If someone had told me 10 years ago that one day, nearly every Malaysian would be carrying an app that would allow themselves to be tracked everywhere they’ve visited, I would have assumed that Facebook would have been behind it, not our government.
Yet here we are with the MySejahtera app. It’s been over a year already, yet we’re all still (getting used to) using it.
And the worst part is that many of us still don’t know whether or not we’re using it correctly.
No Check Out, No Flight
On 19 November 2021, TikTok user Eyra Zaharah shared her unfortunate experience during a family trip. After reaching the airport, her mother’s MySejahtera showed a red status, which meant that she could not board the plane.
The problem? Apparently, she had forgotten to press the app’s “check out” button and was deemed to be at one particular location for nearly two weeks.
Despite their best efforts, Eyra and her family were unable to help their mother. In the end, both her mother and father had to stay behind while everyone else went on their trip.
“The lesson: Check out of the MySejahtera app at least a week before going on holiday,” Eyra said.
Eyra’s Mum Isn’t the First Malaysian To Get Into Trouble For Forgetting to Check Out
In September 2021, Yoo Wei How found that his Mysejahtera status had been changed to “casual contact” two days after leaving a hospital. Although the app informed him that he had been in the same place as a COVID-19 patient, it did not reveal the specific location.
In the end, Yoo traced back his steps. Looking through his history, he realised that the casual contact came from the hospital he’d visited. He also found that the COVID-19 patient had arrived at the hospital at 4.30pm — but Yoo and his wife had already left the place by 11.30am.
“It is almost impossible for me to stay at the hospital for two days and check-in at another restaurant on the same day,” he pointed out. “Upon further inspection, I realized that the application does not auto check out when you check into a new place.”
“Hence, as long as you didn’t check out from your previous place, you will be notified as a casual contact even after a few weeks.”
When Was The Last Time You Were “Checked Out”?
A lot of people believe that the MySejahtera app will automatically check out once you check in to a new place. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.
Don’t believe me? Go open your MySejahtera app now. Click on “History” and try scrolling down. How many check-outs are there compared to check-ins?
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. There’s even a MySejahtera Support Group on Facebook where people can help each other or complain about their bad experiences with the app.
One complaint that popped up was how bothersome the check-out system can be. Remembering to check out every time you leave a place can feel troublesome, especially since you have to perform it on each location individually.
“Maybe MySejahtera can introduce a feature that notifies the user to click on the check-out button after a period of time,” suggested Facebook user Hasna Hassan.
So How Can You Check Out?
If you’ve missed a check-out before, you need to go into your MySejahtera history and manually check-out everything one by one. Here’s how you can do it:
Another option is to log out and log back in again.
Why Checking Out Is So Important
Despite this inconvenience, it is important to use the check-out button because it’s an important part of the contact-tracing process.
The system uses the check-in and check-out buttons to help track casual contacts — anyone who might have been in the same time and place as a COVID-19 patient. As mentioned before, if you don’t check out properly, you might automatically get classed as casual contact if a COVID-infected individual happens to go to the same place.
Since you didn’t check out, the system might think you’re still there even if you’re already long gone!
“I would be sleeping in the shopping mall if it is based on my check-out history, because I forgot to check-out,” joked Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin during a press conference in September 2021. In the end, even he had to admit that the check-out feature needed to improve.
“In terms of behaviour, not everyone will use the check-out feature via MySejahtera once they leave a premise… So, the intention is there and good, but in terms of implementation, it can be improved.”
MySejahtera Still Has A Long Way To Go
Ever since it was first introduced in April 2020, the MySejahtera app has been constantly changing and evolving.
Although many Malaysians feel that there is still a lot of work to be done (especially when it comes to user-friendliness), it can’t be denied that this app has played a pivotal role in allowing Malaysia to open up once again.
However, this also comes with a flip side. If your MySejahtera account says that you’re infected with COVID-19, you can’t go anywhere — even if you’re not sick at all!
To learn more about how to protect your MySejahtera from being used against you, be sure to check out:
Identity Theft Can Affect Your MySejahtera Status, Here’s How to Prevent It