Padu registration uptake poor due to Malaysians’ scepticism, concerns over data privacy

With the deadline for the registration less than four weeks away, many Malaysians are still undecided about the benefits of signing up with the Central Database Hub (Padu).

Some say registration is easy. Others say it is too complicated, but many Malaysians are still unsure if they should “give away their data”, when government agencies already have everything they need.

Others told Twentytwo13 that they had not heard of Padu, and wondered if they needed to register.

Padu, launched on Jan 2, by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is a comprehensive database established by the government that contains individual and household profiles of Malaysian citizens and permanent residents. The system is to pave the way for a fairer distribution of targeted subsidies for deserving Malaysians.

However, as of 11.59pm on March 4, only 4.09 million out of 30.08 million people have registered ahead of the deadline on March 31.

Twentytwo13 interviewed several individuals in the Klang Valley to get their opinions on Padu.

Businesswoman Christina Lim said she is still undecided as there is a lack of information about Padu’s benefits.

“Will it benefit me or my staff? What is the point of Padu? How will I know if I qualify for the incentives,” asked the 49-year-old from Puchong.

“The government has not made it mandatory. I will wait and do some more research to see if it is worth doing so.”

Sam Chan, 42, who works in a financial institution, has yet to sign up with Padu, saying “there’s no incentive to do so”.

Others who requested anonymity, were either sceptical or unaware of Padu.

A 36-year-old, who works in an engineering firm in Shah Alam, Selangor, said he does not plan to sign up as he was sceptical about the benefits.

“I feel it’s a tool to steal my personal information,” he said.

An accountant who works in a private bank said she doesn’t know why she needs to sign up.

“I have no idea what Padu is and why there is a need to sign up,” said the 35-year-old from Bandar Saujana Putra, Kuala Langat.

A trader in Ampang, Selangor, said he too, had not heard of Padu.

“How do I sign up, and is there a need to do so? I am running my own business. Is it mandatory to sign up?” asked the trader, who is in his 60s. He added he would ask his son to look into the matter.

A 37-year-old designer who works in Shah Alam, Selangor, said there are just too many things to be filled out in the system.

“The basic information is readily available from other government agencies. Why can’t they get the data from the Inland Revenue Board? The whole process is too cumbersome,” he said.

A librarian who works with the government said she registered as it was mandatory for civil servants.

“But I had to do it manually. There were problems with my picture as it did not match my identity card,” said the 46-year-old from Kuala Lumpur.

However, Taranjiv Singh, 41, said the registration process was a breeze. He signed up early as he wanted to avoid a rush, as Malaysians tended to do things last minute.

“I did it just to get it out of the way. I logged into the website and registered. The registration process was rather straightforward,” said Taranjiv.

“After registering, I saw my full name, address, IC number, and education, listed.

“The user has to fill out several other details like income, occupation, and even if he is receiving any bantuan (monetary assistance) from the government.

“It boils down to one being honest when filling out the details. Signing up and filling out the details took about 10 minutes.”

Taranjiv said his parents and wife had also signed up with Padu.

Azman Manap, was another who found it a breeze.

“I signed up as soon as I could, as I thought it was mandatory,” said the 53-year-old businessman from Ampang, Selangor.

“I didn’t encounter any issues despite hearing others say it was complicated. Let’s assess the benefits later on.”

Yesterday, Putrajaya MP Datuk Mohd Radzi Jidin told the Dewan Rakyat that some of the information required by Padu was too sensitive, and was not needed.

He also added that Malaysians did not know the benefits of registering with Padu.

In January, former deputy Investment, Trade, and Industry minister, Ong Kian Ming, a former DAP MP, raised eyebrows barely hours after Padu was launched.

Ong had highlighted several security flaws in the system, which included being able to register on behalf of several DAP party members without going through e-KYC, as he had their personal details.

Ong had urged the government to suspend Padu until the security flaws were fixed.

However, the government later okayed the registration system, saying that Economic Minister Rafizi Ramli and his team had acted swiftly to fix the security issues in Padu that had been raised by Ong.