Current Affairs, National

Don’t leave vulnerable groups behind when tightening SOPs!

Press Statement
8th September 2021

Tightening SOP A Good Effort But Vulnerable Groups Left Behind

Democratic Action Party (DAP) Member of Parliament for Sandakan, Vivian Wong, in a statement issued today said that the latest Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which requires all who want to enter supermarkets or shops to have the approved Covid-19 risk status displayed on their MySejahtera App, has clearly left out our vulnerable groups, such as senior citizen and the B40 families, who are not tech savvy and may not own a smartphone.

She said the above after receiving various feedbacks from the Sandakan community that many are banned from entering supermarkets and shops in the district despite completing two doses of the vaccine following the revised SOP imposed by the government, as they do not have smartphones that allow them to check in using the MySejahtera App. Most of these people are senior citizens and low income group who are still using dated mobile phones that have no online function. 

“While I have no issue with using the MySejahtera App as the main tool to assist in contact tracing or displaying Covid-19 risk status in our battle against the pandemic, at the same time, we must show empathy and compassion towards those who just do not possess a smart phone to perform the required check-in or status update. Every Malaysian matters in this national crisis, and we must not been seen being “cold blooded” and make those vulnerable groups of our community feel unwanted”, said Vivian.

“I think it is very unfair to tell people that they cannot go anywhere now just because they do not have a smartphone that can download and run the MySejahtera App. It is not easy for someone who is 70 or 80 years old to switch from their tried-and-tested Nokia to a brand new smartphone, and at the same time, it is also unfair to force the low income group family to have smart phone for each and everyone in the family just for having MySejahtera App, the financial burden will be too much to bear”, added Vivian.

“Therefore, the government must devise and come out with an alternative that allow this segment of the society to live in the new normal even without owning a smart phone. It could be in a form of a key chain like digital token that can be carried in the pocket and enable one to scan or check in before entering any shops. With current technological advancement, I am sure we can come out with an alternative for this group of people.”

“This crisis has greatly impacted the lives and livelihood of ALL Malaysians on an unprecedented scale. The Government must ensure that all supports and assistance are delivered to the intended segment of the community through effective and transparent implementations. No Malaysian should be left behind in this fight for survival against the global pandemic.”

Vivian Wong  
MP for Sandakan  

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