Act Now Sdn Bhd
Incorporated on April 9th, 2019, Act Now Sdn. Bhd. (ACTnow) is a social enterprise that aims to revive Malaysian civil society by helping ordinary Malaysians make their voices heard. The driven ACTnow management team consists of:
- Melvin Lam, a media and publishing veteran;
- CS Goh, a seasoned technopreneur;
- Nick Neng, a canny strategist
Certified the ‘First Community Engagement Mobile Application’ in Malaysia
The ACTnow mobile application is a platform where ordinary citizens can submit complaints on various issues to a wide range of public sector entities such as 155 local authorities. The mobile application provides a superior user experience to alternatives developed by the public sector (no other private company has built anything similar) in terms of:
- Speed and Efficiency. Filing a report on ACTnow is much faster and less complicated as users deal with less red tape.
- Privacy Protection. Users only need a valid email address to sign up.
- Transparency and Accountability. Public reviews of each local authority’s performance are published regularly.
- Catering to a Multi-Lingual Society. Information is displayed in Malay, English, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil. Users may submit a report in any of these languages.
Funded by Business Activities That Uplift Local Communities
The ACTnow mobile application is free for ordinary users and public officials. Within the next 2 years, the team will launch several affordably priced services to generate income, such as:
- Mental and physical health teleconsultancy services to improve healthcare access;
- Classified advertising and business listing services to assist local SMEs and entrepreneurs with building brand visibility; and
- Various others, e.g. legal consultancy services to be launched once ACTnow’s growth stabilises.
Expected to Exceed the Million-User Mark and Achieve Profitability in Year 4 Post-ECF
ACTnow has already attracted the support of prominent civil society groups and leader across the political spectrum. The team is confident of attaining its growth targets due to the following factors:
- An asset-light, highly scalable business model that facilitates easy expansion to neighbouring countries;
- Full ESG compliance makes ACTnow an attractive investment prospect to ethically-minded investors; and
- A lack of user-friendly alternatives to fill the huge market gap for an efficient, reliable reporting system.
Civic Engagement is Low Among Malaysians
Malaysia, like many emerging economies, is grappling with numerous problems associated with rapid economic growth, such as the poor maintenance of public amenities and infrastructures, flash floods caused by poor urban planning, and resource extraction that results in environmental degradation and global warming. Citizens are naturally dissatisfied: social media platforms are overflowing with complaints from unhappy Malaysians expressing their discontent with the issues in their communities and neighbourhoods. Regrettably, they almost always fail to report their concerns to the only people capable of pushing through the necessary solutions – namely, elected representatives and officials serving in the public sector.
Malaysians’ unwillingness to reach out the relevant authorities, though unfortunate, is due to the many red tapes and inaccessibility to the relevant authorities. In fact, the Brookings Institute, a world-renowned think tank, reports that Malaysians’ levels of civic engagement are far below the global average. This may be attributed to widespread mistrust of public officials and bureaucratic processes: recently, the Federation of Malaysian Consumers’ Associations (FOMCA) revealed that many consumers did not think it worthwhile to file complaints about unsanitary conditions at food stalls as they felt these would not be addressed regardless.
At present, Malaysians’ lack of action and initiative has given rise to estimates that unreported incidents outnumber registered complaints by a ratio of 10 to 1. If these conditions persist, living standards will only continue to fall while public anger at a government that is perceived to be uncaring grows, threatening the nation’s political and economic stability as it attempts to recover from the pandemic.
ACTnow Helps Malaysians Make Their Voices Heard
Founded by seasoned philanthropists, civil society activists, and entrepreneurs, ACTnow is a social enterprise that harnesses the power of digital technology to facilitate productive interactions between the public and the government agencies that serve their interests. By making it quick and simple for ordinary citizens to communicate their concerns to those responsible for managing the country, ACTnow hopes to revive Malaysians’ faith in the government and democracy in general while compelling public officials to become more responsive to the rakyat’s needs.
