While MySejahtera, the Malaysia app to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak, has seen some bumps along the way, it has been instrumental in facilitating faster contact tracing and relaying notifications to people who have been in close contact with positive COVID-19 cases.

Data amassed from MySejahtera – which translates to “my wellbeing” – helps to supplement the work of thousands of Health Ministry officers on the ground conducting contact tracing, providing citizens with more timely crucial health and safety information. It is an example of how a more digitalized public service will engage citizens, fundamentally shifting government services towards a more citizen-centric model.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of public services, as governments worldwide navigate uncharted territory amidst citizens' changing expectations. In Malaysia, which is transitioning to a high-income economy, a burgeoning middle class is expecting more of public services. This means better quality and more responsive service delivery. With the pandemic, the stakes are even higher, accelerating the need for technology adaptation and data-drive decisions.

What then, is the solution? A Living Government that is focused on improving citizen experiences. The pandemic provides an opportunity to redefine the public service – what the government does during this period has long-term implications on people’s perception of the government and their relationships with the public sector.

Malaysia aspires

There is no better window than now for governments to engage citizens with empathy, proactively empower citizens and orchestrate seamless experiences.

Cognizant of this, the Malaysian government recently launched the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP), the government’s largest five-year development plan to date. The RM400 billion plan encompasses the themes of economic growth, sustainability and societal goals.

A key component of the plan is to strengthen the public service delivery, listed as one of the four policy enablers in the plan.

Central to this is the adoption of the whole-of-government approach through better collaboration between the Federal Government, state governments and local authorities to ensure alignment in priorities. Another aim is “to establish a flatter organisation and reduce bureaucracy in the government administration”, making the public service nimbler and more attuned to public demands.

With more than 200 government apps currently, it is important that public services are integrated seamlessly. The 12MP recognises this, with the stated goal of having 80 per cent of Federal Government services online by 2025.

A more agile, digitalized and innovative Malaysian civil service, underpinned by integrity – a clarion call by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob – will set the tone for the future of the Southeast Asian nation.

A Living Government inspires

Looking forward, what will it take for the country’s public sector to transform into a high-performing citizen-centric public service?

Understanding citizen expectations is key. According to Accenture research, 85 per cent of citizens expect the same or higher standards from government services as they do from commercial organisations – what we call liquid expectations across different touchpoints and completing tasks such as buying a property and paying taxes. Today's digital consumers are accustomed to consuming delightful, relevant and seamless experiences – and brands respond in kind through constant reinvention.

To reach such standards, governments must go beyond digital. A Living Government empowers public agencies to deliver a truly relevant, connected and seamless experience. It does this by being:

Anticipatory, which means it is fluid and agile, accommodating citizen’s ever-evolving needs;

Enabling, which means it empowers citizens to achieve personalised needs and goals;

And connected, which means it is collaborator and creator in innovation.

It’s the idea of “meeting citizens not where they are, but where they want to be”.

Take for instance a real-life example shared by Ryan Oakes, Global Public Service Lead at Accenture. Using the Accenture Virtual Visits Solution – a complete end-to-end remote service experience with self-service appointment booking and virtual document sharing – a single mum and her two young kids are now able to access social services in their jurisdiction virtually, from multiple devices. Previously, it would have required two bus transfers and three to four hours in total as they were required to “sit in a physical building, wait in a line, and sign documents”.

It is such simple and effective methods that truly help people in their key moments of need.

With a Living Government, the possibilities to anticipate citizens’ needs, and to enable and connect them are truly boundless. This is what being citizen-centric and designing services through an experience lens is all about. Find out more about designing services around people, rather than agencies, here.

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Disclaimer : This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used in place of consultation with our professional advisors.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services — all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 674,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at accenture.com.

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Simon Ismail

Senior Manager – Marketing Transformation, Accenture Interactive, Malaysia

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