SAINS Design Challenge

Sarawak Digital Transformation

(Open to universities in Sarawak)

As per World Economic Forum 2016 (Digital Transformation Initiatiaves) executive summary report, in the era of Digital Economy, combinatorial effects of base technologies, such as mobile, cloud, sensors, analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT), are accelerating change in various businesses.

Thus, across industries, it is imperative for companies in Sarawak to recognize that they have opportunities to use these digital tools and technologies to raise productivity, improve decision making, and gain competitive advantage.


To support Sarawak state government’s digital transformation initiatives, SAINS welcome all mobile, web, IoT, and data analytics related project proposals, especially in the following domains:

  • Smart city
  • E-government
  • Community

to join Innovate Malaysia Design Competition 2018 – SAINS Design Challenge. We also welcome projects which are related to application of blockchain and cybersecurity. You may refer to some example of relevant design challenges posted by SAINS team at the following links:

Topic 1: Smart Parking System

Problem Statement

In city, there a parking system where user need to display parking coupon. User had to go and buy the parking coupon at certain outlets. Parking attendant will check the coupon time manually. User had to circle around to find a parking spot without knowing there is a free spot or not. There is time where user out of coupon and want to buy a coupon at the outlets, at the time user get back to his vehicle, the summon ticket is already issued. There is time where the user only need to park vehicle for only less than 5 minutes, but still need to use their coupon which valid for 30 minutes, which is a waste at user end.

Design Challenge

User need to solve the problem by developing a system for a parking system. Create a parking system solution so that:

  1. User can scan a QR Code through mobile app at the parking spot and confirm payment and start counting a parking timeout (30 minutes).
  2. After timeout, user can extend the parking duration and confirm payment through mobile app.
  3. User can easily search for a free parking spot available in certain area.
  4. Parking attendant can check the status of the parking spot through mobile app, issue summon to the vehicle owner if they park at the supposedly free parking spot and send alert to owner to remove their vehicle.

Topic 2: Smart Bus Tracking

Problem Statement

Bus passenger normally need to wait at the bus stop without prior info of the details/status of the bus location, routes etc. Tourist will not know which bus to use or route to reach their destination. Bus service provider do not have a good information of the user request until they reach each bus stop to pick up their passenger.

Design Challenge

User need to solve the problem by developing a smart bus tracking system. Create a smart bus tracking system so that:

  1. User can request info of local bus movement to the public, bus stop location, bus number & route, bus schedule, arrival time to bus stop etc from mobile app.
  2. It can provide data to local bus services provider such as number of passenger waiting at each bus stop, rout request, to improve operation and help them plan effective route.
  3. Device to track location, calculate number of passenger and update info to server inside the bus.
  4. Device to confirm bus arrived, calculate number of passenger waiting and update info to server at the bus stop.

Brief idea how it work:

  1. Passenger wait at bus stop. Launch SmartBusTack mobile app and send request a bus (route, etc.).
  2. Bus Stop alert new passenger waiting. Update data(number of passenger, route, etc.) to server.
  3. Bus receive a request, send curent gps location, passenger info and arrival time to user.
  4. Bus arrived at bus stop.
  5. Bus stop confirmed bus has arrived, update data to server.
  6. Passenger get in bus, proceed payment through same mobile app(manual/auto). Entrance lever pull up. Passenger can enter the bus.
  7. Bus update data to server (number of passenger, free seat, route, etc.)

Topic 3: Computer Vision: Malaysia Vehicle License Plate - Image Quality Enhancement

Problem Statement

Automatic license plate recognition has been employed in many developed countries for traffic management and surveillance. When it comes to license plate recognition in Malaysia, Malaysia vehicle license plate has several patterns, font types and textures. Even though a standard set of rules are defined by road authority on the license plate, there are still many license plate which do not have the characteristic of the defined features. On the other hand, in order to capture a descent quality license plate at night, the non-reflective license plate is not being helpful to surveillance camera with IR. All these issues are causing difficulties in applying Automatic License Plate Recognition technology in Malaysia.

Design Challenge

Create a system that process camera captured image so that the image quality is good enough for accurate license plate recognition, the proposed methodology can be either applied on camera end or processing machine end.

The characteristics of a "good quality" image for license plate recognition are as below:

  1. After process, license plate on image shall be visible at night with a little bit of contrast, normal brightness/contrast environment and extremely high contrast such as over exposure by sunlight.
  2. Image shall be smoothing clean while the feature and edge of license plate text remains as clear and sharp as possible.
  3. Inconsistent contrast on the license plate shall be equalize to the nearest pixel value.

Other requirement:

  1. The image processing time shall be less than 10 milliseconds on a 320x240 image.

Topic 4: Smart Device/Asset Tracking

Problem Statement

Modern Corporate such as SAINS has a good many electronic devices to support her day today business operations. It is always a great challenge for the Asset Management Team to track/monitor the whereabout and the well-being of this pool of assets. As such, an automated and coordinated device/asset monitoring system is essential to keep both the asset holder and manager well informed of the asset status at any one time.

