Call to extend Padu’s deadline

Malaysian Coalition on Ageing chairman Cheah Tuck Wing said this was in light of how resolving potential security issues may need to be carried out in stages. He said glitches and some negative publicity may also result in senior citizens being hesitant to register.

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“Seniors are the main target of scammers due to their vulnerability and if they are not careful, they may click on unknown links and later get themselves in trouble. Once such news spreads, things can snowball negatively,” he added.

Cheah said he was concerned about many opportunists in the digital landscape and urged those unsure of the authenticity of supposed Padu links to not click on them.

“Go to the nearest digital economy centre (to register). It is better to be safe than sorry,” he said.

He added that the government must instil confidence and trust in the system, given how it involves the collection, storage and use of personal details.

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“No matter how good the intention is for the people, it can backfire if the system is below par,” he said.

Cheah also called on the government to recognise and work with civil society groups to get senior citizens to register.

“This is the way forward. These groups are on the ground and work closely with elderly folk,” he said, adding that the government should encourage seniors, especially in rural areas, to register at approved centres.

“Relevant and accredited non-governmental organisations can be roped in to assist,” he added.

Cheah said the authorities had to ensure the same rigorous data protection standards that applied to private organisations also be used with Padu.

However, he said Padu is a good initiative as it aims to effectively distribute aid and subsidies to target groups who may have previously been left out.

“With fairer distribution, deserving seniors will be able to benefit from the system,” he added.

Launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Jan 2, Padu is the government’s central hub for data on citizens that is aimed at distributing aid and subsidies efficiently and accurately.

The database, which civil servants took six months to build, is part of the government’s overall plan to restructure subsidies for fuel and electricity.

Registrations for Padu are open until March 31.

Users can update and confirm 39 personal details including identification numbers, number of household members and their addresses.

Link to the original article: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2024/01/08/call-to-extend-padus-deadline

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