The problems related to the Mysejathera app could be due to a lack of commitment and quality since it was developed for free, according to programmers and app developers.Chua Khai Suan, who has 20 years of programming experience, felt it was unreasonable to award a national digital management project without paying a single cent.He said quality, efficiency and accountability can only be assured under a normal contract which spells out the terms and responsibilities."What the government wants is the developer's commitment. The quality of what you get depends on how much you pay for it."If the project is done for free, then it is not the fault of the developer when problems arise. Why was such an important project done for free?" he told Malaysiakini.Programmer Chua Khai SuanChua was commenting on the recent confusion surrounding the registration for the Covid-19 vaccination programme. Some users on social media remarked that there was no confirmation screen after applying for the programme on MySejahtera.National Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin later clarified that those who have registered before don't need to do it again. The problem was due to the delay in pushing an updated user interface (UI).The MySejahtera app was initiated by the Ministry of Health (MOH), in cooperation with the National Security Council (NSC), the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu), Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti).Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali reportedly said the developer KPISOFT Sdn Bhd built the app for free as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR).Meanwhile, Chua, noting that since the app is for the older generation to use as well, said a better UI design would ensure greater user experience and eliminate confusion."For example, if there is a rotating symbol that appears when you click on a button, then you will know you have clicked it."When you successfully registered for something, a pop-up box should appear to tell you that," he explained.Long term maintenance, expensive server neededProgrammer Jason TianProgrammer Jason Tian told Malaysiakini that the problems are perhaps indicative of the developing team's lack of technical skills.With tens of millions of users nationwide, he said the app required long-term maintenance and a good quality server, which is expensive."Such an important project should have been awarded through open tender. The government should have set the requirements which needed to be fulfilled."Requirement on how to protect the public's data should have been one of the requirements," added the programmer with 15 years of experience.Khazanah Research Institute senior research associate Rachel Gong said the vaccine registration issue could have been avoided with adequate general testing and communication before it was launched."Quality assurance scripts usually require users to test and try to break a piece of the code before it is publicly released, to minimise issues that may occur post-release."So there needs to be quality assurance testing for the whole process to see where there might be issues before there is a software release," added the digital governance expert.Khazanah Research Institute senior research associate Rachel GongGong said since the app dealt with large amounts of personal data, related laws and regulations should have been taken into account during procurement."The final data storage is with the government, which is currently exempt from the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), but the data may first go through other private servers in other countries not subject to our PDPA."Besides privacy regulations, cybersecurity measures and data expiry regulations (when the data must be deleted) are also important to know how trustworthy the company is," she added.The NSC previously confirmed that KPISOFT is an international company with Malaysian roots.At the time, NSC said the firm was evaluated by the National Cyber Security Agency (Nacsa) and Mampu.In August 2020, Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the cabinet would discuss the need to amend the PDPA for better personal data protection as 15.1 million users had registered for the MySejahtera application.In a parliamentary reply dated Nov 18, 2020, Health Minister Adham Baba said MySejahtera's database is fully owned by the Health Ministry and assured the data is secure.
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