The ACTnow Mobile Application Enables Hassle-Free, Cost-Free Complaint Submission
Nationwide Coverage. ACTnow mobile application users may submit complaints on a wide range of subjects (52 and increasing), from potholes to illegal parking, to all 155 local authorities across Malaysia. When relevant, complaints may also be directed to various legislative bodies, regulatory agencies, state-owned enterprises, and NGOs. At present, the list, which is constantly expanding, includes:
State Legislative Assemblies
Councillors (Appointed by Local Authorities)
Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
Public Works Department
Department of Environment
Department of Islamic Development
Fire and Rescue Department
Royal Malaysian Police
Tenaga Nasional Berhad
Various Waste Management Concessionaires
Streamlined Registration and Reporting Process. It takes mere minutes for first-time users to create an account and file a complaint. Upon registering using their email address, users select a complaint category, upload a photo or a video as proof, and enter any further details in a text box before submitting their report by clicking a button. They do not need to waste time figuring out which local authority to direct their complaint to – instead, the system automatically routes the report to all relevant agencies based on the user’s detected location.
A user near the IKEA Damansara outlet lodges a complaint regarding a burst water pipe. The mobile application automatically detects his location and routes the report to the Petaling Jaya City Council and Air Selangor, together with the exact coordinates of the burst pipe.
Multiple Language Options. A vibrant, inclusive democracy cannot survive if citizens of different ethnicities are unable to communicate in the language most familiar to them. To remedy this, the ACTnow mobile application is available in the 4 most commonly spoken languages in Malaysia (i.e. Malay, English, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil), with users being given the option of recording a complaint in any of these languages. If necessary, the submitted complaint can be translated into another language of the processing officer’s choice to aid their understanding of the reported issue.
User Anonymity Guaranteed. Some Malaysians are disinclined to report illegal activities to the authorities because they fear their identities being made known to vengeful perpetrators. ACTnow solves this problem by not requesting any sensitive personal information from mobile application users, who only need to provide a valid email address to register an account and begin filing complaints. Any future correspondence between the user and the agency involved will also be conducted via the mobile application to protect users’ privacy.
Pre-Submission Screening to Detect Fakes. ACTnow is aware that certain malicious individuals may take advantage of their anonymity to harass public officials with threatening messages or fake reports. As a preventative measure, all reports are pre-screened by ACTnow staff for problematic language (e.g. racial slurs) and glaring factual inaccuracies that indicate intent to deceive (e.g. making claims about illegal logging in Kuala Lumpur city centre) before being forwarded to the appropriate agencies.
Public Performance Reviews (For Local Authorities). ACTnow keeps records of all complaints submitted to each local authority, including details such as the subject of the complaint and the time taken to resolve the issue. In line with ACTnow’s aim of promoting government transparency, these records are published on the mobile application home page at regular intervals to allow users to accurately assess the performance of their respective local authorities. Motivated to uphold their reputation, local authorities will then strive to further improve their performance, resulting in better public services for all.
Free to Use. As a social enterprise primarily focused on empowering Malaysians to exercise their rights, ACTnow does not charge for the use of its services. This applies to not just ordinary users but also the local authorities, legislative bodies, regulatory agencies, state-owned enterprises, and NGOs that collect complaints via the ACTnow mobile application, many of which subsist on limited budgets and would find it difficult to come up with the necessary funds to pay for a software subscription.
Steady Organic Growth. The ACTnow mobile application was launched in mid-December 2019 without much fanfare. Despite not being actively publicised by ACTnow management, the number of registered users steadily grew to 5,000 (as of December 2021), with more than 2,500 complaints submitted within the last 2 years. Encouraged by these promising figures, ACTnow is convinced that growth will only accelerate further once the team embarks on a nationwide outreach campaign using the funds raised from this ECF exercise.
Positive Publicity From Respected Local Institutions. ACTnow has received official recognition from well-known institutions impressed by its dedication to upholding democratic ideals, such as:
Malaysia Book of Records
[email protected] Cloud Startup Contest 2021, ASEAN Division
The ACTnow mobile application was named Malaysia’s ‘First Community Engagement Mobile Application’ by the Malaysia Book of Records in November 2020, firmly cementing the team’s reputation as digital innovators pioneering new approaches to boosting civic engagement nationwide.
