Group proposes ‘vaccine dividend’ to boost Covid-19 inoculation rates, calls for end to district-wide lockdowns in Selangor

among the groups’ suggestions is an incentivised 'vaccination dividend' approach for those already immunised, with separate leeways for those with one dose and those who are fully vaccinated. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
among the groups’ suggestions is an incentivised 'vaccination dividend' approach for those already immunised, with separate leeways for those with one dose and those who are fully vaccinated. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — A group of retailer, mall and theme park associations have banded together to plead with Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari to alter mitigative measures that ensure an operating economy while incentivising fully vaccinated individuals to encourage inoculation take-up rates. 

The group, in an open letter addressed to Amirudin issued today, lauded the Selangor government for the increasing rate of vaccinations, and in the same breath pleaded for an end to the implementation of district-wide enhanced lockdowns, saying a more targeted approach is needed. 

“If there are indeed any high-risk hotspots, then targeted surgical and precision lockdowns building by building should only be conducted. 

“This is so as not to cause undue damage and pain to the rakyat and businesses that do not contribute to the infection and allow all businesses to re-open and operate so that lives and livelihood can begin to repair and recover,” read the letter, which was signed off by Malaysia Shopping Malls Association president Tan Sri Teo Chiang Kok. 

Also among the groups’ suggestions is an incentivised “vaccination dividend” approach for those already immunised, with separate leeways for those with one dose and those who are fully vaccinated. 

They proposed for individuals with their first dose to be allowed to return to work and function as per usual full time, to move around freely, and dine in with a maximum of two per table. 

Separately, the open letter suggested fully vaccinated individuals be allowed to dine without size limitations but still maintaining physical distancing, and partake in other social activities such as going to cinemas, spas, theme parks, karaoke centres and bars. 

“When the Cold War ended, the world economy benefited from reaping the ‘peace dividend’ and enjoyed decades of economic growth and prosperity. 

“We believe this ‘Vaccination Dividend’ reward will encourage all the current anti-vaccine people to avail themselves for vaccination in order to have the opportunity of freedom and peace of mind.

“This is indeed a win-win strategy both for the State, the economy and the rakyat,” the letter asserted. 

The letter was endorsed and supported by the Malaysia Retailers Association, the Malaysia Retail Chain Association, the Bumiputera Retailers Organisation, the Malaysia Reit (Real Estate Investment Trust) Managers Association, and the Malaysian Association of Theme Park and Family Attractions. 

Besides Amirudin, the open letter was also addressed to the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, his Deputy Secretary-General Alauddin Sidal, and the Ministry’s Director of the Distributive Trade & Services Industry Secretariat Muhamad Hanif Asa’ari. 

The letter is also addressed to the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, and Amirudin’s private secretary Mohd Hidayat Mohd Sauffi. 

Selangor, which contributes almost a quarter of the country’s economy, has however been consistently reporting the highest number of new daily Covid-19 cases amid mass testing being carried out throughout the state. 

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