The government has rolled out the Pangkalan Data Utama (PADU) socio-economic database, with prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim officially announcing its introduction at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) earlier today.

As mentioned previously, PADU is an integrated national socio-economic database combining all available data of individuals and households collected from government departments and agencies, with 70 of these being at the federal level.

PADU launched – data to determine if you’d be eligible for fuel subsidy, update your personal info by Mar 31

According to economy minister Rafizi Ramli, the only exception to data and its collection is that of banking data, which is not permitted under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 (BAFIA).

In the near term, PADU will be used as a key component in how the government retargets subsidies and assistance, with household net disposable income metrics set to be used to provide a fair picture of the socio-economic position of every Malaysian household.

PADU launched – data to determine if you’d be eligible for fuel subsidy, update your personal info by Mar 31

Its introduction paves the way for the targeted subsidy of RON 95 petrol, which is set to happen in the second half of 2024. Targeted subsidy of electricity is in the plans too. It was clearly stated that today’s event was just to officially launch the database, and that the mechanism to determine subsidy would be announced at a later date.

As indicated by Rafizi previously, PADU will allow the government to move from the B40-M40-T20 approach in assessing the eligibility of aid recipients to a more targeted and fair determination of who should be able to receive aid and those who should not.

PADU launched – data to determine if you’d be eligible for fuel subsidy, update your personal info by Mar 31

However, as it was pointed out, the central database – which is managed by the statistics department – is more than just a tool for determining subsidies. The core intention is to provide a secure, comprehensive and “near real-time” main national database in digital form, containing information of 32 million Malaysians.

According to a statistics department slide during the launch event, it presently has integrated data on 29.8 million people, covering all available info from “cradle to the grave.” Containing nearly 300 types of federal government-related data, with more from state and local governments to be included gradually, PADU will be used to improve the government’s efficiency and to help it determine an assortment of economic elements.

PADU launched – data to determine if you’d be eligible for fuel subsidy, update your personal info by Mar 31

In terms of safety, the database is protected by what is deemed a high level of cyber security. As for access, Rafizi has assured the public that that there will be no changes to personal data that is currently owned by government departments or agencies, and that existing laws of the respective government departments or agencies govern all data that PADU uses.

While the database has information gleaned from various government agencies, Malaysians have been asked to register on PADU to update and validate their information on 39 variables to ensure that their data is accurate.

PADU launched – data to determine if you’d be eligible for fuel subsidy, update your personal info by Mar 31

Registration is not mandatory, and Rafizi has said that no action will be taken if individuals choose not to update. However, he said opting out might affect their eligibility for targeted subsidies, and he urged the public to validate their info to ensure that their data across the 39 variables available was accurate. Items that can be checked and updated include that for household, address, work, income and commitments.

The government says that people have until March 31 to update their info on the database, which can either be done online via the PADU portal, or offline in the case of those living in rural areas and those without internet access. In such cases, registering and updating of details can be done at district offices, village community management councils (MPKK) and with local authorities.

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