Sarawak religious heads back Covid-19 vaccination, urges Sarawakians to sign up

The second phase of the Covid-19 immunisation programme in Sarawak is expected to begin on April 19. — Bernama pic
The second phase of the Covid-19 immunisation programme in Sarawak is expected to begin on April 19. — Bernama pic

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KUCHING, April 13 — Heads of mainstream religious institutions in Sarawak have come out in support of the state government’s Covid-19 immunisation programme and urged Sarawakians to register for vaccination.

They made the call in a joint statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Department’s Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) following a recent meeting between them and the state government.

They comprise the Sarawak Islamic Council, Association of Churches Sarawak, Sarawak Evangelical Christian Association, Malaysia Buddhist Association Sarawak Branch, Malaysia Hindu Sangam Sarawak State Council, Sarawak Sikh Temple Association, the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Sarawak and the Kuching Hokkien Association representing the Taoist Faith.

“We need to stand as one, no matter what race or creed we represent, in response to this pandemic as it does not discriminate either by race or religion,” the statement said.

“Therefore, get yourself registered and be vaccinated. Let us all support the Sarawak government’s immunisation programme which is one of inclusivity; leaving no one behind. Together we will overcome this pandemic.”

The statement said the development of Covid-19 vaccines was an optimistic beginning to bringing the pandemic under control globally but in Sarawak, like elsewhere in Malaysia, much has been said about the permissibility of the vaccines, especially from the religious point of view.

In view of this, it said the Sarawak government through its inclusive approach, had for a meeting with the various heads of religious institutions on the matter as well as to discuss and update them on the immunisation programme currently being rolled out.

The statement said the heads of religious institutions present during the meeting unanimously support the immunisation programme and they subsequently, forwarded their individual statements of support to the programme through Ukas.

“The Sarawak government acknowledges the vital role of the religious institutions in Sarawak especially in the promotion of the government’s immunisation programme which is aimed ultimately in creating herd immunity amongst our population.

“Thus, the unanimous support from the Heads of Religious Institutions on the Sarawak Covid-19 immunisation programme in the recent meeting was a significant boost,” the statement said.

Yesterday, Sarawak recorded 351 new Covid-19 infections bringing the state’s total to 20,352 cases. The state’s death toll from the virus is 124. — Borneo Post Online

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