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Gerak Malaysia contact tracing app will be discontinued on 31 July

Gerak Malaysia, the contact tracing app that’s developed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) with support of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) will be discontinued starting tomorrow. All users are told to uninstall the app as the features will be deactivated.

In a joint statement released by the MCMC and the police, they explained that the Gerak Malaysia app is no longer needed as interstate travel restrictions have been lifted since the Recovery Movement Control Order was imposed on 10th June. The app was developed to track and record movements in detail as it uses the phone’s location-based services.

During the MCO period, the app was required in order to request for permission for interstate travel that was permitted between 7th to 10th of May 2020. According to the police, this has helped to manage the flow of traffic during the MCO.

After the deactivation of the app, all personal information will be handed over to the Ministry of Health and all movement records of users will be erased. To assist authorities in curbing the spread of COVID-19, everyone is urged to download the MySejahtera app which is now widely used for contact tracing purposes before entering commercial premises. As announced by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the RM50 ePenjana eWallet credit will be given to eligible Malaysians that have downloaded the MySejahtera app.

Although the app has served its purpose for interstate travel, it is odd that the government has decided to discontinue the Gerak Malaysia when the COVID-19 pandemic is still far from over. As reported earlier this week, the Malaysian government would reimpose movement control order if the number of daily COVID-19 cases hit triple-digit. If MCO is to be reintroduced, this would likely mean that interstate travel would be restricted. When that happens, there would be a new need to have an app like Gerak Malaysia to handle interstate travel requests.

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Alexander Wong