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Malaysia pioneer well-being app for its residents

In the last few weeks, governments all over the world have developed and launched apps that facilitate contact tracing, enable self-examination, locate the nearest medical facility, provide live updates etc. in their respective countries.

The Malaysian government has taken this even further by launching, not just a tracking and tracing app, but a ‘well-being app’.  The app will ensure the health and prosperity of its residents, not only during the pandemic but after as well, when they begin to reboot their lives.

Dato Dr Suhazimah Dzalli

In its pursuit to inform and empower, OpenGov spoke with Dato Dr Suhazimah Dzalli, Deputy Director General from The Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Planning Unit (MAMPU) to discover more about the latest on the app.

Dato Dr Suhazima shed some light on their latest app, MySejahtera; meaning well-being and prosperity in Bahasa.

The app is a collaborative initiative of the MAMPU, Ministry of Health of Malaysia, Malaysian National Security Council and an industry partner.

It has been developed under direct guidance from the Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) of Ministry of Health of Malaysia and in accordance to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

MySejahtera goes beyond a contact tracing app, by sharing its various use-cases with both government and the general public.

The app enables clear visibility of the country’s health status amid COVID-19 outbreaks and empowers the government in the following five ways:

  • It allows the government keep monitor and record the status of its residents by classifying them into 6 categories: Low Risk, Casual Contact, Close Contact, Person under Surveillance (PUS), Person Under Investigation (PUI), and Confirmed Cases.
  • Based on the classification, the government can efficiently utilise the limited medical resources.
  • It facilitates monitoring and regulation of people under self-quarantine by checking on them via messages.
  • Through the app, the government can inform people of areas that are virus hotspots in real-time.
  • Depending on the volume of data received from the users, the app enables the government to come up with predictive analytics related to the spread of Coronavirus.

From a citizen’s point of view, the app has four major benefits:

  • It helps them examine their health at home throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • It assists the user in getting the right treatment if they have been infected with the virus.
  • it serves as a reliable source of information and latest updates on the outbreak.
  • it helps people locate the nearest hospital or medical facility that they can reach out to.

Though the app collects minimal information from a user, Dato Dr Suhazima confirmed that it has not been made mandatory by the Malaysian government yet.

None-the-less, many essential services, like ride-hailing, food delivery and construction, have made it compulsory for their employees to be registered on the app.

Furthermore, to help Malaysians who have been stranded away from home (because of the Movement Control Order), the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has launched another app, Gerak Malaysia, in conjunction the well- being app.

This app allows people to apply for a permit to move within the country. Simultaneously, it helps local police in tracking the movement of people and vehicles on the road.

Launched just two days ago, the Gerak Malayasia app already has half a million registrations and over 250,000 thousand applications for inter-state travel.

Dato Dr Suhazima said the government’s intent in launching this app is to ensure the health, happiness, prosperity, and the overall well-being of its people in the long run.

It is akin to the Indian government’s popular  Arogya Setu that OpenGov recently reported on. The Indian app comes in various languages and has more than 75 million downloads as of April 24.

Both MySejahtera and Gerak Malaysia apps have received a massive reception by Malaysian residents who are reaping the benefits of the apps to stay informed, safe and healthy.

In response to residents’ faith and trust in government, the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Planning Unit will continue to drive innovation and accelerate digital transformation to serve the nation. 

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