Anwar claims Malaysia lags behind SEA peers on Sinovac procurement

PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim questioned the slow pace and procurement of vaccines. Picture — by Miera Zulyana
PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim questioned the slow pace and procurement of vaccines. Picture — by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Malaysia lagged behind other South-east Asian nations in procuring Chinese vaccine Sinovac.

At a press conference streamed on his Facebook page, the PKR president said Malaysia only managed to receive one million doses of Sinovac vaccine which is just seven per cent of 15 million doses that has been purchased.

Meanwhile, he said that neighbouring countries like Thailand have received 59 per cent, followed by Indonesia (47 per cent), Cambodia (32 per cent) and Philippines at 15 per cent.

“Why is the situation so bad in Malaysia? Is the prime minister too busy to call the Chinese president to speed up and increase (the procurement)?

“This means that we are not focused, resulting in Malaysia only receiving seven per cent compared to other countries,” he said.

He also urged National Key Results Area (NKRA) to speed up the approval process of another Chinese vaccine, Sinopharm, while citing The Edge Market article on investment holding company Kanger International Berhad procuring 10,000 doses of the vaccine since March.

“The minister said anyone can just procure (the vaccine), how to procure if it’s yet to be approved?

“Forty-two countries including Brunei, Cambodia, UAE and Argentina have given their approval, (whereas) we are taking too much time.

“And we urge NKRA to speed up (the approval process) almost everyone has approved Sinopharm, what other research do we need?,” he added.

Anwar also said that he will propose an exit strategy that includes medical and non-pharmaceutical intervention, socio-political focus and governance best practice.

“I will launch a dashboard (the exit strategy) on Wednesday to include all the information so that the people will be informed and nothing is kept secret,” the Port Dickson MP said.

Two days ago, it was reported that Anwar has urged Putrajaya to accept offers from its state counterparts and private firms to help expedite Malaysia’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.

He added that while these parties were both willing and able to assist in the National Immunisation Programme that has only vaccinated under three per cent of the population so far.

However, he claimed the federal government has not been receptive to such offers.

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