KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim urged the government to let private entities and state governments obtain Covid-19 vaccines on their own.
He said that is essential as the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) was slow and not effectively reaching those in the rural areas.
“I urge the government to decide now today, give permission to the private sector or the state government to buy vaccines and run more effectively
“Because this is a matter of the safety of the people and should not be used as a political agenda and personal gain and so on,” he said in a special address via Facebook Live today.
Anwar, who is Pakatan Harapan chairman, also criticised the government for announcing the “total lockdown” without accompanying measures prepared.
He also questioned why the government still has not announced any aid for Malaysians who were certain to be adversely impacted by the lockdown.
“Firstly, the most important reason for the lockdown is the severe economic impact on the country and the people. In general, measures to save the people from the economy have not been given
“Second, is this lockdown really meant to speed up vaccinations?” he said.
Anwar also demanded that the government direct banks to give an automatic loan repayment moratorium as they reported hundreds of millions in profit for 2020, when average Malaysians were struggling to get by and had their income slashed.
“Bank CEOs all raised their salaries in 2020. People suffer, subordinate workers are laid off, and they get high salaries,” he claimed.
“This shows the attitude of the government that failed to come up with a solution.”
Anwar said his discussion with international health experts about Malaysia’s handling of the pandemic and said they concluded serious issues with the vaccination model of the NIP.
“Learn from this year’s experience; vaccines cannot be in the current method.
“If you continue, give the existing vaccine and take the step down to the village clinic and GP (general practitioners) clinics,” he said.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement to announce a “total lockdown” from June 1 to 14, during which all non-essential services and activities will be prohibited.
The list of essential services has not been released nor have the standard operating procedures that will apply.
However, the PMO did say the Finance Ministry was drawing up an assistance package for Malaysians and affected sectors, which will be announced soon.