KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — The National Security Council (NSC) requires the general public to download the government’s MySejahtera app for contact tracing purposes, according to new standard operating procedures (SOPs).
All of the SOPs for the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) — which is in effect from today until August 31 — across various industries either require or encourage the use of the MySejahtera app to trace contacts in the event of Covid-19 outbreaks, even school students, except guidelines for child care centres and old folks’ homes.
Registration with the MySejahtera app by the Ministry of Health (MOH) — which can be used to check-in at a location for contact tracing purposes, identifies Covid-19 hotspots near a user’s location, and helps people monitor their health — requires personal details like one’s username (either an email address or mobile number), contact number, full name, identity card number, age, gender, ethnicity, and address.
Some Malaysians have highlighted the number of permissions the mobile app requires from the user, such as access to camera, contacts, and location.
Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told Malaysians recently to download the MySejahtera app to get RM50 eWallet credit that can only be used for physical purchases not online shopping.
The federal NSC did not mention use of the SELangkah contact tracing app by the Selangor state government under Pakatan Harapan. The SELangkah app does not need to be downloaded by individuals; only by businesses so visitors can scan the QR code and enter their name and phone number when prompted by the app.
Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari said recently that the SELangkah and MySejahtera apps would be integrated, enabling MOH workers to access SELangkah’s database.
As of June 3, more than 40,000 businesses and premise owners, including shopping centres, have signed up with SELangkah. The contact tracing app has been used by over 2 million users, while 14 million visitor logs have been registered.
Malaysia has previously suffered serious data leaks. Then-Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said last October that the leak of over a million medical scan images linked to 20,000 Malaysian patient records originated from a local private organisation.
Lowyat.net reported in 2017 about the online leak of about 46.2 million mobile phone numbers from Malaysian telcos and mobile virtual network operators, as well as breaches of databases belonging to the Malaysian Medical Council, the Malaysian Medical Association, and the Malaysian Dental Association.