Following the public furore over the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s announcement on Tuesday on the implementation of the 1Malaysia email accounts and the subsequent clarifications both by himself and by the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) yesterday, Tricubes Berhad, the company that was awarded to spearhead the project, issued a press release to further explain the much maligned 1Malaysia Email.
In the press release, Khairun Zainal Mokhtar, the Chief Executive of Tricubes explained that the project had been discussed as early as June 2010 and was intended to be “the digital channel of communication between the Government and the users” with the aspiration that Malaysians aged 18 and above “have access to a secured communication channel to government e-services on Internet-enabled devices with a single sign-on user ID”. Users will initially be able to use this account to receive government notices such as income tax assessment, driving license renewal and quit rent reminders as well as Employee Provident Fund statements and notices of summons with more services to be offered in the future.
Khairun also stressed that the government is neither funding nor underwriting the project and that it is private-sector funded.
On the issue of security, Khairun explained that the account will have an authentication service which includes a MyKad-based authentication service layer to ensure that the government notices reach the correct recipients. The email account will come with the option to enhance the security of the users entire session with data encryption. He assured that Tricubes and Microsoft are working closely to make sure the integrity and confidentiality of the users are ensured.
As to how Tricubes was selected to undertake the project, Khairun clarified that Tricubes’ proposal had met or surpassed the benchmarks set by the Entry Point Project (EPP) team (which comprised of MAMPU and GITN Sdn Bhd) which assessed proposals submitted by interested companies. Khairun also elaborated that Tricubes has been involved in the design, development, and marketing of information technology solutions to the government and financial sectors in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Europe since 1997.
One of the main question on the public’s mind is how Tricubes, an ACE-listed company in danger of being delisted from Bursa Malaysia due to financial irregularities could be awarded the project in the first place. Khairun explained that Tricubes had to show its ability to generate funding for this project, and that Tricubes had met that criteria. Khairun explained that the reason Tricubes dropped into its current GN3 status is due to its heavy investment in research and development which has a long gestation period. Despite this, Khairun gave an assurance that Tricubes “is well on the way to generate returns to recoup its investment” and that although the 1Malaysia email service will be provided at no cost to users, Tricubes’ revenue sources will come from the value-added services (VAS), which will be introduced in phases.
“Tricubes’ total investment over the next 10 years will be approximately RM50 million. Our initial investment is estimated to be at RM5.3 million. This includes infrastructure costs for hardware and software, maintenance and raising awareness of the project. We have secured initial financing through a combination of internally generated funds and borrowings. We expect to reinvest revenue received from the project to ensure sustainability.”
Khairun also clarified the voluntary nature of the email subscription. Notwithstanding this, he added, any project, public or private, must have KPIs and targets for performance monitoring and accountability. Hence, Tricubes adopted the KPIs and targets proposed by the NKEA Communications Content and Infrastructure Lab under the ETP, which is to have 100% subscription to the email service by 2015.
It is interesting to note that despite the public outcry, Tricubes will beta-test themyemail.my “Citizen Inbox” service in April 2011. Tricubes will be utilizing Microsoft Corp’s Windows Live platform for the email service, and will offer 25GB of mailbox space.
It remains to be seen how the cold reception thus far will affect subscription to the service.
Media Statement Issued by Tricubes Berhad
Tricubes issues statement on 1Malaysia Email as public dissatisfaction continues originally appeared on GreyReview on April 21, 2011.