Guan Eng urges federal government to decentralise Covid-19 vaccine procurement to states

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DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said that state governments must be allowed to procure the vaccines without going through local pharmaceutical company Pharmaniaga. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said that state governments must be allowed to procure the vaccines without going through local pharmaceutical company Pharmaniaga. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 ― To assist the federal government on expediting National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has urged Putrajaya to decentralise vaccine procurement to state governments.

The former Penang chief minister said that state governments must be allowed to procure the vaccines without going through local pharmaceutical company Pharmaniaga.

“Decentralisation to state governments instead of a sole monopoly in vaccine procurement is the best solution to expedite the National Immunisation Programme by December 31, 2021.

“By decentralising instead of granting the procurement of vaccines to a sole monopoly, there can be more supplies of vaccines as well as increase the vaccination rate.

“Decentralising can also help to avoid incidents of inadequate dosage given, as viralled in the social media,” he said in a statement today.

Two days ago, Khairy Jamaluddin defended his actions of exposing a purportedly “bogus” vaccine donor who had offered to sponsor two million Sinovac vaccine doses for the Penang state government.

Taking to Twitter, the coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme said that his aide had gotten in touch with the man, named Yong Chee Kong, and had asked for proof of donation which Yong failed to produce.

Previously, the Bagan MP said he is willing to apologise if Khairy’s claims of a private company offering Covid-19 vaccine doses to the Penang state government being bogus is proven to be true.

He said the apology will enable everyone to focus on the importance of securing vaccines for the public through a whole of government effort.

Many other states have since announced their intention or plan to procure Covid-19 vaccines by themselves, such as Selangor, Sabah, and Negri Sembilan.

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