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MAMPU Hackathon Closes in Style

The 48 Hour Open Data Public Sector Hackathon by MAMPU ended in style as all participating teams received a token of appreciation from the organisers for competing in the challenge. The hackathon challenge which used data provided by the government Open Data portal, ran from the 25th to the 27th of October. Results for the hackathon will be announced on the 22nd of November together with the prize giving ceremony and gala dinner at Sama Sama Hotel KLIA.

The Hackathon has been devised to encourage wider use of open data sets, which MAMPU makes available via www.data.gov.my. Open Data sets are public sector data made open and available for any citizen to use. It is globally regarded that a governments commitment to opening data is critical in a nations transformation to data driven economies. However making the data available is not enough in isolation, people must use the data for the benefit of business and society. This Hackathon showcased just how useful open data can be.

The event which was co-organised with the Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (KPM), Kementerian Pendidikan Tinggi, Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia, GITN Sdn. Berhad, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Inovasi Integra Sdn Bhd was a big success.

It drew participants from 4 schools, 17 colleges and 25 industries to vie for the lucrative prize money of RM 10,000 for adults and RM 3,000 for students for 1st prize winners. All the contestants were to use the Open Data portal provided by the government to think up disruptive ideas and solutions in any field of interest or expertise. Participants ages ranged from 15 year old students of form 3 to the oldest participant En Zulkhairi bin Md Dahalan aged 58.

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From finding a better route or journey while on travel, to having easier medical and healthcare access, hackers were hard at work for 48 hours looking for disruptive technology that would change the current modus operandi.

Dato’ Sri Zainal Rahim bin Seman, Director for MAMPU in his closing address said the hackathon was a very interesting contest where we get to see groups of individuals coming together pitting skill, intellect and creativity while using the Open Data portal provided by the government as well as other relevant data to develop an innovative product that will potentially be used for our betterment in the future.

“This hackathon proves the importance of high quality shared open data that can be used to further develop  high quality outcomes which in turn will be used by all sectors of society be it the private or public sectors to enhance the governments services”, he added.

“I trust and believe this hackathon will be a means by which new ideas will be developed that are creative and innovative in the efforts to improve our service delivery systems by leveraging data that is transparent, sustainable and complete in further keeping with the Government’s agenda for digital transformation”.

The ideas tabled by participants include apps that helps find titles of books and its availability at the bookstore, an app that would assist in getting easier access to medical benefits and healthcare, an app that gives you real time guides on where to visit when traveling as well as an app that can help teachers better understand students by evaluating the students’ performance in attendance as well as their grade point average. All this through your hand held devices.

The variety of apps proposed by all the participants were both impressive and innovative and the ages of those taking part only shows that age is just a number when it comes to learning new things and being creative.

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