MDEC Drives Government Open Data through Partnership and National Champions

2 Apr 2015

MDEC’s strategic partnership with Open Data Institute (ODI) in collaboration with MAMPU to accelerate adoption of Big Data Analytics (BDA) in Malaysia.

PUTRAJAYA, APRIL 2, 2015 – The Multimedia Development Corporation (MDEC) today announced 2 initiatives aimed at driving Open Data among government ministries and agencies: a strategic partnership with Open Data Institute (ODI), an independent, non-profit expert in Open Data and the launch of National Open Data Champions – a group of selected individuals to advise and support government agencies on Open Data implementation and execution.

The announcement was made in collaboration with the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), and officiated by the Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia.

“Open Data is simply free, non-personal data by the government that can be used and shared by anyone. Local entrepreneurs and businesses can use these data to derive trends and insights that can help them inform on innovative business solutions and models – the primary goal of the National Big Data Analytics (BDA) Initiative that MDEC is driving,” said Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer of MDEC.

Entrepreneurs and businesses can search and use data sets such as weather reports, bus schedules, price of essential goals, Dengue hotspots, among others – available on www.data.gov.my​, Malaysia’s official Open Data portal.

“Certain data released by Government agencies and ministries open up an endless field of opportunity to all sectors, giving anyone the chance to innovate and create new solutions which can benefit both businesses and the ​rakyat​. MDEC’s strategic partnership with ODI and collaboration with MAMPU is a great example of private public partnership, which is essential in accelerating BDA adoption on a national scale”.

MDEC’s continuous efforts in unlocking the value of Open Data include a partnership with Open Data Institute (ODI), founded by Sir Professor Nigel Shadbolt and the World Wide Web inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. The ODI is the key strategic advisor to the United Kingdom government, which is ranked number 1 in the Open Data Barometer, part of the World Wide Web Foundation’s assessment method for Open Data that analyses the readiness, implementation and impact of Open Data initiatives around the world.

“The Open Data Institute looks forward to working with Malaysia to help improve the lives of Malaysian citizens using open data. We feel that Malaysia already has success factors in place that will help Malaysia unlock economic, environmental and social value using open data. Our collaboration will include helping Malaysia to develop its open data strategy, its capability and its capacity for innovation. Providing open data involves making that data available for anyone to access, use and share. This data becomes a raw material that can help government to become more efficient, new businesses to grow, and people to take advantage of new opportunities” said Richard Stirling, International Director at the Open Data Institute.

Working with MAMPU, MDEC also launched the National Open Data Champions to expedite the Open Data adoption process within respective government ministries and agencies. 31 individuals have been identified, from 6 government ministries and 6 agencies including the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, Ministry of Finance, Department of Statistics Malaysia and Land Public Transport Commission. These individuals are also responsible of identifying high impact projects and the data required for the development of solutions, as well as ensuring quality data can be used and shared by Malaysians.

“The launch of the champions today is a show of Malaysia’s commitment towards Open Government Data that not only benefit the economy, but will improve efficiency and boost productivity of the public sector. Open Data increases ​government transparency and allows more engagement between the Government and the Rakyat, enabling and empowering them to be more directly informed and involved in democratic decision-making” said YBhg Tan Sri Dr Ali Bin Hamzah, Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia.

For the very first time, Malaysia was included in the 2014 Open Data Barometer. Malaysia is currently ranked 41st ​among 86 countries - up nine places from its initial target of 50th by 2020, set in 2013.