How do they fare? Govt complaints apps compared

By GovInsider

What do they do… and does anyone use them?

Countries across the region have launched complaints apps. But how do they fare? GovInsider takes a look at each and how they compare.


#BetterPenang was one of the earliest complaints apps in the region, however. It was released in 2013, built by citizens with their funding, and was later adopted by local authorities to respond to complaints. Officials answer to citizens directly on the app, in some cases responding with photos of how the problem was addressed.

The Mayor of Seberang Perai city in Penang monitors the complaints herself. She has appointed a team to ensure that complaints are responded to.

Downloads: 5,000 Rating: 4.3 out of 5 Interview: Mayor of Seberang Perai


#BetterPenang compares with Jakarta’s similar Qlue app, which was built by a startup and is now being used by the city government. Qlue has gone a step further with features to keep citizens engaged with the government. It ranks local authorities in Jakarta based on how quickly they respond to reports. It has a gamified element that awards citizens points for posting complaints and inviting others to use the app.

The points can be traded for avatars with “special powers”.

Downloads: 100,000 Rating: 4.2 out of 5 Interview: Inside Jakarta’s Smart City HQ


Inspired by #BetterPenang, the Malaysian federal government has launched its own complaints app, which it plans to push to every city in the country. The features are similar to Penang’s app, but Cakna has broader coverage thanks to federal government backing.

Reports are automatically sent to the relevant local authority in the country. That also makes the app more comprehensive from the government’s perspective.

The federal government can now monitor the quality of services across cities on an internal dashboard, while cities can see all of the complaints in their area.

Downloads: 1,000 Rating: 4.2 out of 5 Interview: How we built… Malaysia’s complaints app


Singapore’s OneService complaints app asks users to submit additional information, as compared to the other apps. It lets pick the date and time when the problem was seen. This could help officials better track and resolve cases.

The government has created a separate unit - the Municipal Services Officer - to get these complaints addressed, particularly in areas that require coordination across agencies. The unit is already linked with at least 10 agencies and is working to expand this network to other agencies and town councils.

Downloads: 10,000 Rating: 3.4 out of 5 Interview: Singapore’s Coolest Startup?

Note: Downloads and ratings are as shown on the Google Play Store.