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Netizens pan Rafizi after clip deriding those not registered in Padu

Comments flood the economy minister's social media platforms on his handling of criticism over the government database.

3 minute read

Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli has become the target of public criticism again, this time over a video clip seen as downplaying public concern about personal data security in Padu ahead of the deadline for registration yesterday.

In a short video uploaded on his social media platforms yesterday morning, a smiling Rafizi said he was too "tired" to recite another poem, as he had done in previous clips to encourage public registration in Padu.

"No poetry for today. It's up to you guys. You want to register, go ahead. If you don't want to register, then all the best in your Raya celebrations," he said.

The registration deadline for Padu ended at midnight, with Rafizi claiming that more than 10 million people had updated their financial and personal details.

His latest clip attracted criticism in the comments section of his Facebook and Instagram accounts.

"Is this how a minister in the Madani government behaves? Just resign," wrote Instagram user ismailaidabinti.

"I've never heard such a chaotic minister talking to the people. If you don't want to serve the people, resign... the people are fed up bro," said another user, azali_azizan.

Meanwhile, ievonnlution complained that he was unable to double-check the information he had given.

"Is this how the government wants to manage something? If it's not ready, don't announce and release it. Duh."

Rafizi's Facebook page was flooded with similar criticism. 

"There are 3 reasons why I didn't fill it in. Firstly, because I'm not confident in Padu's data management, the second is because I don't think I will get any subsidy benefits. Third, because I want to see what happens next," said Khairunnisa Suboh.

"It's like buying a car, people say don't get the first batch because we never know what the problem is with that particular model."

User Richard Wong wanted Rafizi to clarify some issues about Padu, including the fact that people would be automatically registered even if they do not sign up themselves.

"Why didn't the ministry say so earlier, that those not registered will be registered automatically?" he asked.

Yesterday, chief statistician Uzir Mahidin said Padu would still keep the basic data of those who did not update their information.

MalaysiaNow reported yesterday that lingering doubts about Padu had driven many who updated their records not to furnish their personal information accurately or sincerely.

Read more: For fear of data security, many holding back on details sent to PADU

The GPS-led Sarawak government has been among the most vocal in questioning Padu, saying it is unhappy that the system requested the public to key in personal details that are irrelevant.

Rafizi in his response said Padu was safe as it was developed internally using the expertise of civil servants. He also said that it met international standards and best practices.

He said information stored in Padu was subject to the Official Secrets Act and the hardware used was protected by the Computer Crimes Act, with access for only officials vetted by the chief government security officer.

However, his assurances did little to allay the concern of various parties, including Ayer Hitam MP Wee Ka Siong who said he was not convinced.

"If you already have information, why do you want to collect the same information from us again? What is it really good for? What else do you want to collect if you say you already have our data?" the MCA president told MalaysiaNow recently.