PUTRAJAYA, Sept 21 — The government’s Central Database Hub (Padu) initiative, which will be used to implement targeted subsidies, is 60 per cent complete and on track for a January 2024 launch, said Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli today.
He said that the biggest challenge in implementing Padu has been combining data from different government agencies in a relatively short period of time.
“With an eye towards having it up and running by January 2024, which is for initial access, Padu is currently 60 per cent complete.
“We have managed to reach this stage despite the fact that the information was only obtained in May, before we started in June. It has only been about two months, yet we have managed to hit 60 per cent.
“I must say it has been quite a challenge to ensure it is up and running by next year. But God willing, we will be able to pull it off in the next three months,” Rafizi told reporters after a meeting with Padu stakeholders at Pulse Grande Hotel here today.
Rafizi said that Padu will be used to minimise exclusion errors, meaning that people who are eligible for subsidies and other forms of government assistance will not slip through the cracks.
“With Padu, we want to minimise exclusion errors, meaning that those who should be able to get help but can’t because we don’t have the correct data.
“Of course, when something like a targeted subsidy is implemented, it is always difficult to implement. But with Padu, which will be one of the most comprehensive databases, we will be able to minimise these exclusion errors,” he said.
Rafizi said that Padu will also highlight groups that are at risk of dropping out of the social safety net, so that the government can pay more attention to them.
“Padu will also highlight groups that are at risk of dropping out, then we can focus on the specific group, on whether we want to support them or formulate a different policy for them,” he said.
Rafizi added that he hopes that Padu can integrate cybersecurity experts into government agencies and focus on a more comprehensive creation of nucleus data for the government.
“Padu is the nucleus of the government’s plan to switch to GAF-TAG.
“It is not just about digital interface. With solid and accurate information, it allows the government to formulate data-driven programmes and strategies that help to ensure that every programme takes the target group into consideration.
“We have also tested the system qualitatively and quantitatively to ensure that the programmes and allocation are truly effective and reach the target group,” he said.
Last week, Rafizi said Padu is expected to undergo a trial run in November before being accessible to the public in January 2024 for personal information verification.
On May 15, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim agreed to set up Padu to combine the socio-economic information of every household in the country to streamline the implementation of targeted subsidies.
The Padu hub is a database of 32 million Malaysians that will be used to channel subsidies and other government assistance to those who need it most.
It will cover 270 databases from ministries, federal government agencies, state governments and statutory bodies through existing data-sharing agreements.