April 14, 2022
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin appeared on Thursday morning (April 14) before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to testify in proceedings relating to the development and acquisition of the MySejahtera mobile application.
During the nearly three-hour meeting, Tengku Zafrul presented in the first hour, followed by Khairy and Treasury secretary-general Datuk Asri Hamidin @ Hamidon who took over as Tengku Zafrul had to leave for another appointment.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Khairy said that he briefed the committee on the MySejahtera application since day one of its inception, which was before he was appointed as the health minister.
“I briefed them on everything from day one till today [for MySejahtera],” said Khairy.
“I was transparent. I didn’t hide anything. All documents [regarding the app] were shared with them (the PAC),” the minister noted, adding that his briefing took around two hours.
It is understood that the PAC will issue a statement on the briefings later in the day.
In the coming weeks, the PAC will also call the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA), the National Security Council (NSC) and the Prime Minister’s Department in its proceedings.
The PAC investigation revolves around the procurement of the MySejahtera app by the government.
This is after news broke that the app’s developer Entomo Malaysia Sdn Bhd is in a five-year licence agreement with its nominee’s subsidiary MySJ Sdn Bhd for the transfer of the MySejahtera app to the latter for a RM338.6 million price tag.
Originally a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative by Entomo (then known as KPISoft Malaysia Sdn Bhd), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said last September that the government will pay for the app’s usage from April 1, 2021 upon expiry of the one-year CSR period after March 31, 2021.
Last December, the PAC said in its “Report on the Procurement and Utilisation of Covid-19 Vaccines by Malaysians” that the government should not be paying for the use of MySejahtera as it was developed as a CSR initiative.
“The PAC is of the view that the CSR concept has been used as a mechanism to secure the government project without undergoing the procurement due process,” the committee said.
“The government should not be making any payment for the MySejahtera app as the usage is CSR in nature.
“The government must take over operations of the MySejahtera app without incurring any additional costs as it is part of the national healthcare system,” it added.
Khairy has since insisted that the government has so far not approved or made any payment to the app’s operator.
In a Dewan Negara winding-up debate on the motion on the MySejahtera application last March 31, Khairy said that negotiations are still ongoing with the app’s operator to achieve a “win-win” situation, and that the price tag negotiated is “far less than RM300 million”.
As for data collection, the minister stated that information collected through the use of MySejahtera is solely and unconditionally owned by the government.
The minister had also taken the view that the Ministry of Health should take over the operation of MySejahtera from the NSC as the key functions and data obtained through the application are related to healthcare.