July 9, 2021

A Traffic Light System (Mathematical Model) To Help KKM, MOSTI And State Governments Open Up At District Levels Across Malaysia.

Don't confuse the public with FMCO/EMCO/MCO/MCO3.0. Use a traffic lights system based on modelling to advise KKM, MOSTI & State Governments to make decision at state levels. Please read the explanation below:

*A Traffic Light System (Mathematical Model) to help KKM, MOSTI and state governments open up at district levels across Malaysia.*

The National Recovery Plan announced by the federal government has been widely criticized by many for arbitrary and unrealistic reopening criteria. For example, to move from phase 1 to phase 2, national daily cases must drop to below 4000. This one size fits all approach is poorly thought out because cases are not uniformly distributed across all states; causing safer states like Perlis, Terengganu, and Penang to suffer. Luckily, the MKN has recently revised their policy and allowed certain states to move on to phase 2 according to state COVID-19 levels.

Today, as we celebrate Penang's success moving into phase 2, we believe Malaysia can further make decisions at the district level across the country based on mathematical models.

My office has the honor to work with Dr David Benjamin Lim, a Stanford Math Ph.D. graduate. He has suggested a reopening approach based on a balance of R_0 and daily new cases per capita, with the objective of helping states in Malaysia calculate whether districts can move safely from one phase to another using publicly available data. The calculation of R_0 is based on a simple mathematical model that he has been kind enough to share on his GitHub, an open source platform for everyone to use.

Dr David Benjamin Lim believes that Government decisions must be based on data. He hopes that the federal government including KKM, MOSTI and state governments such as Penang can adopt his approach and improve upon it. This approach can help governments better understand the infection at the district level and formulate proper policies to contain the infection or open up the economy.

During the course of this project, we also found that data transparency and sharing of data was a real issue in Malaysia. We have great difficulties to get granular data and often times no cooperation from government departments was given. We would like to urge the government to improve data sharing and transparency to enable effective management of the pandemic situation. This situation must change in order for Malaysia to successively move through the fourth industrial revolution.

Sharing of data builds public trust, enables a robust external review by experts, and fosters public-private partnerships. Dr David Benjamin Lim is the best case of a concerned citizen stepping up to help their country by working together with a Member of Parliament's office.

We hope more data scientists and experts can have access to granular data so that they can step up to assist the government. Fighting Covid-19 is a long term battle. The faster we learn from data, the better we can prepare ourselves.

Sim Tze Tzin
MP for Bayan Baru

For Dr Ben's GitHub please go to:

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