Mobile CTC
Ministry of Finance Malaysia

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The Mobile Community Transformation Centre (Mobile CTC) was launched in 2013 to bridge the growing socio-economic gap between the urban and rural citizens of Malaysia. Nearly a quarter of the population were strapped of governmental services resultant from geographical constraints. As Malaysia strived to achieve its goal of becoming a developed nation by 2020, Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak realised the need to scale up efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and improve the living standards among the rural poor. He saw the need to deploy basic government services identified as the key touchpoint services as the first step in bridging the gap. Circa 10-15% of the population were located in the outer regions with accessibility challenges due to natural topographic conditions. This hindered access to government aids, and many were unaware of the aids, grants and loans available, thus affecting their socio-economic status. While healthcare, education advancement opportunities, employment variation and entrepreneurship funding has always been made available, not many from the rural regions tapped into these resources. With low employment absorption rates among the rural folks, compounded by the lack of knowledge of access to government aids, economic advancement in the rural regions were moving at a slower pace than in the urban regions. The Mobile CTC initiative is designed to eventually overcome this challenge. As silos are broken down, and channels opened, an increase in rural economic activities is evident. Similarly, budding entrepreneurs were unaware of experiential guidance and micro-credit facilities that would aid the expansion of village industries. The Mobile CTC initiative has paved the way for reduced dependence on middlemen who erode the revenue-base of the villagers. The initiative has also opened up distribution networks for the processed agriculture produce to be marketed on a larger scale. Healthcare has always been provided as part of the government’s commitment to its citizens. Understanding that distance and costs prevented the aged with deteriorating health from access to targeted healthcare, government aid has been deployed on a smaller scale over the past years. Under the Mobile CTC program, the cooperation with NGOs and private sector has opened up avenues to provide more substantial healthcare programs such as cardiology screening by the National Heart Institute and provision of hearing aids and spectacles via sponsorship programs with private organisations. Specific attention and care was also needed for the rural women, who lacked the awareness of basic healthcare needs such as reproductive and maternal health, cancer prevention care, sexually transmitted diseases and awareness programs for mental health and prevention of violence against women. There was also a need to ensure aid to single mothers who were economically impoverished via skill enhancement programs to promote self-sustenance was sufficient. These programs had been done on an ad-hoc basis in the past, but the Mobile CTC program increased its frequency and monitored the effects, via follow-up to ensure continuity. Realising the numerous social challenges, the Government of Malaysia created an innovative strategy under it National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) initiative to assemble fundamental services that will promote the inclusion and participation of the rural population in nation-building. This entails the deployment of the services to the people, exceeding the expectations of the rural folks. To-date a total of 37 services from government, semi-government and the private sector has been brought to the people of Malaysia, living in areas hundreds of kilometres from the nearest town.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The Mobile CTC initiative aims to reach Malaysian citizens geographically dispersed and cut-off from direct access to fundamental socio-economic needs with the relevant care, guidance and aids required for their inclusion and participation in the country’s GDP. It also aims to eradicate their impoverished conditions and elevate living standards in a bid to create a more equal Malaysia. To achieve this, the initiative will be brought to the people’s doorsteps via relevant the transportation which includes busses, lorries, boats and vans.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The Mobile CTC initiative provides the people with direct access to services that improves their living standards and elevates the quality of their lives. This concept ‘humanises’ public services and brings it to the people’s doorsteps, transforming the service channel, exceeding the expectations of the citizens that they need to seek out government services and aid when required. The five key touchpoint services in this initiative underline the government’s commitment in levelling the income gap and providing a more socially balanced society. The first component or key touchpoint in the Mobile CTC program is to deliver key government services to the people. These services have been gathered from 37 various government agencies, ranging from birth registrations, land office services, assessment and quit rent collection, applications for aids, subsidies and scholarships and most importantly, healthcare services which range from dental, optical screening, women health issues and paediatric healthcare. By bringing these services to the people, many have now obtained the identification cards that open up avenues to governmental aid and subsidies. The presence of government housing bodies has paved the way for an increase in home ownership among the rural poor. The presence of healthcare providers has improved the quality of life for the villagers across the board and for women and children in particular. The second key component is the provision of entrepreneurial opportunities to the villagers. Private sector and government job placement agencies have been roped in to work with the youth to increase job opportunities. The availability of financial fundamentals, entrepreneurship know-how, market channels and employment opportunities has encouraged youth participation in nation building activities as well, contributing towards a reduction in drug abuse. The presence of the National Anti-Drug Agency at the Mobile CTC initiatives via exhibitions and counselling has also helped channel youth energy in more