Law minister says anti-vaxxers may face Sedition and Multimedia Acts; but govt undecided on penalty for Covid-19 jab no-shows

Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan speaks during a press conference on the Emergency Ordinance in Putrajaya March 12, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan speaks during a press conference on the Emergency Ordinance in Putrajaya March 12, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KOTA BARU, May 30 — The government has yet to decide whether to issue compounds to individuals who registered for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme but fail to show up for their appointments.

Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said he was confident that the matter was being considered by relevant parties to avoid vaccine dose wastage.

“I believe the government is thinking about the matter... maybe a system can be designed so that those who cannot come out to get the vaccine shot can be replaced by others.

“Regarding the compound imposed on those who fail to show up for their appointment, there is a committee related to the vaccine, so I can’t comment but it is up to them (the committee),” he said at a media conference on consolation for residents of Kota Baru parliamentary constituency who have received their vaccine shots here today.

Last Thursday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said suggestions to issue compounds and penalties on individuals who fail to show up at the vaccination centres will be discussed by the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV) and the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF).

According to Dr Adham, any action to impose penalties and make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory can only be taken after the voluntary approach or registration through various channels, including MySejahtera and face-to-face, have been fully implemented.

When asked if the government would draft new laws against anti-vaccine groups, especially those spreading fake news related to vaccines, Takiyuddin said that was not necessary as the country had certain existing laws.

“We already have existing laws like the Sedition Act for cases categorised as seditious offences, we can take action under this act.

“Besides that, the Multimedia Act also has a category of offences under which we can take action. Currently with the Emergency being enforced, the Communications and Multimedia Ministry has also created an emergency ordinance related to anti-fake news and the government can take action under this law,” he said.

On the other developments regarding the incident involving a minister at a roadblock in Perasing, Terengganu, Takiyuddin, who is PAS secretary-general, said they would leave it to the police to conduct the investigation into the case.

“We at the party level have yet to receive a report from the authorities. We leave it to the police.

“PAS is a party that complies with the law, if any party member or leader is said to have committed an offence, we will leave it to the police to conduct their investigation and take action,” he said. — Bernama

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