(Dealing with “not so up-to-date with the latest technology” government servants on official business can be tricky at times – especially when things are not so clear like the use of free, secured emails for official communications. Image source: Flickr)
It may not happen but still, this is the Bolehland that we are talking about. Whilst it is still too early to pour cold water on the myemail initiatives, here’s something we fear may happen.
One fine morning in a Government department sometime in the future…
Tax-payer: Good morning, I would like for my statements to be sent through my personal email since it will be easier for to retrieve it when I am traveling.
Govt Officer: No problem sir, please provide us with your myemail address and we will update our system immediately so that you can get statements effective next month
Govt Officer: Sorry but we don’t accept other type of emails. You know, because it involves sensitive information, we need to be sure that email provided is secured. As you may be aware by now, myemail account has an authentication service which includes a MyKad-based authentication service layer
Tax-payer: But the other emails are secured as well. Google is one of the leading IT Company in the world which provides the widely used email facility. Certainly they would have taken care of email security before they rolled it out way back in 2007. Certainly 193.3 million users around the world including corporate users could not have gone wrong.
Govt Officer: Err, ok but you will get 25GB of email storage free – that is a lot compared to your gmail’s measly 7GB.
Tax-payer: 7GB is more than enough for me. I don’t intend to keep my sensitive information sitting idle on cyberspace. Once I receive the email, I intend to download or copy over the statements into my 2TB external hard-disc and have a backup somewhere.
Govt Officer: Hmmm, but if you want your statements via email, you still need myemail address.
Tax-payer: But it was announced that myemail is not compulsory and the public is allowed to use own personal emails
Govt Officer: I don’t know about that – I am just telling what you need to do. You know – orders from upstairs.
Tax-payer: Aiseh, leceh lah. Ok, ok…I will register for myemail – damn, I need my statements via email.
Tax-payer: By the way, the registration and use of myemail is free of charge, right?
Govt Officer: Err, ya, it is free in a way. The myemail provider will charge this department 50 cents per email sent.
Tax-payer: Ya, now I remember reading about it. If you accept my Google email address, you need not pay anything. As I recall, the myemail provider said that they are targeting something like 5.4 registered users. 5.4 million x 50 cents (silently doing a mental calculation)…means RM2.7 million per year per email sent. That is at very minimum. Why anyone want to waste RM2.7 million for nothing?
Govt Officer: Sorry, I cannot comment on that. I still need a valid myemail address before we can send you statements via email
I am NOT saying that Malaysians will be somehow be “forced” to subscribe myemail sometime in the near future – we are pretty that the Government will be sensible and intelligent enough to recognize that there are better options out there – options that are far less cheap than the current proposed option.
However, in the past years, we have seen enough flip-flops from the Government to make us to swallow the “1email for all which will be on a voluntary basis and huge savings for the Government” propositions with a huge doubt