productive areas. The third key touchpoint of this initiative is to gather people at various levels to socialise and enhance harmony. Malaysia as a multi-ethnic country emphasises the importance of harmonisation of its citizens. Hence, the carnival-like atmosphere created by the initiative brings together all levels of the society as one big family, regardless of race, religion or creed. Two other components of the Mobile CTC are as a distribution platform to facilitate the channelling of aid to target groups. This includes the Government of Malaysia’s social security program, BR1M. Apart from that, food, clothing and other essential aids are also distributed to target groups based on household income. A key aim of the Mobile CTC is to provide information and awareness about policies, programmes, activities of ministries and government agencies. Urban folks have access to various sources of media to know of the governmental aids in place to improve the living standards and provide a leg-up to deserving citizens. However, the lack of information dissemination in the rural areas due to poor media channels hinders the dissemination of similar information. In the past, this had stunted the growth potential of the rural poor and limited their earning capabilities, educational levels and job opportunities. However, the Mobile CTC has changed this perception and brought about a more level playing field in terms of access to government programmes.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The program was mooted and designed by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) under its strategic initiative National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) which called for more innovation and creativity in thinking and code of conduct. What makes this program unique is that it strives to cross the terrains and reach the people, to provide them with services and facilities at par with those received by their town-dwelling counterparts. As both Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia have mountainous terrains and a network of rivers, many settlements, especially the indigenous people are generally beyond the reach of basic infrastructure and roads. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Finance has taken on suitable modes of transportation which include terrain vehicles such as lorries and even boats to cross the rivers and mountains to get to the people. This reflects the government’s serious commitment in bridging the leadership gap and levelling out the disparity between the rural and urban citizens. While acknowledging that there is still a long way to go, before the rural dwellers are economically compatible with those in the urban areas, the government recognises the need to ensure every segment of the society receives the same services and facilities.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The Mobile CTC initiative was implemented by the Ministry of Finance and assisted by 37 government agencies, utilising the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) initiative as a platform to integrate the services of these agencies representing various ministries, semi-government organisations and the private sector. The Mobile CTC steering committee co-ordinates, monitors and plans the deployment of these essential services to the people who have been deprived of such privileges due to geographical disparity. In rolling out this program, the steering committee works closely with the state government, local government and village heads to identify the needs of the people in a bid to ensure precision in provision of selected services. The initiative has been designed to reach approximately 7.5million of Malaysia’s population who have been identified as geographically marginalised due to infrastructural and topographic anomalies. Since its implementation in 2013, the initiative has reached over 1.6million people. In the past two years, the number of attendees surged exponentially, due to the benefits and opportunities offered by the program. The Government of Malaysia views the implementation of the Mobile CTC with utmost care and diligence as demonstrated by its monthly pre-NBOS summit meeting aimed to oversee and monitor the initiative. This is also in prelude to the quarterly NBOS summit, which monitors milestones achieved and plans enhancements for the betterment of the program.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The strategy was implemented via the collective co-ordination of various agencies and divisions. Planning begins with the Planning Committee liaising with the respective village head to identify social issues and economic challenges plaguing the society at large. This is followed by the finalising of government services that will be brought to the people and the private sector and NGO involvement required. A co-ordination team will then roll out the program arranging the logistical issues with the village and the dissemination of information to ensure the word is spread and the villages with a determines radius is made aware of this program and its benefits. Given the travel time, distance and logistical issues including costs, the co-ordination team usually will arrange the Mobile CTC locations within proximity. Each program could cost as much as RM60,000 to RM70,000, however this translates to approximately RM2.50 per head. It engages the involvement of over 37 agencies, NGOs and private sector practitioners. The program requires extensive planning, with officers preparing the sites up to two weeks prior to program roll-out. In the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the program is planned post-flood season to ensure the people receive the right aid to overcome the setback faced from the annual natural disaster. The entire Mobile CTC initiative requires a fair number of personnel who will travel with the initiative and respond to the needs and aid the rural folks accordingly. It requires an extensive co-operative environment with relevant stakeholders who include the state governments and local governments, as well as village committees. The manifestation of poverty goes beyond the urban-rural divide, it has subregional and regional contexts. It is therefore critical, and there is great value to be gained, by coordinating rural development initiatives that contribute to sustainable livelihoods through efforts at the global, regional, national and local levels, as appropriate. Strategies to deal with rural development should take into consideration the remoteness and potentials in rural areas and provide targeted differentiated approaches. The impact of the program is measured via questionnaires. The feedback mechanism also allows the people to directly communicate their level of satisfaction, expectations, goals and aspirations to the government, who in turn will use this as a benchmark to improve on services and facilities provided for the people.