MySejahtera Check-Ins Fall 26% Amid App Ownership Doubt

On March 28, the Covid-19 app recorded about 18 million check-ins, 6.3 million fewer than March 25 with 24.3 million check-ins.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 – MySejahtera check-ins dropped 26 per cent by some 6.3 million on March 28, two days after controversy broke about whether a private company actually owns Malaysia’s national Covid-19 app and users’ personal data.

On March 26, CodeBlue reported findings from Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that revealed MySejahtera was developed by a private company, Entomo Malaysia Sdn Bhd (formerly KPISoft Malaysia Sdn Bhd), without a contract with the government and that Cabinet had approved direct negotiations with another private company, MySJ Sdn Bhd, on the mobile app.

According to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) GitHub data on MySejahtera check-ins and casual contacts identified, March 25 saw 24,358,225 check-ins at all locations registered on the ubiquitous app, before falling 26 per cent to 18,038,569 check-ins on March 28 – its lowest point so far this year.

MOH recorded a 17.2 per cent decline from an average of 24.29 million daily MySejahtera check-ins during the week between March 19 and March 25, to 20,106,659 check-ins on March 26, before dropping again to 19,279,238 check-ins on March 27 and to 18,038,569 check-ins on March 28.

Although March 28 saw the lowest ever daily check-ins, the trend has been on a general decline since the start of the year. This year, as of March 28, saw an average of 26.6 million daily check-ins on the app.

On March 28, the number of unique accounts, or users, who checked in using MySejahtera stood at 7,075,518 users, a slight uptick after a two-day drop from 9,717,876 daily users on March 25 to 6,978,710 on March 26, and 6,855,700 users on March 27.

The user pick-up on March 28 could be attributed to office and school-goers. Overall check-ins, however, continued to decline, suggesting that check-ins per user have reduced.

The drop to 6,855,700 users on March 27 represents a 28.7 per cent slump from an average of 9.63 million daily users during the week from March 19-25, and just 18 per cent of the app’s reported 38 million users.

At its peak in November and December last year, over 11.5 million users were using MySejahtera to check into registered premises daily.

Unique MySejahtera users averaged at about 10.04 million users daily this year.

The number of premises checked into have also seen back-to-back declines from an average 717,992 premises checked into the week between March 19 and 25 to 620,572 premises on March 26 and 486,348 premises on March 27. The downward trend was reversed on March 28, rising to 709,285 premises, likely involving office buildings and schools.

The highest number of premises checked into on a single day was 893,008 premises on October 10 last year.

Daily Covid-19 casual contacts identified and notified by the Health Ministry’s Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) automated contact tracing system have also declined to 472,057 casual contacts on March 26 and 454,563 casual contacts on March 27, and 365,113 casual contacts on March 28.

The week prior from March 19-25 saw 705,785 casual contacts identified and notified daily.

Falling notifications of casual contacts could be due to the drop in reported Covid-19 cases that have been on a downward trend since the epidemic’s peak on March 5 with over 33,000 new infections. About 15,000 new cases were reported Tuesday.

The declining check-in rates, however, suggests that many MySejahtera users are now sceptical about feeding the Covid-19 app with information on their whereabouts, amid uncertainty about the safety and ownership of MySejahtera data.

One MySejahtera user told CodeBlue that she has “abandoned” using MySejahtera’s check-in feature, though the app remains installed on her phone. When asked if she would check-in manually at premises, the user said she will opt to “defend her privacy rights”.

This comes ahead of federal plans to reopen Malaysia’s borders on April 1.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin told the press Monday that MySejahtera users’ personal data is protected by the government with a non-disclosure agreement, and is not shared with the private sector or a third party.

However, he acknowledged that a contract had not been created when Entomo Malaysia (formerly KPISoft Malaysia) developed MySejahtera for the government for free as part of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative that ended on March 31 last year.

CodeBlue reported yesterday that Entomo Malaysia – which legally owns the software it used to develop MySejahtera – is fully owned by a company registered and based in Singapore, Entomo Pte Ltd.

Court documents from a shareholders’ dispute between MySJ shareholders showed that Entomo Malaysia transferred MySejahtera’s intellectual property to MySJ and granted MySJ a software licence to the app for RM338.6 million in a deal until end 2025, However, Entomo Malaysia retains ownership of its proprietary software that was used to develop the MySejahtera app.

The board of directors on MySJ – which was incorporated in September 2020 – include EcoWorld Malaysia executive chairman Liew Kee Sin and executive director and chief financial officer Heah Kok Boon, former Sapura Energy Bhd CEO Shahril Shamsuddin, senior Bersatu politician Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas, as well as Anuar Rozhan and Raveenderen Ramamoothie. The latter two had founded KPISoft.

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