I live in an area where the LRT 3 line is being developed, so I’ve driven over my fair share of potholes day in and day out. My car often escapes without a scratch, but the same can’t be said about my heart.
So when Instagram hit me with an ad about a local app to report non-emergency road issues, I downloaded it immediately.
With a RepotLah account, I’ve since been on the lookout to make a fuss about any road issues I come across (while being a passenger, of course).
Channeling the Karen in me
Met with a faulty traffic light spawning massive congestion at the intersection in front of Da Men Mall, I snapped a photo of it and used that as my opportunity to test RepotLah.
On RepotLah’s home page, you’d immediately be met with an option to “Add new report”. The app, if you allow it to, will automatically tag your live location, and users can then upload a photo and submit the report.
You can choose the type of traffic issue at hand, and add a caption to describe the situation. Once submitted, you can track what happens to your report in the “My Activity” tab which provides users visibility on the status of their report. RepotLah also allows you to submit reports anonymously, like Shopee reviews.
These reports are vetted by RepotLah’s team to ensure that there are no false reports before directing them to the nearest relevant authorities based on the location tagged.
I’ve yet to get a confirmation on whether the traffic issue I reported was resolved or not. However, the app has notified me that my request is currently under investigation.
Like social media for reporting issues
If you’re not making a report, you could also scroll through RepotLah’s home page like you’re on social media to like, comment, or share others’ posts.
The app also has a “Communities” tab for users to create or join community groups in their residential areas. It’s meant to engage one another and to alert your community of problems in the area.
Users will be able to discuss local issues to create awareness and keep the area safe. It’s meant to be reminiscent of Facebook Communities, according to the team.
For a safer society
Keasavan Hari Krishnan (KC) founded RepotLah, and he’s been on a rocky path when it comes to making reports.
“As a citizen, I always wondered where I [could] report all the societal issues that we faced in Malaysia and I couldn’t find any application that allows users to rant or submit a report to authorities,” he told Vulcan Post.
He shared that the Malaysian government has actually made attempts at creating an app for this problem. For example, i-Tegur allowed users to submit reports to authorities.
“However, what we realised was missing is community engagement and gamification,” KC explained. “We developed RepotLah not to compete with the current application that was developed by the authorities, but to complement their current solution.”
Being in the tech startup ecosystem for eight years, he left his full time to build an app as a pet project. While developing it, KC and his partner realised a greater potential in various aspects and decided to transform their pet project into something bigger that could be adopted throughout SEA.
RepotLah will soon be expanded for users to report any societal issues, such as calling out smokers lighting up in eateries.
“We have various technology roadmaps which would be launched in the next coming months which include implementation of emergency reporting,” KC told Vulcan Post.
“Imagine having access to report any issues that you are facing in one application—that is the plan of RepotLah in the future to democratise the way people submit reports.”
A well-validated solution
From the start, RepotLah connected with a few Members of Parliament (MP) based around Selangor districts. The MPs pledged their support for the app, and allowed the devs to run pilot tests with over 1,000 users in their areas between January to March 2022.
Throughout the pilot test, RepotLah has solved more than 40 complaints regarding potholes, faulty traffic lights, and reckless driving via the dashcam footage. KC proudly shared that they’ve also been able to solve reports within 24 to 72 hours.
“We have received various feedback from the community and will be launching a new update at end of April to address [them],” shared KC. That means RepotLah will be launching a new and improved version of the app at the end of April based on the community’s collective feedback.
To drive wider user adoption for RepotLah, the team are working closely with MPs and Malaysian authorities. “We are also working with related tech startups and corporates for partnerships to level up our adoption and we target to hit 100,000 users by end of 2022,” added KC.
The app is free to download and use, and its creators made it so because their end goal is to be the public’s voice for a safer society.
In terms of their plans to generate revenue, KC told Vulcan Post that their monetisation model will be implemented in the coming months but would not involve users.
Though KC was unable to share details, he expressed, “The reporting module will always be free as we encourage users to keep the reports coming in and to help make Malaysia a safer place.”
Featured Image Credit: Keasavan Hari Krishnan, founder and CEO of RepotLah