MCA is calling on National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to prove that the country’s vaccination drive is still running on a first come, first served policy as intended.
This came after the party received numerous complaints from the public on queue-jumping and behind-the-scenes arrangements.
“Even though the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers have called for an end to bureaucracy to expedite the NIP, the MCA Civil Society Movement Bureau is still receiving many complaints from the public, claiming that there are increasing cases of queue jumping and behind-the-scenes arrangements.
“This is opposite of the rulers’ decree to put the people first.
“Vaccination is an important healthcare issue of public interest; thus, the first come, first served policy should be adhered to, to ensure transparency and professionalism,” the bureau chief Ng Kian Nam (above) said in a statement issued on June 19.
After gathering royal and political leaders in the last two weeks to discuss the state of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Agong released a decree on June 16 that vaccination is the only "exit strategy" to contain the pandemic.
In the same statement, the Agong also emphasised the need to cut bureaucracy and expedite vaccinations for the herd immunity target to be reached as soon as possible.
Earlier in the month, Khairy announced that there will be a Phase 4 under the NIP, targeting those who work in critical economic sectors.
Ng stressed in his statement that bypassing Phase 3 (meant for adults over 18) is unfair to those who have waited for their turn to be vaccinated, claiming that both Khairy and Health Minister Dr Adham Baba continue “changing the rules and shifting the goal post” for the NIP.
Although Ng is not against the vaccination of undocumented migrants, he said he believes “problems arise when the authorities allow priority groups and introduce inequality in the system, including allowing foreign workers who have never registered for vaccination to be prioritised over taxpayers”.
He also brought up the issue of vaccine quota allocations which allegedly resulted in shortages in some areas such as Negeri Sembilan and excess supply in certain mega vaccination centres (PPVs).
According to the feedback received by Ng’s bureau, excess supply of vaccines to PPVs has also resulted in large crowds at the PPVs, “leading to a messy state with little social distancing”.
“Hence, the MCA Civil Society Movement Bureau suggests authorities not to rely too much on PPVs.
“Instead, distribute the appointments in a more localised manner, such as government clinics, private clinics, community halls or schools, in order to prevent large crowds and allow people to reach the location more easily,” Ng added.