PETALING JAYA: After much public backlash, the government admitted that it offered to pay the four people who developed the health ministry’s CovidNow website.
However, the four developers – Henry Lim, Lim Sheng Han, Roshen Maghhan, and Calum Lim – turned down the offer, saying they created the website as an act of public service, CodeBlue reported.
The CovidNow website tracks the country’s Covid-19 epidemic and vaccination data.
Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin told the health, science and innovation parliamentary select committee (PSC) meeting on Sept 14 that the developers refused the government’s offer to pay them for their services because they had wanted to “do it for the country”.
The meeting transcripts were revealed in the PSC’s “Transitioning from Pandemic to Endemic Covid-19 Safely and Sustainably” report that was tabled in Parliament earlier this week.
Khairy also told the health, science and innovation PSC chairman Dr Kelvin Yii that Dr Mahesh Appannan, head of data at the ministry’s Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre, was appointed to communicate the accurate interpretation of data found on the CovidNow website.
This comes after many members of the public had misinterpreted the raw data such as data on vaccine breakthrough deaths.
“Transparency is good but of course, people do not know what to do with the data. So, they are interpreting it in many different ways. So, what I have asked is to beef up our data team. Not to just dump the data but to also interpret and provide insights.”
On Sept 9, the health ministry launched the website to list all data related to Covid-19 in Malaysia, and opened it for access by the public.