In 2021, ACTnow entered the prestigious [email protected] Cloud Startup Contest for the ASEAN region. While ACTnow fell just short of advancing to the final round, the team was honoured by a special mention from Handsprofit Sdn. Bhd., the official event organiser, that commended their commitment to creating a secure, free avenue for ordinary citizens to effectively convey feedback to those in power.
Supported by Community Leaders Across the Political Spectrum. ACTnow has accomplished a rare feat in politically polarised Malaysia – namely, convincing prominent entities with differing political opinions to support its cause without preconditions. The list of civil society groups and leaders that have officially pledged to work with ACTnow includes:
Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah
Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
|In April 2021, ACTnow invited Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah, the wife of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, to become the official patron of the ACTnow Courage Ribbon Campaign, which will be held annually every August to commemorate the sacrifices of Malaysian frontliners. Moved by the team’s passion, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah accepted with alacrity, personally recording a video in which she expressed her admiration of ACTnow and urged all Malaysian citizens to make full use of this platform to make their voices heard.||Shortly after the official launch of the ACTnow Courage Ribbon Campaign, the ACTnow team received a coveted invitation from Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to personally present the mobile application to him. Following the presentation, the former Prime Minister praised the team for their civic-mindedness and their attention to detail, stating that he fully supported their ambitions.|
Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA), Penang Division
|ACTnow and MUDA share a few common objectives such as solving urgent social issues and revitalising Malaysia’s democracy. As a result, the Penang Division of MUDA has signed an MOU with ACTnow to promote uptake of the mobile application among Penang residents. Both signatories are confident this initiative will spur Penang citizens to engage in constructive communication with public officials and elected representatives.||GoCare is a charity crowdfunding platform launched by the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) Crisis Relief Squad. Like the MUDA Penang Division, GoCare has agreed to publicise the ACTnow mobile application when conducting community outreach. The agreement was finalised in an MOU signing ceremony in April 2022 where both parties also announced their intention to collaborate on community service projects.|
Empowering Citizens to Stand Up for Their Rights and Interests. ACTnow removes the obstacles, such as slow and inefficient bureaucracy, that deter ordinary Malaysians from reporting their concerns. For example, compared to official government complaint channels where users must fill out a form that has no fewer than 16 mandatory fields, including requests for sensitive personal information, the ACTnow mobile application only requires users to provide an email address and upload proof of their claims, which saves users time and effort in addition to protecting their privacy.
Giving Public Officials More Opportunities to Hear From Citizens. Although 57% of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices, 145 out of 155 local authorities have yet to develop mobile applications to make it more convenient for mobile users to file a report. This may be due to financial constraints: ACTnow estimates it would cost each local authority RM250,000 to build their own mobile application. In view of these circumstances, the ACTnow mobile application is a true godsend to cash-strapped local authorities eager for more feedback as it allows them to hear from more previously underserved constituents at zero added expense.
A Privately Funded Project That Serves Public Interests. ACTnow is a social enterprise, meaning it sustains its efforts to increase civic engagement with the profits from its business activities. The team has now finalised a plan to begin generating revenue within the next 2 years that involves first utilising the proceeds from this ECF exercise to massively expand the mobile application’s user base. Once ACTnow reaches its target of attracting 80,000 users nationwide, it will launch new income-generating services based on the following timeline:
The diversified services that will furnish ACTnow with steady income and limit its risk exposure in the event of a downturn in any single business segment are:
Full ESG Compliance Enhances Appeal in Current Investment Landscape. It has never been more important for businesses to fulfil Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria, with over 90% of investment professionals stating that non-financial factors such as the viability of a company’s sustainability blueprints play a pivotal role in their investment decision-making. For this reason, ACTnow, a social enterprise with a clear and detailed long-term plan to create value for all stakeholders, is a particularly attractive option for ethically-minded investors who prioritise people and the planet as well as profit.
ACTnow demonstrates its adherence to ESG standards via:
Highly Scalable to Neighbouring Countries. ACTnow’s asset-light business model is easily scaled to other countries in Southeast Asia, a vast region with a combined population of nearly 700 million where the level of civic engagement (like Malaysia) is well below the global average. To take advantage of these opportunities, ACTnow plans to expand to other ASEAN members one by one after gaining sufficient traction in Malaysia, embarking on joint ventures with trustworthy local partners to both reduce upfront costs and expedite the rollout of the local version of the mobile application.
