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Montag, 25.09.2017
eGovernment Forschung | eGovernment Research 2001 - 2017

Faded documents and wrinkled receipts were peppered across the floor of the room. Stacks of folders sat precariously on the narrow dining table.

Teary eyes, weary fingers, and two coffee-stained cups remain the only evidence of a caffeine-filled day, and it was still a couple of hours away from lunchtime.

It is that time of the year that many of us dread; filing up and submitting our income tax return forms.

While the process undertaken to file our annual tax returns has seen tremendous improvement since the government first introduced online e-filing in 2006, the tedious task of collating the paperwork and organising the data still harbours anxiety for many Malaysians.

Over the next two months, excluding the habitual deadline extension, millions of eligible taxpayers will be scurrying around their office and home leaving no cupboards unopened and cabinets unturned to find the missing book purchase receipts, tax deductible claims and proof of purchases entitled for tax rebates.

Once everything is in place, it is time to get down to the actual work of filing in the required forms.

For me, the process of online e-filing has been progressively easier over the years; but sadly, this is not the case for many other form-filling experiences with other government ministries and administrative departments. But we shall come back to this concern later.

The e-filing system operated by Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (LHDN) is certainly one of the most user-friendly online forms and submission facility available to Malaysians.

Each year, the agency has notably introduced features which make it easier and faster for taxpayers to fill up the form.

For an annoyingly well-organised person like my husband, he typically gets his e-filing done within 10 minutes, including time to nag me on the customary procrastination taken to file mine.

I have to say some years back, before I took the first click on the online tax return system, I had my doubts, especially based on my nasty experiences with many government departments’ websites and electronic portals.

One very current example is the online registration system of one of the ministries based here in the administrative capital.

Granted that I am not overly familiar with the system, seeing that this is my first journey exploring the site.

First up, finding the website address itself was like the set of The Maze Runner, Part 4. Even when I turned to those who have filled up the online form, there wasn’t a conclusive and definite answer to be found.

Next, when I actually found the website address, filling up the online form was an entire mystery novel on its own.

There was no clear indication when information or data was wrongly filled, or when more information was required from a particular field.

On a couple of occasions, error messages from the system looked more like the Klingon language, than Bahasa Malaysia that supposedly was being displayed.

There was a lack of explanation on what some of the abbreviations and terms were. In the land of infinite abbreviations and acronyms, it could very well be telling me that I have unknowingly agreed for my kid to be enlisted into the Royal Malaysia Police force or possibly consented to his participation into an immunisation programme against the threats of the latest illnesses by alien life forms.

Once I finally found my way out of the first section, there was no indication that I had to fill up a second, or third, or fourth, or even a fifth section.

How hard can it honestly be for the experienced and university graduate website developer or programmer to design a plain black and white pop-up text box message to appear on the screen that says: “You have successfully completed the first section. Kindly proceed to the second section titled ‘XYZ’ by clicking here next?”

E-government services in the public sector is not entirely new to us in this part of the world.

Over the last decade or more, Malaysians are increasingly becoming accustomed to going online for such services, whether for renewing car insurance, paying traffic summonses, or to access hordes of other official documentation and administrative applications.

While we are proud to be continuously referred to by other countries as a benchmark of such technology initiatives and deservingly so, we have to ensure that these are not merely good for the initial media headlines, but more importantly truly serve the rakyat in terms of ease of use and increased effectiveness.

With the endless examples globally to use as references and millions more of online services available from established service providers, be they commercial or social-based applications, it is safe to say it is no longer rocket science to design user-friendly online applications.

There is really no need to look any further on what works; simply log on to LHDN’s e-filing system when you file your tax returns this week, and see how they have got it right.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Azura Abas

Quelle/Source: New Straits Times, 10.03.2017

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