News Flash: Malaysia’s Pushes Ahead With Digital ID

Nine-month study will determine shape of National Digital ID initiative

Stepping up its efforts to deliver a national digital identity system, the Malaysian Government is undertaking a detailed study to develop an implementation framework.  Following approval by the Cabinet, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has launched a tender for consultancy services to support a nine month study on how to implement an ID system that will enable digital transactions to be made securely on any device at anytime and anywhere, even abroad.

Spearheading the initiative, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia said the optional National Digital ID won’t be “a substitute” for the existing National Registration Identity Card, according to various media reports. Instead, it is intended to be an advanced method of authenticating a user’s identity online, bringing benefits to citizens and businesses, by removing the need for individuals to remember different usernames and passwords for various services. The government said the National Digital ID will also facilitate end-to-end business processes with digital signatures, while providing stronger security and greater trust for high value transactions by leveraging “robust technologies,” according to a report by

The media reports said the implementation study will draw on government, private-sector and academic expertise, quoting a government statement as saying: “It is hoped that coordinated research and efforts among the key stakeholders from all sectors, industries and the public will offer a better mechanism for the implementation of the National Digital ID in Malaysia.”

In June 2019, Japanese technology company NEC said it had submitted a proposal to develop biometrics-based authentication to support Malaysia’s digital ID project, according to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review at the time. “We have been successful in implementing biometric identification in India and would like to repeat (the success) in Malaysia, if given the opportunity,” NEC Senior EVP Norihiko Ishiguro told the publication.

For more information, please see the Marketing-Interactive report and the article in the Nikkei Asian Review.