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The Mobile CTC initiative was mooted by the Government of Malaysia, under its NATIONAL BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY initiative. The key aim of NBOS is to break down the silos and allow the various ministries to work together with the relevant private sector bodies such as NGOs and MNCs towards a common goal. As such, the Mobile CTC program was developed to take the basic services which are fundamental human rights today to the people who were unable to access it due to distance and travel constraints. The crux of the program is designed following consultation and feedback from village heads locally known as Ketua Kampung or JKKKs. These local leaders work closely with the municipal councils to identify areas of need and slack resources which is then communicated to state governments. State governments are tasked to communicate these findings to federal government, whereby the Mobile CTC’s steering committee will identify the relevant government agencies, private sectors and NGOs who will participate at each location. Among the NGOs and private sector who participate at the Mobile CTC locations are Mobile Book Café, PRIMA, which represents affordable housing opportunities, Malaysia’s cable TV provider, National Bank of Malaysia, Company Commission of Malaysia, economic development councils such as East Coast Economic Region Development Council, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, and Job Street, an employment placement organisation. These bodies jointly conduct programs and offer relevant services such as credit facilities, financial counselling, company registration, job opportunities and skill enhancement during the Mobile CTC events. The extend of services renders, its range and depth would largely depend on the feedback provided by the village leaders to bridge the gap needed to stabilise the socio-economic conditions of the people.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Since its implementation in 2013, the Mobile CTC initiative has successfully advanced the nation in achieving its sustainable development goals namely in the areas of education, employment and entrepreneurship, health and increased involvement of women in nation building. Its success rate is clearly reflected in the rise in number of attendees, which steadily rose from 71,408 when it debuted to 1.6million last year. In terms of education, the seminars and tuitions provided helped raise the numbers who passed the two major checkpoint examinations in Malaysia, PT3 and SPM. The SPM, which is a pre-matriculation examination saw a rise in the pass rate of rural students and resulted in an increase in numbers gaining place in matriculation and in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions nationwide. In the area of entrepreneurship and employment, the Mobile CTC initiative helped bridge the gap by matching job seekers to suitable jobs according to their skillset and educational level. The presence of numerous financial institutions such as banks and the awareness of grants and aids for business start-up allowed the youth and retirees alike to diversify or expand their income base through home-based industries and various other agricultural or handicraft activities. The healthcare programs deployed entailed the involvement of the National Heart Institute, National Population and Family Development Board and various other private and government health agencies in areas of optical care, dental, diabetes, kidney/urology and many others. While statistics are unavailable to prove the effectiveness of the program as it has only been implemented for the past four-years, but the quality of living amongst the villagers, especially the elderly has improved significantly.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The main obstacles encountered with the Mobile CTC initiative includes the government bureaucracy, largely tied to the silo mentality, financial constraints, logistics management and lack of commitment from certain quarters. When certain prongs of the sustainable development goal involve the various ministries, multiple state agencies at federal and state level giving rise to questions on who is responsible and accountable for decision making, tasks and resources. This creates red-tape that is sometimes difficult to break through. Another challenge faced is the limited financial resources requires decisions to be made on deserving recipients of the aid as demand often time outstrips the supply of available aid. Most of the medical supply for instance is garnered by tapping into Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs of organisations in the private sector. Unfortunately it rarely suffices the demand as healthcare poses a huge void in the rural areas. Another challenge faced in this program is overcoming the terrains to reach the village settlement. In East Malaysia, especially many settlements can only be reached via boats or busses and this poses a logistical challenge as all the various agencies need to be transported to the location. The lacks of human resources often cause a lack of commitment among the various agencies and departments tasked at carrying out this initiative. However, one of the biggest challenges the initiative faces is the politicizing of its purpose. The Malaysian political climate has seen many facets of the opposition’s criticism calling out the Mobile CTC initiative as a gimmick to harness votes. Nevertheless, the Government of Malaysia is steadfast in its goal to eradicate poverty and bridge the disparity among rural and urban citizens, as basic human rights.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
