New Straits Times
PUTRAJAYA, 6 JULY 2012 - The award-winning eKasih, a centralised databank to provide assistance to the poor, was developed in only eight months by seven dedicated civil servants and without foreign help, director of the National Databank and Innovation Centre (NADI) Datuk Rosni Abdul Malek said.
She said this proved civil servants were capable of producing works of international standard.
"eKasih is 100 per cent Malaysian. It's special to Malaysians, particularly to civil servants. And it has helped increase expertise and knowledge in the public sector," she said when met at NADI's office yesterday.
eKasih, launched in Nov 2007, clinched the first prize in the United Nations Public Service Awards 2012 in New York last month.
It won in the category of "Advancing Knowledge Management in Government" for Asia and the Pacific, pushing South Korean's initiative of National Science and Technology Information Service to second place. eKasih is used by relevant agencies for fair distribution of assistance and to avoid overlapping aid programmes.
Rosni said although eKasih was not the first such system in the world, it was the most comprehensive ever developed by any nation to date. She said eKasih's profiling made it easier for the various government agencies to implement measures to eradicate poverty.
Since 2008, some 97,183 poor Malaysians registered under eKasih have benefited through various aid programmes.
Director-general of the Implementation and Coordination Unit in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Shukry Mohd Salleh, said eKasih had attracted the World Bank and recently it had sent representatives here to learn more about the system.
Rosni received the award on behalf of the Malaysian government in a ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York on June 25. The award is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in the public service.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said it was a recognition of the government's efforts to achieve zero poverty in the country.
"It is not an ordinary award but one that was given by the United Nations to us."