The Cabinet has approved the implementation of the National Digital Identity initiative. The National Digital ID is a government effort to help spur Malaysians’ confidence in the digital economy. A statement by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission said the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia will spearhead the initiative. A detailed study on the implementation model will be carried out by the Commission. The ministry added that the National Digital ID is not a substitute for the existing National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) or compulsory. It is instead an advanced method of authenticating a user’s identity online.

“As a first step, a comprehensive study will be conducted from September 2019, for a period of nine months. This study will identify a holistic National Digital ID framework and will propose recommendations to the government on appropriate implementation models that meet the needs of the people and businesses,” the ministry said. “This study will involve the government, private and academic collaboration. “It will also take into account Malaysia’s unique context including the existing MyKad and private infrastructure, current factors, as well as identifying new policies,” the ministry said.

Malaysia takes after other countries in the region such as Singapore and Thailand in spearheading the development of a National Digital ID platform, which enable users to transact in a safe and seamless manner. “Whether it is a user setting up an account for the first time, logging-in to obtain government service or do business or making a digital payment, the National Digital ID enables the digital service providers to make highly accurate trust decisions in real time,” the ministry added.

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