Significant Underreporting Creates Huge Growth Potential. As mentioned in the ‘Problem’ section, it is estimated that unreported incidents outnumber registered complaints by a ratio of 10 to 1. Based on ACTnow’s own calculations, this indicates approximately 7.75 million incidents remain unreported each year – a concerning figure in a nation with a population of only 33 million. However, it also points to the existence of a huge market gap that remained mostly unfilled by public and private sector entities before ACTnow was incorporated. ACTnow is determined to create a platform for these millions of unheard voices and build a wide client base in the process.
Steady Demand for Classified Advertising, a Key Income Stream. Digital classifieds account for a relatively small share of digital advertising expenditure in Malaysia; nonetheless, as classifieds are by far the most affordable method for individuals and organisations on a budget to share their message with a wide audience, demand is expected to remain stable and grow steadily at a CAGR of 3% from 2022 onwards to reach a value of US$87.4 million by 2026. This is undoubtedly good news for ACTnow, which relies on the sale of advertising space as one of its primary means of generating income.
No Competitors in the Private Sector; Much More User-Friendly Than Public Sector Alternatives. At present, only 10 local authorities have developed a mobile application to collect complaints and feedback from constituents. Aware of this problem, the federal government developed a number of digital platforms to facilitate nationwide incident reporting; regrettably, uptake stalled when users became frustrated at the number of complicated procedures they must follow. ACTnow is confident of winning over all of these dissatisfied users due to its ability to provide a better user experience.
The table below shows how ACTnow distinguishes itself from competitors:
ACTnow seeks to raise between RM500,500 and RM1,501,500 at a pre-money valuation of RM13 million via the issuance of Redeemable Convertible Preference Shares (RCPS). The proceeds will be allocated as follows:
Provided fundraising targets are met, ACTnow is expected to reach the million-user milestone and achieve profitability by Year 4. The revenue forecasts are extremely conservative as these are based on the following assumptions:
- Only income from classified advertising services within Malaysia is taken into account.
- Each user is projected to generate RM1 in advertising revenue per month, which represents less than 1% of the industry average
To create a flourishing civil society both within and beyond Malaysia where citizens actively participate in all democratic processes and regularly engage in healthy communication with the elected officials responsible for managing the country.
To provide ordinary Malaysians with a safe, free, effective, and user-friendly medium to communicate their concerns to various authorities, funded by business activities that serve to enhance societal well-being and improve living standards across the board by fostering inclusive economic growth.
Melvin Lam, Co-Founder and CEO. Melvin spent 17 years in media and publishing, which exposed him to a host of social and structural issues impeding the nation’s development and inspired him to dedicate his spare time to helping out at various charitable causes such as earthquake relief in Pakistan and the Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation. He co-founded ACTnow to encourage locals to participate in democracy again after resigning from a lucrative position at Malaysia’s largest mass media conglomerate.
CS Goh, Co-Founder and CTO. CS is an accomplished technopreneur who founded Select-TV, an established IPTV solutions provider that currently operates in 11 countries; and ROOMIE Hospitality, a technology startup that helps hotels and other hospitality industry players optimise service delivery and maximise customer satisfaction. He leveraged his 17 years of experience in software development to single-handedly develop the ACTnow mobile application, which owes many of its most user-friendly features to his care and meticulous planning.
Nick Neng, Co-Founder and CSO. Nick has always possessed an entrepreneurial streak and was responsible for proposing various aspects of ACTnow’s sustainable, yet profitable business model. He shares Melvin and CS’s determination to make the world a better place and will dedicate all his efforts towards shaping ACTnow into a true role model for budding social enterprises throughout Southeast Asia.
