KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 31 — Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has today maintained that data and information collected through the MySejahtera Covid-19 contact tracing application are under the custody of the government and not a third party.

Addressing the Dewan Negara, Khairy guaranteed that all data stored in the MySejahtera database will be preserved and used only for the purposes of Covid-19 pandemic response by the Health Ministry.

“The use and management of MySejahtera data are subject to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act of 1988 [Act 342], the Medical Act of 1971 [Act 50], and international standards,” he said.

Khairy was responding to queries regarding the MySejahtera mobile application which blew over the weekend.

In his address, he explained that the National Security Council (NSC) had on behalf of the government entered into a non-disclosure agreement with KPISoft (now known as Entomo Malaysia) on April 1, 2020, on terms agreed upon by both parties before the government launched the MySejahtera application on April 20, 2020.

“Among the key terms of this agreement is that ownership of all data and information obtained through the use of the MySejahtera application is entirely owned by the Malaysia government,” he said.

Explaining further, Khairy said, when he took over as health minister on August 30, 2021, he had examined the governance behind the operation of the MySejahtera mobile application and saw it as appropriate for the Health Ministry to take full control of the handling and operation — main functions of MySejahtera as well as its data obtained through this application that are health-related.

“On November 26, 2021 a Cabinet Memorandum by the Prime Minister’s Department (responsible for NSC) had been discussed and finally agreed at the level of the Cabinet of Ministers for the ownership of the MySejahtera mobile application be transferred from the NSC to the Health Ministry which aims to facilitate system operation, monitoring and contact tracking and empowering public health coverage,” he said.

In accordance with the decision of the Cabinet, Khairy said a steering committee had been established which is chaired by him and staffed by various interested agencies such as Mosti (ministry of science, technology and innovation (Mosti), NACSA (National Cyber Security Agency), MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission), Mampu (Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit) and MDEC (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation) for the purpose of holding negotiations with the MySejahtera operating company. 

“Therefore, there is no issue on ‘selling off the MySejahtera application to private parties’,  instead the decision of the Cabinet last November was intended to enable the transfer of ownership of MySejahtera entirely to the Ministry of Health (MOH). 

“Just to be clear, this transfer is not from a private company to the MOH, but from other government agencies to the MOH.

“This steering committee will also discuss the direction of the MySejahtera application after this, especially after we move into the Pandemic Transition Phase and subsequently reach the endemic phase later,” he said.

He stressed that the government to date has not yet approved or made any payment to MySejahtera application’s operator.

“The government and MOH will ensure any decision regarding payment will take into account the interests of the country and the people,” he said.

Khairy also gave his assurance that there is nothing to hide.

“The MOH and I will also give full cooperation to any proceedings to be conducted including by the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee,” he said.

Last Sunday, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim raised concerns about the sale of MySejahtera to a private company and that it could risk abuse of personal data and private health-related data of Malaysians which were collected through the mobile application.