calls its smart card a success
ACW - Vol.23, No. 29, 2-8 September, 2002
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KUALA LUMPUR: THE agency overseeing the development of Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) is touting the success of its Government MultiPurpose Card (GMPC), or "smart card", project. Malaysia, which claims to be the first country to issue such smart cards to its citizens, will be exporting this technology to Indonesia, and hopefully to the Philippines, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Bahrain.
receiving criticism that the MSC's government-driven flagship applications
were stuck in first gear, the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC)
countered with the claim that the smart-card project was an "MSC
success story". MDC senior vice-president Narayanan Kannan said that
so far, two million smart cards had been issued to citizens in the central
Klang Valley region.
smart card project will be rolled out to the rest of the country next
year, he added.
said the smart card, named "MyKad"; has generated
"tremendous interest" among the various heads of states who
regularly visit Malaysia and the MSC, about an hour's drive south of Kuala
indicated that Iris Corp, which leads the consortium developing MyKad,
signed a contract with the Indonesian immigration authorities during Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad's visit to Indonesia in August. The initial
order is for 500,000 Indonesian equivalents of the Malaysian smart card.
Indonesian contract is the second that Iris has inked in recent months.
The first, in midJuly, is a pilot project in Myanmar for electronic
passports similar to the Malaysian Electronic Passport.
smart card integrates four government and two optional applications:
national identification, national driving licence, passport details,
health information, ecash, and a public key infrastructure (PKI). The
plastic card is embedded with a security enhanced 32K microprocessor that
is multifunctional across varying systems.
GMPC is one of the two components of the multipurpose card flagship, the
other being the Payment Multi-Purpose Card, which will cover credit card,
debit card, ATM and e-cash applications.
being developed separately, the aim is to eventually merge the two cards
into a single platform supporting government and payments applications, as
well as those developed by other MSC flagships.
said the flagship applications, which will cost billions of ringgit, are
important to the success of the MSC. Most of the applications are still in
the pilot phase and would be rolled out nationally after a thorough
evaluation, he said recently.
admitted there were "some delays"; adding it was better to make
mistakes in the pilot phase than when they are launched.
SAR government estimated the cost of the cards alone at one-third the
project cost of HK$3.06 billion (US$392 million).
new cards, to replace the existing laminated paper ones, will carry
digital certificates issued by the Hongkong Post Certification Authority
for secure online transactions such as banking, stock trading, and renewal
of driving licences.
there is concern about the card's durability. According to Hong Kong-based
Gartner analyst Dion Wiggins, these cards would last for only a few years,
and replacing them is inconvenient since they hold various applications.