On a macro level, the impact of this initiative can be seen via the increased visitations to the Mobile CTC program as word of mouth and experiential results are the strongest form of marketing in the rural areas. The success of the three-pronged approach which aimed at providing better access to education, enhancing job opportunities and improving the level of healthcare was reflected in improved statistics in the following years. This was largely contributed by the numerous programs carried out under the Mobile CTC initiative which saw government bodies, semi-government agencies and the private sector conducting in-situ recruitment drives. Both blue-collar and white-collar human resource is largely available in the rural areas but were previously cut-off due to lack of information and awareness of the job opportunities available. The numbers were too small to reflect a significant impact on the nation’s unemployment rate, however the impact of this component of the initiative was observed via the rise in the standard of living among the villagers as money earned is often repatriated to respective families, owing to the Asian culture of strong family bonds. The special focus provided to women and those identified as hardcore poor reflected in a drop of numbers for those registered in the category of ‘hardcore poor’ earning less than RM600 per month. The programs and opportunities that were made available to women specifically translated into improved household income recorded in the year following the rolling-out of the Mobile CTC program. Also on board, the Mobile CTC initiative are teams of teaching staff who conduct PT3 and SPM seminars to expose the students to exam-based questions and provide guidance on methods to apply their knowledge in the examinations. Both PT3 and SPM are major examination checkpoints in the Malaysian Education System. These efforts have translated into an increase in numbers of student obtaining placement in the local matriculation program and henceforth gaining entrance into universities. Improved access to education for girls translated into larger number of female students gaining placement in higher education and tertiary education, in some areas surpassing male students. The better healthcare provided reduced mortality rate reported at village levels, but the numbers were too small to be reflected in the nation’s mortality rate statistics. The provision of dental care increase awareness of oral hygiene, and positively impacted the quality of life among the villagers. Similarly, awareness campaigns, health seminars and counselling taught villagers to take better care of their personal health by controlling food intake, while medical supplies provided via sponsorship programs with the private sector improved the quality of life for the ill-stricken. Many with prolonged eye deterioration were supplied with spectacles which also positively impacted the quality of their life as with the provision of hearing aid. All these equipment were made available to deserving villagers via a joint venture sponsorship program with the relevant private sector bodies.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
One of the key aims of the program is to improve the integrity of the system as the main economic activity of the target group is agriculture. The high dependence on middlemen and the creation of multiple layers in the channel of distribution eroded the revenue base of the target groups, simultaneously stagnating the quality of their lives, while enriching the middlemen or brokers. To improve the accountability factor, the Government of Malaysia opened up channels for direct sales of produce, eliminating the layers in the channels of distribution. In order to aid the implementation of this distribution network, numerous micro-loans and direct consultations and awareness programs were conducted to ensure the target groups had the right mechanism to take their agriculture business further up the supply chain. The E-Perolehan program was also introduced via the Mobile CTC initiative allowing the supplier to register for their businesses to obtain the Ministry of Finance certification and to aid suppliers in the Supplier Onboarding activity, which is targeted at providing further avenues to enhance distribution channels. The Supplier Onboarding is a mechanism through which the new registrants acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviours to become effective members. The program also provides continuous training and development to ensure members are up-to-date and are able to fully utilise opportunities in the market. Thus, this helped increase the integrity in the entire agricultural supply chain system, adding accountability to the villagers and empowering them to be in control of the revenue based derived from their produce. The entrepreneurship guidance allowed for the blossoming of small home-based industries which processed the produce into bottled goods to extend shelf-life. The Mobile CTC also allows for the villagers to deal directly with retailers carrying their products as a means of eliminating corruption and revenue erosion for them.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Malaysia continuously strives to ensure the needs of women, children, and the poorest and most vulnerable groups are constantly looked into and satisfied. This program has opened up avenues for women and girls to overcome barriers to credit availability via grants or loans and education which include basic education, which were previously limited due to discrimination and low household bargaining power. These barriers are removed systematically via empowerment programs, education and direct aid provisions. In areas of prenatal care, access to pregnancy health screening has reduces the instances of infant death and birth-related mortality. The Mamacare program was mooted to provide women with post-natal healthcare such as massages to improve the physical and mental health of women. Birth control awareness is also widely dispersed to control birth rate. The Mobile CTC program has a mechanism in place to identify the hardcore poor and special case-specific aid is provided to elevate and enhance the quality of their lives. This includes housing, sanitary facilities, food aid, financial aid and counselling and skill enhancement programs to improve their ability to be self-sustainable.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Ministry of Finance Malaysia
Institution Type:   Ministry  
Contact Person:   Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim
Title:   Director  
Telephone/ Fax:   +60388906452
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   aminuddin.hassim@treasury.gov.my  
Address:   Level 1, Treasury 2, Ministry of Finance Complex, No. 7, Persiaran Perdana, Precint 2
Postal Code:   62592
City:   Putrajaya
State/Province:   Federal Territory of Putrajaya
Country:  

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