3:38pm 13/02/2023
Digitalization is good, but please don’t make life difficult for people
By:Sin Chew Daily

Digitalization is a global trend, but before we launch any new service, do make sure that everything from system readiness to equipment availability is in order for maximized effects.

The transport ministry announced last week the implementation of electronic driving license and road tax in a major drive towards digitalization.

Digitalization is the right trend, but as the authorities were ill prepared when the MyJPJ app was launched, many grew frustrated as the app was paralyzed by massive traffic overload.

Some have questioned why this new initiative was introduced in the first place. As a matter of fact, electronic government is becoming a megatrend that sees many nations jumping on the bandwagon in a bid to enhance service delivery to their people.

Well, we need to always think out of the box. We shouldn’t negate the good effort of the transport ministry just because we are so used to having a piece of road tax stuck onto the windscreen.

To be honest, digitalization in essence helps save time and cost and make things much easier for everyone. The things is, is the whole system ready for the launch?

We must move in tandem with the fast-changing times in this electronic age. Indeed, many government departments have already harnessed the great convenience made available by technology although the effects may not always be as expected owing to flawed execution.

The immigration department, for instance, introduced the online passport renewal service back in 2016 for the convenience of Malaysian travelers who had been perpetually afflicted by long queues and stifling congestion at passport issuance offices nationwide.

Unfortunately, due to poor execution, long lines still typify Malaysia’s immigration offices. Some have complained that even though they have applied online, they still have to wait for hours to get their new passports.

Some others, meanwhile, grumbled that their fingerprints could not be verified by the immigration department, which said it would investigate the matter.

We can see from here that indeed the authorities need to further optimize their systems so that applicants can really enjoy the benefits brought on by digitalization.

In the meantime, it is also common to encounter problems with the education ministry’s online system, putting a lot of hassle on the teachers. Due to frequent system downtime, teachers may have to wake up in the middle of the night just to log on the system and key in the data.

Back to the issue of electronic driving license and road tax, as it is common for any new measure to arouse public skepticism and queries, it is imperative that the authorities be better prepared and run through all the system tests before putting the app on the market.

When people started to flock into MyJPJ app for registration, it was jammed up and paralyzed due to a spike in the number of users, not to mention that many applicants found their accounts already registered by some unauthorized persons in the absence of adequate identity verification.

Cybersecurity and penetration testing experts deduce that the transport ministry should have carried out system tests, including load tests before launching e-LKM and e-LMM to ensure the system can withstand the sudden influx of new registrants.

Communications and digital minister Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil pointed out that CSM (CyberSecurity Malaysia) had detected security lapses while developing the MyJPJ app but had the issue resolved before launch. However, from what we have seen so far, apparently there is still much catching up to do where system security is concerned.

Additionally, Malaysians still have plenty of queries on this new measure. For instance, what should we do if we do not have our smartphones with us or in areas out of coverage? And how is a driver, who is not the owner of the vehicle he is driving, going to show his e-LKM?

Although the explanations by minister Anthony Loke helped clear the doubts, such embarrassment could have been saved if all the details had been furnished the moment the new measure was introduced.

Digitalization is a global trend, but before we launch any new service, do make sure that everything from system readiness to equipment availability is in order for maximized effects.

The objective of digitalization is to make life easier for the public, not to create more trouble.




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