Design Challenge

This project will require the participant(s) to utilise the network connectivity; to identify the MAC address of the devices so as to check/probe the status and availability of the assets/devices. A Web portal or GUI console must be developed to present graphically the device ID, location (map), status (green - active, red - idle as of last known location).

Topic 5: Personal Tracking

Problem Statement

Tracking the movement of personnel is but one of the uncommon applications in the fast pace society. With the emerging and advancement of mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets, smart band, etc., constant feedback of a person's proximity is very much possible.

Design Challenge

The participant(s) for this projects need to explore, understand and utilise one of the message broker applications like RabbitMQ, Kafka, ActiveMQ, etc. to achieve the multi-casting of lon/lat (as text) to multiple devices - to a user group(s) so that the location of each member is constantly updated. A mobile application (Android/IOS) must be developed to send the position (lon/lat) of the device owner, receive the locations (lon/lat) of others, and graphically generate the results (with map) within the mobile application.

Topic 6: Car Park Finder

Finding the nearest parking space is a constant challenge especially when one needs to visit a venue where there is no designated parking area - which is available mostly in big shopping malls or hotels. Discuss and design tools/ devices or apps that can be used to address the challenges.



Topic 1: Online Government Complaint Tracker

Problem Statement

Sometimes it is not easy to navigate through various government departments when you need to report about a dangerous vegetation growth at the roadside, when a water drain is clogged, or even when your area has a power blackout. For the government on the other hand, it could be that sometimes a similar report is been lodged for multiple times, creating unnecessary workload to handle such filings.

Design Challenge

In the computer software industry, a similar issue happened and the solution is an issue tracker with public involvement. Users submit issue report, the software developer team then assign the issue to one of the member to investigate. When there are duplications, they can be marked as such or there can be a voting mechanism that allow users with similar issues to that of already report issues to escalate the issue further. The idea is to design a similar online system to solve the stated problem:

  1. Verified citizens are able to lodge complaints requiring attention from the government.
  2. Administrator from the government are able to identity the relevant department that should address the complaints and thus perform the assignment.
  3. All complaint will have public visibility. Duplications can be tracked and closed.
  4. Voting are allowed to indicate severeness and at the same time to reduce duplicated report.

Topic 2: Smart Device/Asset Tracking

Problem Statement

Modern Corporate such as SAINS has a good many electronic devices to support her day to day business operations. It is always a great challenge for the Asset Management Team to track/monitor the whereabout and the well-being of this pool of assets. As such, an automated and coordinated device/asset monitoring system is essential to keep both the asset holder and manager well informed of the asset status at any one time.

Design Challenge

This project will require the participant(s) to utilise the network connectivity; to identify the MAC address of the devices so as to check/probe the status and availability of the assets/devices. A Web portal or GUI console must be developed to present graphically the device ID, location (map), status (green - active, red - idle as of last known location).

Topic 3

Border crossings for sealed cargo trucks between countries, for examples, Sarawak <-> Brunei <-> Sabah, Sarawak <-> Indonesia, can take hours from declaration verification, cargo checking/inspection for clearance. Design a solution that can help the Customs, logistic companies to reduce the time for clearance.

Topic 4

Sarawak has a few hundred thousands of non-professional foreign workers working in various sectors, mainly in plantation and construction. It also creates healthcare issues to the state such as bringing in various diseases and stressing our public health services. Design a solution that is efficient & effective to manage, monitor and track the health conditions of these workers.

Topic 5

Waste pollution will block drainages, pollute rivers and damage wildlife. Propose a solution that can help minimize waste, for example through awareness or monitoring.

Topic 6

Sarawak is a beautiful State with many tourist attractions. Design a solution or system that will attract tourist to Sarawak to boost Sarawak's economy.

Topic 7 

Queueing up for one’s turn for service at any service counter e.g. gov. service counters -JPJ, Hospital, etc.; can be very time consuming. The idle waiting time could have been used to do other things. Discuss and design an apps that could accommodate the needs to wait for one’s turn but reduce the idle waiting time.



Topic 1

The library is a great place for everyone to gather and acquire knowledge. However, most of us depend more and more on on-line content. Propose and design a solution or innovative activity that will attract visitors to the library.

Topic 2

In view of recent rabies crisis in Kuching, propose a humane solution that will help the Government manage this crisis. For example, how can dogs that have already been vaccinated be tracked and monitored.

Topic 3

We cannot deny the benefits of regular exercise. Most of us, however, find it hard to start exercising. Design an innovative solution or software that will motivate a person to exercise regularly.

Topic 4

The rural community in Sarawak does not have access channels to an open news, happenings and updates from and to their own community leaders eg. MP; YB; Resident; or DO. Think of and design a tool/devices or apps that could be used to mitigate this problem.

Topic 5

Students in learning institutions need direct communication for consultation, clarification and discussion with facilitators, lecturers or advisors on specific subjects, assignments or projects. Design a tool/devices or apps that could be used to allow effective online communication for this problem.

