Asia Pacific

MDeC Drives Government Open Data

Malaysia’s Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) will kickstart two initiatives to drive open data among government ministries and agencies.

One of the initiatives is a strategic partnership with Open Data Institute (ODI), an independent, non-profit expert in open data.

MDeC also launched the National Open Data Champions to expedite the Open Data adoption process within respective government ministries and agencies. Thirty-one individuals have been identified, from six government ministries and six 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.

Open government data is non-personal, non-sensitive data that can be accessed, used or shared by anyone.

“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, CEO of MDeC.

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.

The ODI is the key strategic advisor to the United Kingdom government, which is ranked No. 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,” said Richard Stirling, International Director at the ODI.

“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,” Stirling added.

Through – entrepreneurs and businesses can search and use data sets such as weather reports, bus schedules, price of essential goals, dengue hotspots, among others.

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.