sure me and my team work collaboratively as a team and deliver the task efficiently despite many challenges while working from home.

What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2021?

In line with MAMPU as the leading agency in digitalisation agenda, the tool or technique that particularly interests me for 2021 is the adoption of emerging technologies in public sector. MAMPU will develop a framework and also the guidelines for the public sector regarding emerging technologies focusing on technology cloud, artificial intelligence(AI)/machine learning, block chain and Internet Of Things (IoT). This will foster/enhance the development of applications by adopting emerging technology in the agencies.

What are your priorities for 2021? 

Priorities for MAMPU in 2021 still continuously remain to ensure successful transformation of the public sector into a digital government while leveraging on digital technologies, where data and digital intelligence is at the heart of effective and enhanced public service delivery, connecting government, businesses and society.

To create digital society/cashless society with more and more agencies adopting cashless transactions, and increasing integrated and end-to-end government online services, or reducing the number of physical interactions where the public needs to go to the counter.

Continuously enhancing our data-driven efforts, data analytics and the use of artificial intelligent/machine learning in order to get the insight and really show the value of big data analytics in government decision making and planning, as well as improving delivery services to the citizen.

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

To be successful women in a ‘tech’ career, there are many factors that will help to forge the career and become more resilient such as: passion, dedication, multitasking, honesty, integrity and being open to and saying yes to the right opportunities, and never giving up. I am humbled and thankful for the opportunities and experiences that have come out of my time in tech – and hope that more amazing women will join the sector to make it even more innovative and robust.

Write a message for your future self.

Always positive, passionate and integrity are the main values in my career as a public servant. Always remember this quote “Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true”. (Warren Buffet)