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Malaysia's Central Database Hub is Key to PM Anwar's Success in 2024

To begin 2024, Malaysia launched the Central Database Hub (Pangkalan Data Utama, “PADU”), a digital repository that consolidates data from over 400 government agencies.  Intended to improve governance, reduce waste, and fight corruption, the database is the signature initiative of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.  Its scale makes it one of the most ambitious digital governance programs in Southeast Asia, on par with Indonesia's Satu Data and Singapore's MyInfo.

A primary objective is improving the distribution of subsidies and social assistance. At the PADU launch event, Prime Minister Anwar emphasized the need to refine data collection and improve administration to ensure that benefits like electricity subsidies do not go to unintended recipients such as wealthy households or foreigners. 

Critics were quick to raise cybersecurity concerns. Soon after PADU's launch, experts highlighted the potential for brute force and DDoS attacks to leave Malaysian citizens vulnerable to identity theft and data breaches. If these concerns are not properly addressed, PADU could wind up as a liability for the Prime Minister, who is facing repeated attempts to topple his shaky coalition government. 

Pangkalan Data Utama (PADU) stands as a crucial initiative in Malaysia’s digital transformation strategy, spearheaded to address incomplete data concerns raised by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Developed through a collaborative effort involving the Ministry of Economy, the Department of Statistics (DOSM), and the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit, PADU has officially opened to the public.