Selangor Journal
Communication and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil indicating to the National Digital Identity (Digital ID) kiosk, at Perdana Putra in Putrajaya, on December 1, 2023. — Picture by BERNAMA

Digital ID to facilitate aid distribution during crisis

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — The implementation of the National Digital Identity or Digital ID among Malaysians will facilitate the verification and distribution of aid during crises or natural disasters, thus ensuring immediate and accurate assistance reaches those in need.

Malaysian Cyber Consumer Association (MCCA) chairman Datuk Ahmad Noordin Ismail said the Digital ID could reduce bureaucracy and optimise the impact of government subsidies by aiding in the efficient distribution of assistance to targeted groups more accurately and effectively.

“This is highly beneficial in the context of providing financial aid or government subsidies. It ensures targeted aid is provided more quickly and alleviates the people’s struggles in accessing the benefits they deserve,” he told Bernama.

Digital ID is a form of digital self-identification and authentication for individuals, intended for use by both the public and private sectors to verify user identities during online transactions.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim previously said the government would not force anyone to register with the Digital ID for now but encouraged all civil servants to do so as the Rahmah Cash Aid (STR) and all forms of targeted subsidies will be channelled through the Digital ID.

MIMOS Berhad has been appointed as the implementing agency with an initial allocation of RM80 million.

Noordin, who formerly served as Principal Assistant Director (Cyber Crimes and Multimedia Investigations) at Bukit Aman, explained that in the context of cybersecurity, Digital ID uses digital certificate technology to enhance security in online transactions.

This technology verifies identities by linking cryptographic keys with their owners using cryptography.

However, he said the government needs to examine a crucial issue, namely the possibility of Digital ID being exploited as ‘mule ID’ by third parties for fraudulent purposes or illegal activities.

He stressed that the government must ensure robust security measures are in place to prevent misuse of Digital ID, safeguard the system’s integrity and maintain the public’s trust in the initiative.

“MCCA supports the aspirations of Digital ID for the wellbeing of Malaysians. However, this system must have integrity and consistency to prevent its misuse by irresponsible parties, thus increasing the public’s confidence in the government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Noordin said that comprehensive digital education would ensure all segments of society benefit fully from Digital ID, prevent digital divides and ensure the long-term success of the country’s digitalisation initiatives.

— Bernama

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