1. ACTnow: Malaysia’s first mobile app to connect communities with 154 local councils nationwide | Life | Malay Mail - https://www.malaymail.com/news/life/2019/12/16/actnow-malaysias-first-mobile-app-to-connect-communities-with-154-local-cou/1819584
2. New app channels your complaint to nearest local council
Published: Feb 7, 2020 6:04 AM Updated: 6:05 AM
3. ACTnow and GOCARE-CRSM organised a very successful event on Sunday 26/2/22 at SJK (C) Khe Beng, Shah Alam to distribute Face Masks and Covid-19 Awareness Talk. The turnouts were overwhelming by parents. A special thank you to Dr Zahir Izuan for sharing his knowledge on Covid-19 with us. Hope to have more joint events with GOCARE-CRSM in the coming futures. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2022/02/27/crsm-gocare-to-distribute-face-masks-donated-by-jackie-chan-to-flood-victims
4. THE STAR – Thursday 21 April 2022 “App Empowers Public to ACTnow in reporting Community Issues https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2022/04/21/app-empowers-public-to-actnow-in-reporting-community-issues
5. Oriental Daily – Thursday 21 April 2022 *App empowers public to ActNow in reporting community issues” https://www.orientaldaily.com.my/news/central/2022/04/21/481642
6. Kwong Wah – Thursday 21 April 2022 “GoCare and ACTnow signs Memorandum of Understanding on Effective Guide the Public to Report and deal with Community Issues.” https://www.kwongwah.com.my/20220421/gocareandactnow
7. Penang Hyper Local – Monday 25 April 2022 “ACTnow and MUDA collaborate with a new app to report community issues” http://penanghyperlocal.com/actnow-and-muda-collaborate-with-a-new-app-to-report-community-issues/
8. NST – Monday 25 April 2022 “Muda open to forming new political pact with opposition parties [NSTTV]” https://www.nst.com.my/news/politics/2022/04/791612/muda-open-forming-new-political-pact-opposition-parties
9. MalayMail – Monday 25 April 2022 “Muda still in talks with other parties on potential collaboration, says vice-president” https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/04/25/muda-still-in-talks-with-other-parties-on-potential-collaboration-says-vice/2055525
10. Utusan – Monday 25 April 2022 “Muda belum buat keputusan rasmi konsep Khemah Besar” https://www.utusan.com.my/nasional/politik/2022/04/muda-belum-buat-keputusan-rasmi-konsep-khemah-besar/
11. Kwong Wah – Monday 25 April 2022 ”MUDA officially entered Penang and launched the ACTnow App for the public to report community issues” https://www.kwongwah.com.my/Muda officially entered Penang
12. Oriental Daily – Monday 25 April 2022 https://www.orientaldaily.com.my/news/north/2022/04/25/482422
13. Guang Ming – Monday 25 April 2022 https://guangming.com.my/Monday 25 April 2022
14. Alaioli – Monday 25 April 2022 http://www.alaiolinews.com/alaiolinewstamil/?p=11917
15. The Star -https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2022/05/23/actnow-with-just-a-click
16. Toppen Community Event -https://www.facebook.com/100912048042523/posts/572007470932976/
17. Taman Tun Dr. Ismail Walkabout -https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=565204454946611&id=100912048042523
18. Taman Bukit Angsana Residents want MPKj to tackle complaints - Saturday 18 June 2022 -https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2022/06/18/taman-bukit-angsana-residents-want-mpkj-to-tackle-complaints, https://www.sinchew.com.my/20220615/PressRelease, https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2022/06/20/kajang-councillor-goes-on-site-to-address-cheras-residents-complaints
19. MCA Selangor and ACTnow MOU Signing - Saturday 16 July 2022 -https://www.nst.com.my/amp/news/nation/2022/07actnow/, https://www.sinchew.com.my/20220716/actnow/amp/, https://kl.chinapress.com.my/20220716/actnow/, https://www.orientaldaily.com.my/news/actnow/, https://m.facebook.com/story.php/actnow
- No shares will be allotted or issued based on this document after six months from the closing of the offer period.
- This issue, offer or invitation for the offering is a proposal not requiring authorisation of the Securities Commission under section 212(8) of the CMSA 2007.
- This document has not been reviewed by the Securities Commission Malaysia. The Securities Commission does not recommend nor assumes responsibility for any information including any statement, opinion or report disclosed in relation to this fund raising exercise and makes no representation as to its accuracy or completeness. The Securities Commission expressly disclaims any liability whatsoever for any loss howsoever arising from or in reliance upon the whole or any part of the information disclosed.