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Making MySejahtera mandatory victimises the non-IT savvy and the poor

Consumers Association of Penang urges the government to reconsider the move, given the plight of the elderly and those who do not possess smartphones.

Mohideen Abdul Kader
2 minute read

The Consumers Association of Penang strongly disagrees with the National Security Council’s implementation of MySejahtera as the only means for contact tracing. Subsequently a supermarket in Penang no longer provides a logbook for its customers and the customers were prevented from entering the supermarket when they failed to scan the MySejahtera QR code. This has caused much inconvenience and frustration to the affected customers.

This is the outcome of the announcement on Feb 9 by Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob that MySejahtera logging would be mandatory effective from Feb 10. People failing to comply with the new ruling shall be fined RM1,000. An exception is given to areas without internet service such as in kampungs and the interior.

Imposing such a ruling is causing great inconvenience to those who do not own a handphone or who have a basic handphone without internet capability. There are some others who may have a smartphone with no internet access, or a smartphone with limited memory space, or who are less savvy with IT applications. It is evident that the government had not considered the plight of these people.

The government cannot expect the elderly and the poor to switch over to using smartphones because they may have problems acquiring new skills, and some may not even have the financial means to acquire a smartphone and an internet package which requires monthly subscription. The government has been silent on how people who do not own a smartphone are going to log their visits, failing which they will be fined.

By imposing such a ruling, the government is victimising people who do not own a smartphone. In fact, the government is depriving people without a smartphone from going anywhere, including to purchase essentials for the household. We urge the government to reconsider such a decision.

Mohideen Abdul Kader is president of the Consumers’ Association of Penang.

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