HIDE system a nuisance to many, social media laments as Hari Raya looms

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Social media users have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system, claiming it to be a nuisance for many as Hari Raya approaches.

HIDE detects a locality that has a record of infections, after which the government will do a risk assessment with the Health Ministry and temporarily close the locality to enable movement controls to be enforced.

It was not just social media users who are upset with the system, but retail and shopping associations have also demanded Putrajaya to cease announcing further information via HIDE until the information is established to be clear, accurate, and precise.

The call was made by three associations representing the shopping mall and retail industries nationwide in a joint statement today, namely Malaysia Shopping Malls Association, Malaysia Retailers Association and Malaysia Retail Chain Association.

Mohd Adam Arinin/NST

“We believe that in view of the inaccurate information on the hotspot listing, this call to close for sanitisation is premature and will cause irreversible damage to perception and business recovery and survival,” they said in a statement.

Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday announced that premises, including Ramadan and Aidilfitri bazaars, listed in the HIDE system as high-risk locations in the spread of Covid-19 will be ordered to close for three days effective immediately.

“I have sent my child’s Raya outfit for alteration at Aeon Big in Bandar Tun Hussein Onn and I’m supposed to pick it up in the next few days but now the place is listed under HIDE,” said @nrjwznl on Twitter.

“Where am I supposed to find another outfit for my child now! Raya is on Thursday,” she said.

Meanwhile, another Twitter user, @AlawiyahYussof said she and her mother had to rush to Pudu market in Kuala Lumpur to get their pre-ordered meat for Aidilfitri because the market was instructed to close under HIDE.

“THIS IS CRAZY, TOTALLY CRAZY! We ordered daging and ayam from our usual vendors at the Pudu market, to collect on Tuesday, however this morning, at about 10am, my sister called to inform me that the market will be closed from tomorrow for five days. It was based on the information from HIDE,” she said adding that the market was only informed of the closure last night.

“The traders were selling their goods like it was ‘give away’, trying to finish the stocks, The daging stall was crowded since people were buying for Raya. Mom and I quickly rushed. The traffic was bad and we had to queue, it was already long,” she said.

“It’s GILA lah. Why the last-minute notice and as MOSTI minister said: information from HIDE is not indicating there is a cluster. MySejahtera did not notify me too! Not only the traders are affected, we are too. Where are we going to get all those to prepare for Raya?” she added.

She said the last-minute decision has caused a lot of trouble for those who had ordered stocks for the next three days as well those planning to cook for Aidilfitri.

“@IsmailSabri60 @MKNJPM this is GILA!”

Another user, @asyrafshuib__ said the government did not consider factors such as the Hari Raya preparations when they launched HIDE.

“The stupidity of this government is very high. You launched HIDE four days before Raya and places are expected to shut for three days according to it, and you only inform this four days before the Raya celebrations when the most essential place would be supermarkets,” he said.

One user pointed out that the HIDE system will make it difficult for older folks as well as those who are on prescribed medications, as most pharmacies in shopping malls would also be closed due to HIDE.

“All shopping malls in KL and Selangor closed – including pharmacies, grocers, supermarkets due to HIDE guidelines. @KKMPutrajaya @MKNJPM,  tell me where my parents and patients are going to buy their necessities these three days?” said @iztyl90.

Meanwhile, user @_chulat highlighted a discrepancy with HIDE’s system.

“You know how daft HIDE list is? Publika and Solaris Dutamas is one building attached to each other. But because the list didn’t mention Solaris Dutamas, it’s operating as normal while Publika is closed,” he said.

“The worst thing about this HIDE list is that it’s funneling people to other malls that have grocers which would theoretically make the other malls to be under said list,” said another user, @zahinzahwan.

“People who believe HIDE use artificial intelligent and big data technology, have the same IQ as people who believe the Earth is flat,” said @amirulhanafy.

Based on the list of places identified by HIDE issued yesterday, more than 150 places, including shopping malls and supermarket chains, mostly in the Klang Valley, will have to close immediately for three days.

Malaysia recorded new Covid-19 cases exceeding 4,000 for the second straight day, at 4,519, as of yesterday. – TMI