The National Security Council (NSC), a federal agency under the Prime Minister’s department, recently clarified that the developer of the widely used MySejahtera contact tracing app is in fact a Malaysian firm, KPISoft Sdn Bhd.
It made the statement following accusations from the Malaysian Association of Bumiputera ICT Industry and Entrepreneurs (NEF) on 30 June 2020 that local tech firms were sidelined in favour of Western-based companies to develop a COVID-19 tracing app for the federal government.
A quick recap, the MySejahtera app provides a one-stop solution for information, with guidelines on what to do if you suspect contact, or where to get tested. It is available on the Google Play Store, App Store, and the Huawei AppGallery.
The NEF claimed that the MySejahtera app was developed by KPISoft which is based in the United States, instead of a local firm. That statement turned out to be inaccurate as the NSC clarified that KPISoft, a local company founded in 2010 with Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) status, is owned and run by two Malaysians: Anuar Rozhan and Raveenderan Ramamoothie. The two are said to be the biggest shareholders of the company till this day.
A check on KPISoft’s website only lists Raveenderan Ramamoothie as the founder and group CEO.
It is learned that KPISoft was developed under the guidance of the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), whose mandate is to help local companies expand globally. In the last 10 years, the company has grown to be a global company with offices in 15 countries including US, Europe, Singapore, India and Asia Pacific.
On its website, the company lists four regional headquarters around the world consisting of the US, Singapore, Dubai and Vienna. It also lists Kuala Lumpur and Bangalore as its innovation and research and development centres. KPI’s office in Malaysia is actually located at Q Sentral, in KL Sentral.
The point of confusion was likely a result of KPISoft’s website listing its closest Asia headquarters in Singapore. KPISoft has made a name for itself globally having developed applications that are used by Fortune 500 listed companies in multiple industries such as insurance, telecommunications, finance, mining and government. But even though the company has expanded globally its main management team is still based in Malaysia.
The NSC also said Anuar Rozhan serves as the chief executive officer of KPISoft Malaysia and Asia Pacific. It added that the other high ranking staff including its global chief financial officer and application development lead architect are also Malaysians who run the operation from within the country.
The agency went on to explain that the development of the MySejahtera app began after the Ministry of Health (MOH) requested assistance from the National Cyber Agency (Nasca) and the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unity (Mampu) to assess an app developed by KPISoft that was to be made into a national-level app to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in Malaysia.
All three agencies found that KPISoft’s app was the readiest to be implemented nationally compared to others offered to the government at the time. It also took into consideration the MOH’s desperate need for the technology.