Want to help those in need? Search for white flags in your area with the Kita Jaga Malaysia website

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are coming together to offer help to those in need through the website Kita Jaga Malaysia (kitajaga.co).

The website was developed by a team at Terato Tech, a company based in Bangi, Selangor. Chief executive officer Zara Aida Razali, 36, shared that the it was developed to make it easier for users to access information for help or to provide aid.

“One of our developers saw how people are needing help through the White Flag movement and because of the current movement control order restrictions, we felt that it would be difficult for those who have to travel or go outside to provide help,” she said.

Zara Aida explained that perhaps, a digital solution is needed to highlight white flags in the area, or to get in touch with individuals who can provide aid through various means.

“So our team of four developers known as Achan, Edo, Hisyam and Basyrun got together to start working on the website last weekend,” she said.

On the website, users will be able to click on pins to see those needing help, search for individuals that have volunteered to provide aid, and look for available food banks.

“When we started developing the website, we decide to list food banks first. Then we opened it to allow users to pin white flags or ask to be contacted if people need help,” she said.

A website was developed by a team based in Selangor to highlight the location of individuals who have raised white flags in the area. — ANGELIN YEOH/The StarA website was developed by a team based in Selangor to highlight the location of individuals who have raised white flags in the area. — ANGELIN YEOH/The Star

Since its launch on July 5, the website has clocked more than 57,000 users with over a thousand offering help, while over 300 were listed as needing help, according to Zara Aida.

She also said some who have received aid through good samaritans on the website have posted their experiences on Twitter. Some shared how they received financial assistance through online transfers while others have received groceries on their front door.

“Some users have reached out saying after receiving aid, they wish to have their postings taken down. All postings except food bank listings on the website will be deleted after three days as a privacy measure,” Zara Aida said.

However, she hopes that those who want to provide aid will be able to take some basic safety measures before reaching out to offer help.

“We have concerns about scammers and some users have asked for a validation mechanism on the website to verify the postings. We are working towards that,” she said.

“As of now, our focus is on supporting the heavy traffic and finding ways to maintain the website,” she added.

One day after the website was launched, Zara Aida said they faced a RM6,000 bill as the website, which uses Google Maps API, experienced high traffic and had to be put on maintenance mode. The website is now back up and running after they were able to secure funding from Google Malaysia.

“There may be some hiccups to accessing the website on iOS browser and our team is working on the issue,” she said.

She hopes that the website can be optimised to provide users the best experience to help others who are in need during the pandemic.

“It has been an amazing and humbling experience to see how people have responded to the White Flag movement. This goes to show that we Malaysians know how to take care of each other,” she said.

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