MyKad is the compulsory identity document for Malaysian citizens aged 12 and above. Introduced by the National Registration Department of Malaysia on 5 September 2001 as one of four MSC Malaysia flagship applications1 and a replacement for the High Quality Identity Card (Kad Pengenalan Bermutu Tinggi), Malaysia became the first country in the world to use an identification card that incorporates both photo identification and fingerprint biometric data on an in-built computer chip embedded in a piece of plastic.2
Besides the main purpose of the card as a validation tool and proof of citizenship other than the birth certificate, MyKad may also serve as a valid driver's license, an ATM card, an electronic purse, and a public key, among other applications, as part of the Malaysian Government Multipurpose Card (GMPC) initiative, if the bearer chooses to activate the functions.
Other cards which are currently in use or soon to be introduced in the GMPC initiative and share similar features are:
- MyKid – for Malaysian citizens under the age of 12 including newborns (non-compulsory);3
- MyPR – for Malaysian Permanent Residents;4
- MyTentera – for Malaysian Armed Forces personnel;5 and
- MyPolis – for Royal Malaysian Police personnel.5
My can be:
Kad can be:
- the Malay word for card; or
- the acronym for Kad Akuan Diri or Personal Identification Card;6 or
- the acronym for Kad Aplikasi Digital or Digital Application Card.6
The initial MyKad was a contact card solution developed and manufactured by IRIS Corporation. Made of PC with the dimensions in the ISO/IEC 7816 ID-1 format (standard credit card format), the initial card had a 32kb EEPROM (Electronically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) embedded chip running on M-COS (MyKad Chip Operating System). In November 2002, the capacity was increased to 64kb.
The upgraded and current version of the MyKad is a hybrid card containing two chips for both contact and contactless interfaces. Currently, this hybrid type MyKad is only issued in Malaysian states which employ the Touch 'n Go application.
The MyKad chip has a data retention up to 20 years, while the card itself has a lifespan of 10 years and has been tested according to the ISO 10373 test standard.
All Malaysian citizens and permanent residents 12 years old or above are eligible for a MyKad. From 2001, it gradually replaced an older Malaysian Identity Card system, that had been in use since 1949 under British colonial rule, with the intention of becoming ubiquitous by 2007. Children are issued with a MyKid after birth. This card is "upgraded" to a MyKad on the 12th birthday. The MyKad must be replaced when a person reaches 18 years old, as it is a requirement that the photograph be 'current'.
Adoption was optional but was spurred by the waiving of the application fee of between RM20 and RM50 until 31 December 2005. As of 27 December 2005, 1,180,208 Malaysians still held an old identity card. After the waiving period ended on 31 December 2005, each new application (first time application) comes with a fee of RM10.
The MyKad project was developed was originally intended to have four functions:
- Identity card, including fingerprints and photo
- Driving licence
- Travel document in Malaysia and several neighbouring countries. However, a conventional passport is still required for international travel: the card is aimed at reducing congestion at the border by enabling the use of unmanned gates using biometric (fingerprint) identification.
- Storage of health information
Four further applications were added before or during its initial release,
- e-cash, an 'electronic wallet' system intended for low value but high volume transactions (the maximum limitclarification needed is US$ 500)
- ATM integrationclarification needed
- Touch 'n Go, Malaysia's toll road tolling system and also public transport payment system
- Digital certificateclarification needed, commonly known as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), only supported by the 64Kb version (implemented by the end of 2002)
- frequent travellers' card
- a merge with the Payment Multi-Purpose Card ('PMPC'), giving the MyKad credit and debit card functions that will pave the way for other financial uses
MyKad must be carried at all times. Failure to do so may incur a fine of between RM3,000 and RM20,000 or jail term of up to three years.
No unauthorised persons, including security guards, are allowed to retain the MyKads (identity cards) of other people. Only those authorised by the National Registration Department, like the police and immigration officers, can do so.
For Muslim citizens, "Islam" is printed on the card below the picture of the holder. This is to help the enforcement of Syariah law which is applicable only to Muslims.
