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Top In Tech: National Digital Identity: Complementing a Digital Space
Published:  Nov 10, 2021 7:55 PM
Updated: 11:55 AM

As the world today revolves more on online processes and transactions due to the post-pandemic recovery, digital IDs will play a vital role in being an enabler of business and trade, as well as a return to normalcy.

Based on the digital economy blueprint, MyDIGITAL, the National Digital Identity (NDI) will be fully implemented in 2024. This initiative would not be replacing the MyKad, instead it is a form of digital identification and self-authentication for individuals, using the latest biometric technology such as fingerprints, facial or iris recognition for people, while conducting business in the cyberworld.

On top of that, this initiative ensures flexible and secure online transactions as well as reducing administrative costs while delivering more efficient services.

Malaysiakini, KiniEvents and Top In Tech have teamed up once again to bring you Episode 19 of Top In Tech Webinar series titled National Digital Identity: Complementing a Digital Space. This episode was hosted by Karamjit Singh and guest panelists Dennis Low, General Manager, Head of Enterprise Solutions, NEC Corporation of Malaysia, Laila Abdul Majid, Deputy Director, ICT Division, National Registration Department of Malaysia and Fabian Bigar, Chief Executive Officer, MyDigital contributing to the discussion and sharing insights on the awareness on the integration of NDI for a trusted digital identification process and assuring flexible and secure online transactions.

Digital ID will enrich our professional and personal lives

“Based on my personal experience, NDI will serve as a convenient method to secure digital credentials, as well as a platform for authentication, authorisation and consent,” Fabian said.

According to Laila, digital ID will provide instant access to services regardless of where you are. Trade and transactions can be done without approaching any counters or banks.

Dennis added that when he lost his wallet a few years ago, the first thing he did was file a police report. Then, when he went to the bank to get a new automated teller machine (ATM) card, the officer asked to verify his thumbprint to issue the atm card but at that time he only had a police report at hand as he lost his MyKad, making it a not convenient process.

He further explained that with the authenticatication of the digital ID, our identification will be verified on the spot by the National Registration department database making it an easy breezy process for everyone in the future.

Gearing towards Digital ID implementation

Laila noted that although the NDI will be fully rolled out in 3 years time, the planning process has already began this year, with the National Registration Department (NRD)’s information and communication technology (ICT) system and infrastructure to be improved, so that it was always up to date and safe to handle user identity verification matters through NDI. The pilot process would then take place in October 2023 before the roll out.

“For the enrollment of the Digital ID, it is planned that all the citizens will have to visit only once to the NRD counter. This is to capture the latest biometrics fingerprints, facial and iris identification and be saved in the new database,” she added.

Digital ID various applications

Fabian elaborated that in the physical world we can bring our MyKad and show it for verification, but the same thing cannot be said in a digital world. Therefore, the NDI is the most suitable verification when it comes to everything online as it could prevent cyber-issues such as identity fraud and document falsification. The digital identity could be used for electronic healthcare records, online government services, online exams verifications, digital KYC by financial institutions and authentication for government benefits distribution among others.

Upscaling the digital economy

According to the digital blueprint, by 2025 the digital economy could contribute about 22.6% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Thus, there is no doubt that digital IDs will serve as a powerful key to inclusive growth, unlocking many opportunities of economic gains for the people and institutions in Malaysia.

“There is a lot of systematic digital transformation happening across all industries today. One thing to note is that, digital transformation is not about digitizing the manual process but it is about upscaling and enhancing the way people conduct their business. It touches not only within the government sector but also the enterprise and the citizens which in turn will revolutionize our industry, economy and the cyber world,” Dennis explained.

Key Takeaways

“Technological innovation will reshape and drive the development of the country's digital economy. I am sure the NRD authorities will take into account the people’s concern about the security and its application,” Fabian concluded.

“National Digital Identity is a national project that will benefit all of us both the public sector and the private sector as well as the citizens. I hope everyone will give their full support and be involved in this government project,” Laila concluded.

“We have the MyDIGITAL blueprint ready set in place and the only way to realize whatever we planned out in the blueprint becomes successful, is to get the digital ID to be ready because that is a fundamental aspect to drive the digital economy,” Dennis concluded.

Watch the replay of Top in Tech Episode 19 - National Digital Identity: Complementing a Digital Space here.


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