By Doreenn Leong
The announcement of RM50 in eWallet credit, with an additional RM50 in the form of discounts and cashback have given Malaysians something to look forward to.
The ePenjana programme is one of the many incentives being dished out by the government under the recently announced short term economic recovery plan.
The catch? Those who want the handout will have to download the MySejahtera app to receive the RM50 credit. This is only applicable to Malaysians aged 18 years old and above, and with an annual income of less than RM100,000 per year.
Thing is, didn’t we already have existing eWallets app which Malaysians have downloaded to get the RM30 credit under the previous eTunai Rakyat programme?
The only major difference is that MySejahtera app is not an eWallet and you can’t use it for in-app services or online shopping.
MySejahtera app was originally created to help manage the Covid-19 outbreaks and hotspot tracing in the country. But now with the move to give the RM50 credit to Malaysians via this app, it faced congestion following a surge in attempts by the public to register.
According to Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the app received some 700,000 registrations in a minute.
The government is expected to pay out some RM750 mil under the ePenjana programme, which will run from July until September 2020, benefitting 15 million Malaysians.
The congestion is not surprising given that the already established eWallet providers such as Touch ‘n Go faced some glitches on the first day of the registration under the eTunai Rakyat programme.
Eligible Malaysians were entitled to redeem the money through an e-wallet service of their choice, with RM450 mil set aside to be distributed via the three approved services: Touch ‘n Go eWallet, Boost and GrabPay under the previous programme which ended on March 14.
This was where Malaysians above 18 years of age who earn less than RM100,000 annually are eligible to receive the RM30, which was meant to encourage users to adopt cashless payments.
Meanwhile, MySejahtera is developed through a strategic cooperation between the National Security Council (NSC), the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).
Certainly, this involved quite a number of agencies and ministries. Just exactly who or which company developed the app?
Also, if MySejahtera app is not really an eWallet app, why should Malaysians use this to enjoy the eWallet credits?
The objective of this ePenjana programme is to encourage e-wallet usage for safe, contact-free payment and to boost consumer spending. Again, can’t the existing eWallet players offer this?
Or why not just bank in the money like how it did for earlier cash handouts?
In times where the country is entering recession mode, it has to be more prudent when it comes giving out money to Malaysians. It would also help for the government to be more transparent so that we are assured that this is not done to benefit certain parties.