KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan has suggested the federal government can charge Covid-19 vaccine patients who can afford it according to the market value, rather than raiding trust funds to pay for it.
He acknowledged that such a situation is not ideal, but would be better than gambling away the future of the next generations.
“The question is, is it reasonable for the Perikatan Nasional government to put at stake the prosperity and vitality of future generations, without first exploring other option?,” Mohamad Hasan said in a statement.
The Rantau assemblyman, also known as Tok Mat, is referring to the recent decision by Putrajaya to utilise the National Trust Fund (KWAN) in order to procure the vaccines and any related expenditures.
This was done by gazetting the Emergency (National Trust Fund) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, on April 14.
He said the government's course of action is worrying, and indicates its vulnerability in handling the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In Budget 2021, RM3 billion was set aside to vaccinate 83 per cent of Malaysians. Yet there is no explanation or detailed revelation as to how this estimated sum was spent or managed.
“A month ago, the allocation for the National Covid Immunisation Programme was increased to RM5 billion. Its purpose was to expedite the vaccination target to 80 per cent by December instead of February 2022 as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin before,” Tok Mat said.
Due to this he expressed his puzzlement as to why the government would suddenly need funds from KWAN.
“Kumpulan Wang Amanah Negara was established around 30 years ago for the interests of the future generations, in light of the nation's declining natural resources.
“As the matter is one of national importance, it should be discussed and considered overall by all quarters with the highest level of transparency,” Tok Mat said.
Thus far there have been no discussions among government administrative personnel with MPs to create a process of checks and balances.
“Indeed, there is no space for a Parliamentary Select Committee to ensure transparency or responsibility, seeing as how Parliament remains suspended as a result of the Emergency proclamation,” he said.