PADU: Sarawak govt to hold discussions with federal govt on targeted aid distribution, ensuring data protection

Sharifah Hasidah speaking during the Q&A session of the Third Term of the 19th Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) sitting at the DUS complex in Kuching on May 7, 2024. Screenshot: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) YouTube livestream

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, May 7: The Sarawak government will discuss with the federal government the method of implementing targeted aid distribution to eligible recipients among the people of Sarawak in the near future, says Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.

According to the Deputy Minister in the Premier of Sarawak’s Department (Law, MA63, and State-Federal Relations), this is important to ensure that the interests of the people, especially in terms of their data, are protected.


Sharifah Hasidah was responding to Beting Maro assemblyman Razaili Gapor in today’s question-and-answer (Q&A) session of the Third Term of the 19th Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) sitting at the DUS complex here.

Razaili inquired about the Sarawak government’s plan and strategy for providing targeted assistance to eligible Sarawakians, given that the federal government has launched the Central Database Hub (PADU) as a mechanism for implementing targeted assistance programmes for the people.

“The Sarawak government through related agencies including the federal agency in Sarawak will identify the best mechanism according to the distribution of targeted aid to eligible recipients among Sarawakians to ensure that no eligible Sarawakians are left out of receiving aid.

“In fact, we are ready to implement targeted subsidy assistance from the federal government using existing data on agencies in Sarawak, similar to what we have implemented for our Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS),” Sharifah Hasidah added.

Razaili further asked what are the main issues in the implementation of PADU for Sarawak and what measures are taken to ensure the security of individual and family data in order to achieve the success of the targeted assistance programmes implemented by the Sarawak government.

Responding to Razaili’s two supplementary questions, Sharifah Hasidah stated: “The main issue related to the implementation of PADU in Sarawak is about the security and integrity of our data.

“This is something that should not be taken lightly. To the knowledge of this honorable council, cases or incidents related to cybercrime related to data breaches have increased. And in 2023, has reached a record high. Cyber ​​crime is increasing year by year, especially related to misuse of data.

“With the absence of strong laws, the PADU system becomes vulnerable or exposed as I mentioned earlier. So the lack of legal framework implies that there is no guarantee that the system is fully protected.”

She said that a consolidation of data of all Malaysians in one central database would have to be equipped with the highest level of security.

“For instance, the most talked about flaw was the password used from PADU account can be changed easily just by using one’s IC number.”

The minister further reiterated that the Sarawak government will hold further discussions with the federal government to seek clarification on the implementation of security and PADU protocol to ensure the importance of personal data is protected.

“At the same time, the Sarawak government through the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) will continue to supervise and monitor the governance of cyber security and data for the public, private sector, and Sarawakians in general. This is to ensure that the data and information of all parties is protected.

“The Sarawak government will also ensure that information and data for the purpose of targeted assistance at all levels of Sarawak agencies will comply with governance and cyber security in order to protect people’s personal data,” she added. — DayakDaily