As the states of Sabah and Sarawak maintain separate immigration controls, citizens who has permanent residency in the states of Sabah and Sarawak are denoted by the letters "H" and "K" respectively on the bottom right corner of their card.
MyKad PKI application allows for two digital certificates to be inserted into the MyKad. MyKad holders can apply and purchase the digital certificates from two of Malaysia's certification authority, MSCTrustgate.com Sdn. Bhd. and DigiCert Sdn. Bhd..
PKI allows for easy securing of private data over public telecommunications networks, thus allowing, secure electronic transactions over the Internet which include:
- Online submission of tax returns
- Internet banking
- Secure email
As Malaysia stopped issuing and renewing Restricted Passports for citizens from Peninsular Malaysia to travel to Singapore beginning on 1 January 2006, Malaysia considered negotiating with Singapore to allow frequent Malaysian travellers to enter Singapore using MyKad. However, Singapore rejected the use of MyKad by frequent Malaysian travellers to enter the country, citing security concerns.
MyKid is a chip-based children identity card or personal identification issued to children under the age of 12. Introduced on 1 January 2005, MyKid contains features similar to MyKad except that it does not include a photograph and thumbprint biometric data.
The term Kid refers to:
- the slang for child in the English language; or
- the acronym for Kad Identiti Diri or Personal Identification Card.
MyKid is issued in pink instead of blue (colour of MyKad). Visible data for MyKid include:
- The heading Kad Pengenalan Kanak-kanak Malaysia
- NRIC Number
- Full name in block letters
- Permanent address
- Citizenship status
The MyKid chip currently stores only 3 types of data:
- Birth data e.g. Information on birth parents
- Health information e.g. Immunisation records
- Education information e.g. Enrolment in schools
(children born before 2000 will not get a MyKid)
MyPR is an identity card or personal identification issued to residents of Malaysia with permanent resident status. All residents of Malaysia with permanent resident status are required to change their identity card to MyPR with effect from 1 June 2006. The MyPR is red in colour visible data include:
- The heading: KAD PENGENALAN MALAYSIA PERMASTAUTIN TETAP (Malay: Malaysia Permanent Resident Identity Card)
- FULL NAME HERE
- NRIC number
- Permanent address
- Permanent residence status
The MyTentera will replace the current BAT C 10 document (Malay: Borang Angkatan Tentera C 10) (Armed Forces Form C 10).
The MyTentera will be silver-coloured and feature the Malaysian Armed Forces logo at the back top right corner of the card. It will also contain a 12-digit military identification number similar to the NRIC Number.5
- "MSC Malaysia Flagship Applications". Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- "One for All". Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- "MyKid". Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- "MyPR". Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- "MyTentera card for soldiers". Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- "MyKad: The Government Multipurpose Card". Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- Malaysia and Brunei to allow frequent travellers to use ICs
- Knight, Will. "Malaysia pioneers smart cards with fingerprint data", New Scientist, 21 September 2001
- "MyKid for all newborn babies soon", The Star, 26 February 2003
- Thomas, M. Is Malaysia's MyKad the 'One Card to Rule Them All'? The Urgent Need to Develop a Proper Legal Framework for the Protection of Personal Information in Malaysia", Melbourne University Law Review, 2004
- Krishnamoorthy, M. "Easy step to amend religion in MyKad", The Star, 23 December 2005
- Sujata, V.P. "Applicants to be charged a fee from next year", The Star, 29 December 2005
- "Mad rush to beat the deadline", The Star, 30 December 2005
- "Abusive bunch forces Kepong branch to call in cops", The Star, 30 December 2005
- Anis, M.N. "Singapore 'no' to MyKad", The Star, 6 April 2005.
- Fadzil, M.M. "The Malaysian Experience: Implementing A National Multi-applications Citizen's Card" – see here for further details of the exact information stored on the card
- Raja Petra Kamarudin Give them a uniform and it goes to their heads, Malaysia Today, 13 October 2005.
- National Registration Act 1959 (Act 78) and Regulations, International Law Book Services, 15 January 2007.
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