Gerak Malaysia is the newest government-developed app for population monitoring and tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This follows the arrival of also another government-developed app, MySejahtera; as well as the announcement of the upcoming MyTrace app.  

With three apps now (two available to download) in existence to serve essentially the same purpose of informing and monitoring the rakyat; how are we supposed to tell them apart and to use them as intended? With this article, I hope I help you understand what each app is made for.   

Gerak Malaysia 

What are all these COVID-19 tracing apps in Malaysia? 1

We’ll start off with the newest app on the list – Gerak Malaysia is developed by our very own Malaysian communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) which essentially gives you a digital ID iin the form of a QR code, that you carry around with you in your phone.  

The QR code contains your personal information – that you need to key in yourself upon registration – and can be scanned by authorities when you’re outside. Upon installing the app, you’ll need to provide GPS tracking permission; while the iOS version will request for Bluetooth access as well. On the iOS, it details the reason for needing Bluetooth access as a means of detecting other Gerak Malaysia users that are nearby – this is perhaps to identify a growing crowd that’re too close to each other.   

What are all these COVID-19 tracing apps in Malaysia? 2

The information you give is used by the government to generate reports and statistics during the pandemic, and all data will expire six months after the lift of the MCO – whenever that may be. 

On top of that, according to the app’s terms of use, it states that the Gerak Malaysia will be used to facilitate users with ‘authorised travel documents’ during the MCO – meaning the QR code should contain all the credentials needed by authorities to grant you permission to move about during, and after the MCO period. This is very similar to that of China’s own QR code app which does the same things, except it also requires users to self-evaluate themselves and potential carriers of the virus will have to self-quarantine. Gerak Malaysia does not do this. 

Instead, it’s supposed to be able to allow users to get emergency help and requests for food and medication. That feature is not available yet at the moment. In fact – the app is currently still undergoing a stress test according to reports by LowYat.net and Soyacincau. The app should be more flashed out in the coming weeks. 

MySejahtera 

What are all these COVID-19 tracing apps in Malaysia? 3

This is the first COVID-19 monitoring app in the country – and it’s a one-stop app for getting information and statistics on the pandemic. I’d like to think of this as a COVID-19 pamphlet, but it’s digitally available in your smartphone. MySejahtera app is meant to be used during the MCO by Persons Under Surveillance or who’re quarantined. 

This was jointly developed by the four governmental bodies including the Ministry of Health (MOH) – and one of the most useful features in this app the self-evaluation test that; you fill in a Yes/No questionnaire about your current state of health – once completed, a result will be generated after a few seconds and will tell you if you’re at risk of being a victim. You can also add family members to the list and have them be evaluated under one MySejahtera profile. You can do this daily to keep on top of your family’s as well as your own well-being. 

What are all these COVID-19 tracing apps in Malaysia? 4

The app also allows the MOH to monitor the users’ health and take action should a possible infectee be identified. If you want to take proactive measures, you can also contact the COVID-19 Hotline as well as find hotpots, and look up a list of home test providers. 

MyTrace 

What are all these COVID-19 tracing apps in Malaysia? 5

This one isn’t available on any app store as of yet, but rather it was announced by our Minister of Science and Technology, Khairy Jamaluddin via a tweet. He notes in his tweet that this is meant to be used after the MCO has lifted and it will also trace the people’s movement. 

What’s also interesting is that the app is being developed by a local team which includes experts from Google Malaysia as disclosed by YB Khairy Jamaluddin himself. The app is currently still in development and a beta version should be rolled out soon. 

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