Monday, June 21, 2021

Frustrated users, no answers: Selangor’s SELangkah contrasts with MySejahtera amid low ratings, downloads

The app has had fewer than 6,000 downloads on Google Play, and unlike MySejahtera, users' concerns do not receive a direct response.

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Selangor’s SELangkah app, which the state government relaunched on the back of controversy over its ability to carry out the same functions as Putrajaya’s MySejahtera, appears to be dogged with problems as users of its Android version highlight bugs and weaknesses without any reply from its developers.

Checks by MalaysiaNow on Google Play, the official app store for devices running on the Android operating system, showed that SELangkah is listed under the “Lifestyle” category, with fewer than 6,000 downloads since it was relaunched by Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari with a special appearance by a television personality two weeks ago.

At press time, there were about 60 reviews from users, most of whom complained about incomplete features, cumbersome form-filling and an absence of critical contact tracing needs such as registering on behalf of dependents.

The complaints had received no response from SELangkah, other than one self-review by the app’s developer Dr Helmi Zakariah who hailed his software as an effort to “bring an integrated, holistic pandemic response in Malaysia”, adding that “we thought this will help tremendously”.

Checks also found that some users who gave the app a good rating had also noted problems they faced when using SELangkah.

“The longer you delay the feature to add dependents into this app, not many people will be using this to scan the qr code. Update 22/2/21: No response from app developer. Like not bothered,” said one user, referring to the absence of interaction from the app’s developer.

Another user, who gave a four-star rating, complained that users are forced to fill up forms each time they use SELangkah’s newly added feature to scan MySejahtera as well.

“You should not release a section if the section is not ready. The home tab has so many ads and buttons which are not ready. Plus I think as of now, we do not need the first bottom tab as it just says coming soon when we click on it. I think this is messy,” said a user.

“Not as much useful functions as MySejahtera despite the re-launch,” said Lyn Chan, who added that unlike Putrajaya’s app, SELangkah would not allow users to register a disabled family.

“This is very important as the person under my care is of a high risk classification. Please look into improving the app for its core intended purpose. Prove it in the application!” she wrote.

In contrast, checks found that MySejahtera has been constantly interacting with users on Google Play, attending to their complaints.

Replies to feedback are given by “Government of Malaysia”, with frequent apologies for any inconvenience caused to users and a promise of a solution to come.

Unlike SELangkah, MySejahtera is grouped under the “Health and Fitness” category, and in the number one spot for free apps in the same genre.

With more than 420,000 reviews, MySejahtera has a rating of 4.6 stars compared to SELangkah’s 3.8 stars despite only a little more than 60 reviews.

MalaysiaNow had earlier reported that the app lacked basic functionalities needed for any Covid-19 contact tracing, and was found to be inferior compared to MySejahtera.

This was followed by a discovery that SELangkah permits the use of personal data for uses other than contact tracing, despite assurances of data safety from the state’s Covid-19 task force chief Dzulkefly Ahmad.

Dzulkefly had angrily scoffed at suggestions that the SELangkah app is inferior, and even claimed that Putrajaya had lagged behind the state in automatic contact tracing.

SELangkah came under scrutiny following a spike in Covid-19 cases in the state, proportionately much higher than neighbouring Kuala Lumpur which dwarfs Selangor in terms of population density.

Repeated attempts in the past by MalaysiaNow to obtain a response about problems encountered in the app from its developer Helmi had fallen on deaf ears.

When MalaysiaNow turned to Dzulkefly for answers, he said he had instructed that all queries on SELangkah should be directed to Helmi.

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