#kerajaangagal89 – Re-strategise national vaccination rollout with common touches to bring vaccines to the people in rural and remote areas while in urban areas, set up more vaccination centres and make them convenient and people-friendly

Every day is bad news on the Covid-19 pandemic front, whether the shocking data showing while the world and most countries are turning a corner in the pandemic, Malaysia is one exception surging for record daily increases of new Covid-19 cases and fatalities as well as disproportionate increase of cumulative total for Covid-19 cases and deaths or the kakistocracy of the Malaysian government where public trust and confidence in its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic keeps dwindling way.

The national vaccination rollout has become the Achilles’ heel of the Malaysian war against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although the Prime Minister. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today that around two million people have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, placing Malaysia among countries with the highest vaccination rate in Southeast Asia, the data from Bloomberg vaccine tracker is not so uplifting.

According to Bloomberg Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker, more than 2.06 billion doses had been administered across 176 countries, and the latest rate was roughly 37 million doses administered a day.

In the United States, 299 million doses had been given so far and in the last week, an average of one million doses per day were administered.

According to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker, Malaysia is administering 88,294 doses a day, far below Indonesia (administering 269,257 doses a day) and Philippines (156,771 doses a day).

Malaysia has 3.4% of its population fully vaccinated and 6.8% of its population given one dose of vaccination, as compared to Singapore (31% fully vaccinated, 40% given one dose), Indonesia (4.1% fully vaccinated, 6.5% given one dose) and Philippines (1.1% fully vaccinated, 3.7% given one dose).

We are far behind United States (41.4% fully vaccinated, 51.1% given one dose), United Kingdom (40.1% fully vaccinated, 59.8% given one dose) and Israel (56.8% fully vaccinated, 60.3% given one dose).

There must be urgent review to ensure that the national vaccination rollout does not become the Malaysia’s Achilles’ heel in the war against Covid-19 pandemic.

The Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine must re-strategise and ensure that the campaign highlights the common touches to bring the vaccine to the people instead of bringing the people to the vaccine.

This is particularly important for rural and remotes areas, although in urban areas, emphasis should be made to increase the vaccination centres which should be people-friendly and convenient.

There should be a national campaign involving all MPs, State Assembly persons, community leaders, village heads, heads of religious groups, corporate leaders, the business community, professional associations and even social influencers to play a key role to persuade Malaysians to register for the vaccination.

It is however distressing and not calculated to narrow the yawning deficit of public trust and confidence in the government handling of the war against Covid-19 pandemic if Ministers continue to be in sixes and sevens, with the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

A good example yesterday was the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Parliament) Takiyuddin Hassan talking about the government agreeing “in principle” to Parliament holding “hybrid” sessions, while the Home Minister, Hamzah Zainudin was declaring that Parliament will only sit after the country has achieved herd immunity against Covid-19 virus.

Hamzah seemed to be laying down the law and it is significant that the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, had not contradicted Hamzah.

Is Takiyuddin prepared to contradict Hamzah?

As Muhyddin and the Minister co-ordinating vaccines, Khairy Jamaluddin dare not commit themselves publicly when Malaysia will achieve herd immunity, is Hamzah prepared to do so?

I fully endorse the proposal by the Public Accounts Committee Chairman and DAP MP for Ipoh Timor, Wong Kah Woh to vaccinate all Parliament staffers to make Parliament the first sector to achieve herd immunity so that Parliament can be convened without any delay.

This is one area which Takiyuddin can accomplish, but whether Parliament should meet in “hybrid” session should be a matter to be decided by Parliament and not by Takiyuddin.

Why should Parliament meet in hybrid session when all MPs and parliamentary staff had been vaccinated?

The kakistocratic nature of the government-of-the-day could be seen by press conference by the Ketua Pengarah Bomba Mohammad Hamdan Wahid, beside the Minister for Housing and Local Government, Zuraida Kamaruddin, criticising Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman.

I fully agree with community activist, Dr. Mohamad Rafick Khan who commented on his blog that he was shocked at Mohammad Hamdan’s attack on Adeeba, as Adeeba had not belittled the Bomba services.

Dr. Rafick said:

“Is there a role for cleanliness sanitation? Beyond doubt, I say there is but it is not in the manner on how it is done by the Minister of Housing. One does not do sanitation in open space, roadsides where there is adequate natural sunlight to kill the virus. It is done in a confined space or inside a building. This can be achieved by residents themselves via gotong-royong using commercial cleaning detergent or any disinfectant like Lysol or Dettol.

“He is right when he says ‘Kita Perlu Berusah’ but use common sense, logic and science in carrying out your work. It reflects a poor management decision where unnecessary asset and men are deployed to do low impact activity for the sake of ‘Berusaha’. Do make an informed and intelligent decision in coming out with any ‘Usaha’.

“In war when generals make bad decisions, soldiers die. Poor usage of resources led to the loss of man and losing a war. Therefore the KP should not blame others when his men are overworked or died from COVID. He should have invited Dr Adeeba to review and make an assessment on the sanitization program and advice him on what needs to be done.”

Could the Prime Minister ensure that his Ministers and top officers be professional in their duties, especially in the long and protracted invisible war against the Covid-19 pandemic?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri