Parliament must convene special session to explain MySejahtera issue, says anti-graft body

Topic: Good Governance and Anti-Corruption
Related news: https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/374243
Coverage by: The Malaysian Insight

PARLIAMENT must convene a special session for Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to provide a full and satisfactory explanation on the MySejahtera application issue, Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said.

C4 demanded a clarification as well as an assurance that future proceedings with regard to procurement live up to the standards of transparency and accountability as expected of a public institution.

“C4 Center therefore urges Khairy to provide a full and satisfactory explanation, and for lawmakers to debate what actionable next steps can be taken to provide redress to this issue.

“The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must investigate and uncover any possible corruption and breach of law that led to this decision by Cabinet ministers,” C4 said in a statement.

Khairy had said that the government was still negotiating terms with MySJ Sdn Bhd on subscribing the services of the MySejahtera app.

He said the purported sum agreement between the app’s original developer, Entomo Malaysia Sdn Bhd, and licence holder, MySJ Sdn Bhd, has nothing to do with the government’s negotiation with the latter.

“The amount they (MySJ Sdn Bhd) have agreed to with Entomo has nothing to do with the government’s negotiation.

“I can tell you for a fact that the amount that we are negotiating with is much lower than RM300 million. It is far lower than that,” Khairy said.

Yesterday, CodeBlue reported, citing court documents, that the intellectual property and software licence for the MySejahtera would be sold by the original developer, Entomo Malaysia Sdn Bhd, to the app’s new managers, MySJ Sdn Bhd, for RM338.6 million.

The sum is for a deal that will last until 2025 and is disclosed in legal documents in a suit filed by one of MySJ’s shareholders, P2 Asset Management Sdn Bhd.

Entomo Malaysia was formerly KPISoft Malaysia Sdn Bhd, which developed and owned the proprietary software used to build the MySejahtera app.

The anti-graft watchdog said among the issues that must be resolved is why the government decided to privatise a mandated public health service.

“What were the selection criteria for the procurement of MySejahtera, and why was it not made public through an open tender?

“Why was MySJ Sdn Bhd selected despite a known political figure sitting on its board of directors? That should have immediately raised conflict-of-interest concerns.”

C4 also questioned how the Health Ministry is going to ensure that the personal data of millions of Malaysians will be protected.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has irreversibly changed the lives of all Malaysians and laid bare the weaknesses of the healthcare system.

“The lives of people must not be gambled for the sake of individual self-interest.”

C4 added that the revelation by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that MySejahtera was developed without a contract between the government and the private company showed that it was not transparent.

The government must provide satisfactory clarifications for these issues immediately, as well as investigations into the clandestine processes that resulted in the acquisition, C4 said.

A cabinet meeting had decided in November 2021 to appoint MySJ Sdn Bhd to take over the operations of MySejahtera from KPISoft, who had apparently developed the app without receiving any payment as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

C4 said the acquisition of a government-mandated public service with access to personal data of citizens by a private entity is in itself concerning.

“But more so that this appointment was not made through an open tender process, hence the selection criteria remain opaque and shielded from scrutiny.

“However, documents obtained on MySJ’s management and ownership further reveal a system fraught with questionable appointments.

“Two of KPISoft’s founders, Anuar Rozhan and Raveenderan Ramamoothie, are directors in MySJ, with the latter also being a shareholder through another company as well.”

It said that while the details on the acquisition of MySejahtera are yet to be made clear, this undertaking could potentially lead to the self-enrichment of the individuals who initially decided that the development of the app would be a not-for-profit undertaking.

“Further muddying the waters are the appointments of MySJ’s other directors that have ties to big businesses, including Eco World Development Group Bhd executive chairman Liew Kee Sin and its executive director and chief financial officer Heah Kok Boon, Sapura Energy Bhd founder and former chief executive officer Shahril Shamsuddin, and Sime Darby Plantation Bhd as well as recently listed Farm Fresh Bhd non-executive chairman Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas.”

C4 said that Megat also happens to be the chairman of Bersatu’s disciplinary board.

“It is alarming that a handful of individuals tied to private corporations have seemingly now been handed control over what is essentially a public healthcare service without the knowledge of the public it is meant to serve.

“More so alarming that one of the individuals profiteering off this development is a political figure.

“Megat’s position as director would require further justification from the government on account of questions regarding political patronage that may arise.”

On Khairy’s explanation that MySejahtera was not sold to private entities, C4 said what was notably left out of the health minister’s explanation was the extent to which MySJ Sdn Bhd would exert control over the operations of and personal data obtained by the MySejahtera app.

They said this includes the process by which MySJ was selected to procure the application despite the presence of a political figure on its board of directors.

“Khairy’s assurance that the application remains under the control of the Health Ministry is contradictory to the fact that its operations will be taken over by a private entity.”

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