In 1997, the Malaysian Government launched the Electronic Government (e-Government) initiative to reinvent itself to lead the country into the Information Age. The implementation of e-Government in Malaysia heralds the beginning of a journey of reinventing the government by transforming the way it operates, modernising and enhancing its service delivery. E-Government seeks to enhance the convenience, accessibility and quality of interactions with the public and businesses at large. Citizens and businesses are also able to transact with the government anywhere and anytime at their convenience. The main goals of e-government are to improve the quality of public services and the efficiency of administrative work. However, it does not allow citizen participation in local government administration such as policy making and implementation processes using ICT.
Currently, Malaysia is making every effort to steer the economy towards a knowledge-based one. In July 2001, Malaysia launched K-Economy Master Plan was in the final stages of formulation. Furthermore, “Vision 2020”, Malaysia's long-term vision, calls for sustained, productivity-driven growth, possible only with a technologically literate, critically thinking workforce, prepared to participate fully in the global economy of the 21st century. Malaysia is on the right path and working to develop policies that align with international standards of intellectual property rights, and international standards or equipment. Malaysia has seen a tremendous increase in the adoption of advanced technologies, particularly relating to online service delivery channels, whether business to business (B to B), business to consumer (B to C), government to business (G to B), or government to citizen (G to C). In the case of the public sector, it is imperative that we keep pace with the technological advancements in ICT. We need to push forward to create and harness technological innovations in order to meet the needs of our citizens for faster, more convenient and more efficient means of interacting with the government. Globally, many governments have adopted high-end technology to implement their own vision for electronic service delivery, with varying degrees of success.
There is a growing recognition that e-government is not just about technology but about harnessing technology and making services available anytime and anywhere. Technology is only one aspect of e-government transformation. Other aspects such as redesigning government processes, systems, structures and developing new skills are equally important. Government has begun to recognise the opportunity cost of separate systems and processes that duplicate information gathering, as well as the high costs involved in providing multiple entry-points for online services. In view of this, it is high time that our public sector agencies realise and appreciate that delivering connected government online services requires multiple agency cooperation and collaboration. Public confidence in online service delivery will be a key factor in the success of e-government. Currently, e-government initiatives have started to articulate key priorities for cross-agency teamwork rather than leaving agencies to determine their own online presence. Government has begun to recognise the opportunity cost of separate systems and processes that duplicate information gathering, as well as the high costs involved in providing multiple entry-points for online services. In view of this, it is high time that our public sector agencies realise and appreciate that delivering connected government online service requires multiple agency cooperation and collaboration. Public confidence in online services delivery will be a key factor in the success of e-government.