Topic 6

Most community groups, associations, clubs, etc. use WhatsApp or other chat/ messaging apps to share and communicate matters with their members. This is effective to some degree, however the topics and subjects of discussions tend to be wide ranging, which may not be relevant to all members. Further, it is difficult to search for past messages. Think and design an apps that could improve the challenges faced here.



Topic 1: Asset Management

Problem Statement

A lot of money loses in land and property fraud due to lack of transparency in existing system of land title registration. Land title theft is becoming common and rising in recent years, worse, lack of proper law in many countries that are able to protect landowners especially in case of forgery. There are several causes leading to the failure of current land title registration system, some of the major causes include historical land ownership data can be fractured and incomplete, land title registrations transactions record differ between institutions, and data can be altered. Other than that, partial paper-based system also causes a lot of human error, and the process is time consuming.

Design Challenge

In order to get everyone agree on every stage of land titling transaction and to have the transaction records securely stored permanently, Blockchain technology can be used to precisely solve these problems.

Create a system underpinned by Blockchain technology so that:

  1. Land title registration and transactions data is consistent across different institutions
  2. Ensures accurate and immutable historical land ownership data
  3. Facts will be agreed by various party before a transaction becomes valid
  4. All land titling transaction shall be paperless
  5. Transaction time and process shall be much faster and simpler to the end user

Topic 2: Enterprise Asset Management

Problem Statement

SAINS customers have to manage thousands of hardware and software assets at many SAINS and customer facilities. These assets are manufactured at SAINS supplier plants, brought to SAINS for configuration and registration and then deployed to SAINS customer sites throughout the State of Sarawak.

Tracking these assets as they move from manufacturing to deployment, servicing and eventually disposal is complex. Systems operated by SAINS, suppliers, logistic companies, and customers are used to support this end to end process with each system focusing on a particular function like planning, logistics, finance, warranty and operations.

When everything goes well, SAINS’s assets move through the supply chain and the various systems quite efficiently. However, when issues arise, like an asset getting damaged in shipping, or an incorrect item shipped as part of an order, getting all the systems to agree on the actual state of the asset is difficult. The systems and data are separated, each with their own view of the asset. Resolving these issues is expensive and creates delays that impact customer satisfaction.

Design Challenge

Create a model prototype of an enterprise asset management system that is based on Blockchain technologies that enable a single source of truth for the basic data about each asset. The blockchain will be used to capture all transactions and state changes that occur as an asset moves from supplier warehouse to customer site.

The blockchain based system will enable various parties to access the basic information about the asset and to see the changes that have occurred.

Key architecture features are:

  1. Smart contracts
  2. Shared data model
  3. Blockchain ledger as the system record
  4. Permissioned type blockchain
  5. Proof of existence
  6. Client interface

Topic 3: High Security Offline BlockChain Identity Preserver

Problem Statement

Companies and government sections are well expressing tremendous interests in participating into blockchain technology that shows promising performance in terms of transaction speed, information sharing, and data immutability. One of the key properties of blockchain technology is in the identity management of its users, which when executed properly, ensures that only the right owner has the permission to perform a transaction. However, for an average person, maintaining a private security key can be deem unnecessarily complex for an average person, thus resulting to a slowdown on the blockchain technology adoption rate.

Design Challenge

We want to abstract away the complexity and technology details involving maintaining a private key while at the same time ensure utmost security using tried-and-true method. The idea is to have a user own a piece of hardware has the following capabilities:

  1. Has an application protocol interface (API) that generates public key from the stored private key.
  2. Has a strong security implementation on-board (e.g. biometric) that prevents unauthorised usage.
  3. Has a recovery strategy upon hardware failure.
  4. No proprietary data migration method that will potentially lock a private key out of reach off the user.

Topic 4

Anti-spam & anti-phishing. Design a solution that is able to determine/identify which emails are spam/non-spam, phishing/non-phishing with high accuracy.


In the mid 1980's the use of IT among state government agencies in Sarawak started to grow. Shortly thereafter, in 1991, Sarawak Information Systems Sdn. Bhd. (SAINS) was formed. SAINS was given the task of spearheading the development and implementation of IT within the Sarawak State Government to better integrate and utilize its resources. Our vision is to leverage IT as a core component in enabling Sarawak socio-economic development. Since then, SAINS has effectively enlarged and intensified the utilisation of ICT in the State of Sarawak.

Today, the SAINS group is an internationally recognised software solutions and IT services provider with over 700 employees supporting business partners and customers across multiple industry sectors. With 19 offices and subsidiaries in Malaysia as well as partners throughout South East Asia, SAINS solutions have been deployed in governments and corporations both within Malaysia as well as globally. These same solutions have won recognitions and awards both within the Asia Pacific region and internationally.

To ensure a critical mass of knowledge of mainstream technology, SAINS seeks out synergistic partnerships and alliances with leading technology firms in the industry. Together with our business partners, SAINS will continue to build strong business relations with government entities and multinational corporations in Malaysia and beyond.