The 66-year-old, who’s educational qualification is in accountancy, has always been a tech geek with deep interest in the history of pandemics and was quick to realise that contact tracing was vital in any pandemic.
He and his colleague Jeffrey To started to design a prototype Covid-19 tracing technology with the original idea of using QR codes.
“We wanted contact tracing to be adopted rapidly,” he told FMT in a Zoom interview. “With QR code technology, all that is needed is a piece of paper and a mobile phone.
They designed a prototype and submitted their paper to
the ministry of health, which was accepted after a six-week delay.
Chew did not ask for a single cent as royalty, saying what he and his team did was a form of thanking the country that provided him free top-level education.
The app was then developed and built separately by RUSH Digital. In acknowledgement of Chew’s important contribution, the ministry placed a special thanks to him on the app itself.
According Chew, nothing could compare to the satisfaction of having an opportunity to significantly contribute to the society.
Besides this success and his entrepreneurial achievements, Chew’s Asian origin did not stop him from being elected onto the seven-member board of WEL Energy Trust, a public philanthropic trust that has assets of about NZ$1 billion (RM3 billion).
“I was the only Asian among the 28 candidates that stood for election,” he said. — The Health