SMALL and Medium Enterprises Association (Samenta) Malaysia welcomes the Hotspots Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system as an opportunity for business owners/operators to take corrective action if their premises are listed.
However, we urge the government to make it clear to the general public that being listed on HIDE does not necessarily mean the premises poses more risks than any others.
It doesn’t help that the government has ordered all businesses listed in HIDE to close down since Sunday for cleaning and sanitisation. This unnecessarily stigmatises these businesses, and it will take weeks, perhaps months, for them to recover following the negative publicity.
Most of those listed are in shopping malls or are retail outlets. As HIDE tracks visitors based on data obtained from the MySejahtera app, even if a visitor is found to be high-risk and rejected by the business owner from entering the outlet, the person would still be listed as having visited the place. Similarly, someone who briefly enters a mall parking without being in contact with any other person could also be flagged as high-risk, adding to the numbers that could lead to a business being listed on HIDE without it posing higher risks than its neighbours.
We reiterate our support for HIDE as it is an important tool for business owners to immediately take additional precautions and sanitisation process to protect both their employees and customers. However, we need to de-stigmatise the process as it would not help in our economic recovery nor in keeping the Covid-19 numbers down.
Just as we urge the government to clarify the purpose of HIDE, we also urge all SMEs, including our members, to continue following all SOPs to help keep our infection rate manageable.
DATUK WILLIAM NG , Chairman, Samenta Central Chairman, Policy and Government Relations, Samenta