KUALA LUMPUR: The management and maintenance of the MySejahtera app should be taken over by the Health Ministry, says Wong Kah Who.
The Ipoh Timur MP said this after learning that the government would now have to pay for this MySejahtera app although it was developed for free.
"We were told that the MySejahtera app would be developed for free through corporate social responsibility (CSR) at no cost to the government when asked during a Dewan Rakyat meeting in March last year.
"But today (Sept 21), a written reply was given by the government saying that the CSR agreement expired on March 31, 2021.
"This means that the government had to pay the app's developers beginning April 1 this year," he said when debating the motion of thanks on the Royal Address in Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Sept 21).
The Parliament Public Accounts Committee chairman proposed that the government take over the entire management, data and maintenance of the MySejahtera app.
"The Health Ministry has the resources and capability of taking over the app," he said, adding that the MySejahtera app would likely be in use by the rakyat for several years.
He questioned the manner in which a company uses CSR as "backdoor" to eventually secure a government contract.
"We don't want this to become a precedent for developers and contractors using CSR but later impose payments and getting contracts through the backdoor," he added.
On a related issue, Wong noted that improvements must be done to the MySejahtera help desk section.
He said that inquiries posted to the help desk on questions pertaining to Covid-19 were left unanswered "for days and even weeks".
The MySejahtera app was introduced in April last year to help monitor the spread of Covid-19 by collecting data from citizens through health self-assessments.
The mobile app also contains key info like the Covid-19 hotline number as well as a Virtual Health Advisory that links users to medical video-consultation platform, Doctor On Call.
The app is managed by administrators within the Health Ministry, with the assistance of the National Security Council (NSC) and Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu).