New system likely to hit e-govt firms hard

KUALA LUMPUR: Some public-listed companies providing e-government and information technology services may lose a big chunk of revenue following the Immigration Department’s plans to directly handle all immigration transactions within three years.

All eyes are now on the listed companies performance in the share market when the local stock exchange reopens for trading today after the long Thaipusam weekend.

Listed companies that are involved in e-government and IT services include MyEG Services Bhd, Datasonic Group Bhd, Dagang NeXchange Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd and AwanBiru Technology Bhd (formerly Prestariang Bhd).

The New Straits Times reported yesterday that by 2025, all immigration-related affairs, including those now managed by outside parties, such as MyEG, would revert to the Immigration Department.

Besides passport renewals and visa applications, applications and renewals of foreign worker and maid permits would be handled by the department when it rolls out its National Integrated Immigration System (NIISe), Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud told the NST.

Under the current Malaysian Immigration System (MyMIMMs), some services — termed “patch-on” services — are outsourced to independent contractors.

When asked for comment, a MyEG spokesperson replied: “I will approach my team tomorrow since today (yesterday) is a replacement leave for a public holiday.”

MyEG deals with applications and renewals of foreign worker and maid permits, among others.

In July 2020, Putrajaya extended MyEG’s contract for three years to manage the online renewal of foreign workers’ temporary employment passes. This contract is worth an estimated RM208 million.

Prior to the news, MyEG had told analysts that it was optimistic that its e-government service concession would be extended due to its strong track record.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd recently said MyEG’s immigration segment’s matching and permit renewal services would likely get a strong boost following the return of foreign workers amid acute labour shortages across most sectors.

One listed firm that will most likely not be affected negatively, either from potential revenue loss or a share selldown, is Iris Corporation Bhd. Iris Corp is developing, delivering and integrating the entire NIISe for the Immigration Department, under a RM1.12 billion contract awarded by the Home Ministry. The contract will be for 54 months from March 1, 2021 until Aug 31, 2025.

Market spotlight may also be cast on AwanBiru, whose RM3.5 billion National Immigration Control System (SKIN) project was Iris’ NIISe predecessor.

AwanBiru unit Prestariang SKIN Sdn Bhd reportedly was entitled to damages of between RM733 million and RM922 million after the Pakatan Harapan government had in December 2019 unilaterally terminated a concession agreement for the provision of the SKIN system.

Prestariang SKIN secured the RM3.5 billion SKIN project in August 2017 from the then Barisan Nasional government. It involved a 15-year concession to design and maintain a new immigration and border control system.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Would you like to receive notifications on latest updates? No Yes