THE Malaysian REIT Managers Association (MRMA) is seeking clarification with regard to the capability of the Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement’s (HIDE) big data analysis and artificial intelligence (AI) to predict and identify potential pandemic risk locations.
Further to the release of the first HIDE listing on May 8, the association also seeks to obtain clarity on the standard operating procedures (SOPs) from relevant authorities on and after the three-day mandatory closure imposed on the premises that were listed in the HIDE system.
Pursuant to the joint statement issued by the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association, Malaysia Retailers Association and Malaysia Retail Chain Association on May 8, MRMA reiterates the various industry players’ appeal for clear information and consistent guidelines from the various authorities as the call at the eleventh hour for mandatory closure for sanitisation from May 9 had caused confusion as well as disruption of businesses for various stakeholders.
“The method of potential hotspots compilation is unclear,” MRMA pointed out in a statement.
“High traffic areas like malls, supermarkets and transportation hub will perpetually be identified as potential cluster. The HIDE system should analyse potentials by weighing the volume of traffic so that it can reflect more accurate percentage of potential risk.”
MRMA further noted that essential services were allowed to operate although malls were closed during the first movement control order (MCO 1.0) as compared to the lockdown of the entire malls, including all essential services imposed by the HIDE.
It further reiterated its respect for the Government’s good intention to have a reliable forecast system to track and identify the positive COVID-19 cases and the locations to manage the spread of the infection.
“However, MRMA would like to suggest HIDE to release the supporting data and information directly to the affected malls or organisations for the owners of the malls and premises who are in the best position to make the relevant decision to deal with the affected outlets and areas by following the strict SOPs that are already in place,” noted the association.
In fact, the SOPs such as the MySejahtera Application which is compulsory to be implemented in malls where only ‘low risk’ visitors or staff are allowed to enter the malls is already being practiced currently at malls.
“MRMA urges the Government to include the various industry players in the improvement of the HIDE system,” commented its chairman Datuk Jeffrey Ng.
“This will enable industry players to contribute a collective effort in helping the Government to control the spread of COVID-19 infection without adding any further adverse pressure on the tenants, rakyat and businesses.” – May 11, 2021